Christmas Day is a wonderful time to spend with our family and friends, but let’s be honest if you’re a hardcore Premier League fan, having a few beers with your mates and watching game after game on Boxing Day has become just as much of an institution as the day it follows.
With that in mind, we have taken a look at five of the best ever Premier League Boxing Day fixtures.
Sheffield Wednesday 3-3 Manchester United (1992)
Where else to start but with the inaugural Premier League season of 1992/1993. A Chris Waddle inspired Sheffield Wednesday raced into a 3-0 first-half lead to leave Alex Ferguson staring down the barrel of a heavy defeat.
However, Scotland international Brian McClair gave United hope with two second-half headers, before United legend Eric Cantona scored a late goal to rescue a point and seal a memorable comeback.
Ferguson’s men would go on to win their first league title in 26 years that season, with the reverse fixture also proving dramatic as two late Steve Bruce goals turned defeat into victory at Old Trafford during the run-in.
That campaign proved the start of a period in which the Red Devils became famed for rescuing games from seemingly impossible positions, the birth of ‘Fergie Time’.
Coventry City 3-2 Arsenal (1999)
The thought of Coventry City as a Premier League side might be hard to believe for younger readers, but the Sky Blues were once amongst the division’s most entertaining teams with a whole host of pretty handy talents.
Coventry played out a Boxing Day cracker with Arsenal during the 1999/2000 season, with the Gunners having arrived at Highfield Road as heavy favourites and in pursuit of the Premier League title.
🎥 CLASSIC BOXING DAY HIGHLIGHTS:
— Coventry City (@Coventry_City) December 26, 2019
Gordon Strachan’s side instead pulled off an upset after racing into a two-goal lead, a deflected effort from Gary McAllister opening the scoring before Mustapha Hadji’s curled effort from the edge of the area doubled their advantage.
Arsenal rallied in the second half as Freddie Ljungberg pulled a goal back, but a fresh-faced Robbie Keane reestablished Coventry’s two-goal lead with an improvised finish. Davor Suker’s individual effort proved little more than a consolation for the Gunners who crashed to defeat.
Chelsea 4 – 4 Aston Villa (2007)
Chelsea and Aston Villa played out an utterly bonkers Boxing Day game of football at Stamford Bridge in 2007, a fixture with enough madness to snap anybody out of a turkey and beer induced coma.
There was eight goals, three red cards, two penalties and the exchange of the lead on no less than six occasions, a pulsating clash that left those in west London desperately attempting to catch their breath.
Villa had taken a two-goal lead, but were forced to fight back in the closing stages with Gareth Barry’s 90th-minute leveller from the penalty spot securing the visitors a point.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) December 26, 2020
Aston Villa 2-2 Arsenal (2008)
Aston Villa found themselves in another memorable Boxing Day clash just a season later, as Martin O’Neill’s side went head-to-head with Arsenal in their pursuit of European qualification.
O’Neill had made Villa Park amongst the toughest grounds in the Premier League to visit and Arsenal certainly found themselves in a game during the 2008/09 season, as the two teams shared four goals in an enthralling draw.
Villa found themselves two goals down against the run of play, as Denilson and Abou Diaby gave Arsenal a two-goal lead.
However, roared on by the home crowd, Villa struck back via a Gareth Barry penalty, before centre-back Zat Knight lashed home in the last minute to share the spoils in what was an action-packed affair.
Manchester United 4-3 Newcastle United (2012)
Two decades on from Manchester United’s epic comeback against Sheffield Wednesday, the Red Devils were again in the thick of the Boxing Day drama.
Alan Pardew’s Newcastle side threatened a shock after taking the lead on three occasions at Old Trafford, but United fought back to secure an important three points and extend their lead at the top of the Premier League.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 26, 2019
Robin van Persie netted the crucial equaliser for the Red Devils, with the almost inevitable occurring as the pressure increased on the Magpies.
Javier Hernandez struck a 90th-minute winner, sliding home after an excellent Michael Carrick pass to spark wild celebrations from the home support.