Premier League Boxing Day wrap up: Man City rising, Everton keep winning and Arsenal break losing streak
Premier League weekend action kicked off on Saturday with Arsenal defeating Chelsea, Everton keeping pace in the standings, and Aston Villa dominating Crystal Palace. Let’s take a closer look at some of the action across Premier League on Boxing Day.
Leicester City 2, Man United 2
Fulham 0, Southampton 0
Aston Villa 3, Crystal Palace 0
Arsenal 3, Chelsea 1
Man. City 2, Newcastle 0
Sheffield United 0, Everton 1
Jaime Vardy rallies Leicester City
Manchester United and Leicester City kicked off Boxing Day with a thrilling 2-2 draw. The Red Devils were staring at a 2-1 win with five minutes remaining before veteran Jaime Vardy took matters into his own hands. The Foxes were pressing for a late gate goal, and after a quiet day at the office, Vardy found the equalizer (though it would later be ruled an own goal) with a powerful shot just six yards in front of goal that deflected off Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe to steal a point.
Aston Villa keep pace with big win
A dominant 3-0 win for Aston Villa over Crystal Palace now have them sitting in sixth place on the league table with 25 points. The Villains got off to a quick start with a goal from Bertrand Traore in the 5th minute and appeared poised for more before a red card shook things up. Tyrone Mings picked up his second yellow and was sent off at the conclusion of the first half and Crystal Palace would play the game with a man advantage. It didn’t matter. Jack Grealish and company dominated anyway as goals from Kortney Hause and Anwar El Ghazi extended the lead to 3-0. Despite the man advantage Crystal Palace rarely bothered Villa, and were outshot 10 to 9 in the second half as Villa earned the win and a their fourth consecutive clean sheet.
Everton stay in second place
Everton extended their win streak to four with a 1-0 away win over Sheffield United. The Toffees could possibly have done more against a bottom table side like Sheffield, but the narrow win keeps Everton as one of the most consistent performing teams over the last few weeks of Premier League action. It was a closely contested match with Sheffield United outshooting Everton 10 to 7 but it was the Toffees that broke through in the 80th minute when veteran Gylfi Sigurosson, scored from inside the box to extend Everton’s win streak.
Arsenal break losing streak against Chelsea
The Gunners earned their first win since Nov. 1 with a 3-1 win against Chelsea, snapping a seven game winless streak. Chelsea failed to make anything of their possession, and the top line continued to struggle in front of goal. Timo Werner was subbed out at halftime, and Jorginho failed to convert a penalty attempt that could’ve brought the Blues within one. It was the type of win for an Arsenal side that could finally get them out of their long slump. Player rotation and a change in the formation to a 4-4-1-1 provided potential blue print for the Gunners moving forward.
Man City inch closer to top four
Pep Guardiola’s side earned their second consecutive win and are undefeated in their last five matches with their 2-0 win over Newcastle. Illkay Gundogan got the scoring started for Man City with a goal in the 14th minute from point blank range, while Feran Torres extended the lead in the 55th minute. City focused heavily on protecting their lead and passing Newcastle to death, retaining the ball 76% percent of the time compared to Newcastles 24%. It was a Guardiola special for Boxing Day, made possible in large part Raheem Sterling putting in a solid shift creating chances and recording the assist on the opening goal.
Premier League continues on Sunday with four additional matches on the docket. West Ham vs. Brighton, Wolves vs. Tottenham, Leeds United vs. Burnley, and Liverpool vs. West Brom. Liverpool sit in first place with 31 points and could extend the gap between several teams currently chasing them.