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This Year’s Boxing Day Action “Unforgettable” Despite COVID Disruption

Despite having three of its matches postponed due to COVID-19 outbreaks, this year’s Boxing Day festivities proved to be a memorable one. 22 goals were scored in Sunday’s Premier League action across six matches, with Manchester City’s win over Leicester City proving to be an absolute classic.

Football fans across England traditionally celebrate the day after Christmas with some good old Premier League football, and those at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester were not disappointed at the show that unfolded before them.

League leaders City raced to a 4-0 lead over a disjointed-looking Leicester, however, after half-time, the Foxes emerged out as a different beast.

Former City player Kelehi Iheanacho proved to be a nightmare for his old club as he assisted two and scored once as Leicester reduced the deficit into just one goal, however, Aymeric Laporte managed to give City some breathing space with a well-timed header in the 69th minute.

With the scoreline reading 5-3, Leicester squandered a couple of chances in continuing their resurgence, before a late Raheem Sterling goal ended all resistance from the Foxes.

Final score at the Etihad, Manchester City 6-3 Leicester City.

There were also goals galore in East Anglia but this time it’s a more one-sided affair, as Arsenal demolished bottom-placed Norwich City 5-0 at Carrow Road. Bukayo Saka scored twice as Mikel Arteta celebrated two years since his first win as Arsenal manager in style, with further goals from Kieran Tierney, Alexandre Lacazette, and Emile Smith-Rowe piling on more misery for relegation-threatened Norwich.

Meanwhile in South Coast, hosts Southampton and West Ham United did not serve any goals galore like the previous two matches, but the drama unfolding at St. Mary’s was second to none.

Champions League-chasing West Ham were stunned early into the game by their opponents, who were winless in their last seven games before Michail Antonio struck an equalizer early into the second half. James Ward-Prowse’s 61st minute penalty gave Southampton the lead again before Said Benrahma equalized for West Ham yet again three minutes later. Jan Bednarek’s 70th minute strike proved to be the clincher for the Saints, who came out on top 3-2 in this topsy-turvy encounter.

Chelsea seized advantage of Liverpool’s postponed Boxing Day game by going level on points with the Reds following a 3-1 win away at Aston Villa, but Thomas Tuchel’s charges were made to work hard for their three points. Reece James scored an uncharacteristic own-goal to give Villa the lead, however, two penalties from Jorginho and a strike from Romelu Lukaku, returning to action after a bout with COVID, gave Chelsea the win.

Sunday’s last game wasn’t as goal-friendly or as action-packed as the previous ones, but nonetheless it gave Brighton & Hove Albion fans something to cheer about as their team picked up a straightforward 2-0 win over Brentford at the Amex.

The Premier League’s festive action continues on Monday with Manchester United taking on Newcastle United at St. James’ Park, while Liverpool’s match against Leeds United, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ clash against Watford, and Burnley’s visit to Everton were postponed due to COVID outbreaks.