PL: Boxing Day Round Up 2022

PL: Boxing Day Round Up 2022

After a month and a half of no club football, the Premier League finally returned this weekend on Boxing Day. Some of us might have still been stuck with the World Cup hangover, but after the round of fixtures we’ve just had, I’m sure everyone’s wide awake and craving league football again.

We take a look at what made the headlines as all the 20 teams went at it once again in the most exciting league in the world.

Spurs & Brentford Play Out A Thriller In PL’s Restart

In the first league match since the World Cup break, Spurs came from behind to earn a point away at Brentford. For the neutrals, it was a perfect resumption to the league. However, Spurs’ fans were on the edge for the first hour or so, with their team trailing 2-0 as the Bees looked more up for the London derby. Conte’s men have now conceded the opening goal in each of their last 6 PL games.

But at the stroke of the hour, Harry Kane put his World Cup woes behind him as he continued his fine form for Spurs, notching up his 13th goal of the season. Hojbjerg’s equalizer then ensured Spurs stayed in 4th place.

Bazunu Errors See Brighton Win

Southampton couldn’t have hoped for a worse start to the second half of the season. Having sacked Hassenhutl before the break, new manager Nathan Jones would’ve hoped for a better showing having had enough time to work with his new team.

But keeper Bazunu’s poor day in the office meant Brighton were gifted 2 goals and won 3-1 in the battle of the South Coast, which sees the Seagulls just a point off of the top 6. This result ensured that the streak of the home side always losing in a clash between the two, remained intact.

Newcastle Trounce Leicester To Stay 3rd

Newcastle beat Leicester 3-0 at the King Power, in what was a largely one-sided game that could’ve seen the Magpies add more goals. Eddie Howe’s men now have Newcastle’s longest active winning streak in their PL history, winning 6 in a row. Almiron scored a beautiful team goal as he continued his stellar start to the season, scoring his 9th goal this term.

Meanwhile, Leicester lacked any sort of dynamism or creativity without Maddison and Vardy and seemed like they had reverted to the bad habits of the first few games of the season. Leicester’s chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha offered the home fans free beers to celebrate the return of the PL during this festive season. But after having watched that performance from their team, they might have needed a couple more after the game.

9-Men Palace Get Thumped 3-0

Palace players were clearly still not ready for the restart, as 2 red cards saw them lose 3-0 to neighbours Fulham in this mid table clash at Selhurst Park. The game was beyond Palace’s grasp after the second red, and despite just trailing 1-0, any chance of a comeback was lost.

Mitrovic was on the scoresheet again heading into double figures for the season, as Marco Silva’s men resumed their campaign in perfect fashion. The Serb has now scored 53 goals in his last 56 league games for the West London club.

Wolves Score Last Minute Winner To Sink Everton

Lampard must’ve sat in the dressing room scratching his head wondering how they lost that game at the death. Having dominated the game in terms of possession and chances for large parts, Everton let a 1-0 lead slip away to allow fellow strugglers Wolves to not just win, but also come within a point of the Toffees.

Wolves’ last 2 away wins in the league have both been against Everton. With another loss, the Goodison crowd didn’t seem to have much festive cheer at the final whistle.

Liverpool Continue Good Form

Liverpool produced a professional performance at Villa Park, winning 3-1 as Klopp maintained his 100% win record on boxing day. A rejuvenated Salah was on the scoresheet within the opening 5 minutes of the game. The Reds’ ever reliable Robertson bagged his 54th assist in the Premier League, breaking Baines’ record to now have the most assists by a defender in the league’s history.

Nunez, who has the highest NPxG and most shots on target squandered several chances again to put the game to bed. While Villa produced a fight back after scoring a goal, Jurgen Klopp’s men just turned out to be too good for the hosts.

Arsenal Overcome Scare To Stay On Top

The Gunners came from behind against West Ham to stay on top of the league, maintaining their 5-point lead over 2nd placed City. While the Hammers came out of the blocks strong scoring the opening goal, David Moyes’ worrisome record of never beating Arsenal away in his vast managerial experience remained intact.

Three goals within the space of 16 minutes in the second half saw Arteta’s men complete an impressive turnaround. The front 3 put on quite a show in the second half, as Odegaard pulled the strings from midfield registering an impressive 12 passes into the opposition box leading to 2 assists.

Chelsea Ease Past Bournemouth

Chelsea finally made a return to winning ways having gone 5 PL games without a win before the break. Under fire, Potter’s men started off well, dominating the opening exchanges and scoring 2 well-worked goals before half time with Bournemouth having little to offer on the counter.

Despite not having the same control in the second half, Chelsea’s backline was defensively solid as Kepa registered another clean sheet, now having the highest save percentage (83.9%) of any keeper this season. However, Reece James’ recurrent knee injury was the only blemish on an otherwise comfortable evening for the Blues.

Ronaldo-less United Get Off To Winning Ways

All eyes were on Old Trafford, as United played for the first time since Ronaldo gave that explosive interview and terminated his contract with the Red Devils. But Rashford and Martial stepped up to the plate as they scored to give United an easy 3-0 win over bottom-placed Forest.

Casemiro showed his class at the heart of United’s midfield as he registered 104 touches in midfield and won 100% of his aerial duels. Ten Haag’s men are now just within a point of the top 4.

Haaland Brace Breaks More Records As Man City Stroll

People must’ve had doubts about whether the lengthy layoff might have disrupted Haaland’s goal scoring streak, but the Norwegian goal machine picked up from exactly where he left off before the break. Having been preserved in a cryogenic chamber by Pep during the break, cyborg Haaland scored a brace to become the fastest player ever to reach 20 Premier League goals, ahead of greats like Shearer, Henry, and Aguero.

The Citizens ended up with an xG of 4.39 and deservedly got all 3 points at Elland Road. The win ensured Man City kept pace with Arsenal, as the title race looks like it could go the distance yet again.

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