The Boxing Day, a tradition which has been held for years in English football a day after Christmas, started yesterday and ended today for the gameweek 19 of the English Premier League. All the teams were playing, and surprises were present just like almost every footballing week since this season started.
Chelsea, current leader, were held to a goalless draw away at Birmingham City in yesterday’s first kick off game, and it has to be said the Blues were shadows of themselves on the pitch as they failed to impress, with Birmingham’s keeper, Joe Hart, being the man of the match as he kept the Blues at bay whenever they posed a threat, while Birmingham could consider themselves to be unfortunate as Christian Benitez’s (Chucho) goal was incorrectly ruled out for offside, which would have given them a win, but instead they had to share the spoils with the Blues.
The same day, Manchester City, with new boss Mancini at the head after Mark Hughes was sacked, grabbed a rather easy win over Stoke City, with Petrov and Tevez scoring for Man City, and thus comforting their position to challenge for a place in the Big 4, the target which Mancini has set for this season, something which curiously enough was same for Hughes.
Liverpool as well were in action against Wolves in the last kickoff of last night, and the Reds gave their fans and themselves some fresh air as Gerrard and Benayoun scored to gift them a much needed win after some terrible past games, and Benitez can start may be his climb towards the top 4 position by the end of the season, provided his players respond well in the remaining games.
Members of the Big 4 were also in action today, as Arsenal were facing Aston Villa in a game which held much promise for both teams, as they were leveled on points before kickoff, with Arsenal having one game less, but the Gunners were far superior than the Villains, and although a 0-0 scoreline at half-time, the introduction of Fabregas in the second half changed the course of the game, and he scored 2 goals, but was withdrawn as he was suffering from an injury already before the game but may be aggravated it while playing, and Diaby concluded with a 3rd to give the Gunners a 3-0 win over Villa, a team which have beaten other members of the Big 4 already , but today was almost out of steam to cause danger to the Gunners.
Manchester United ended the Boxing Day with the last kick off today away against Hull, and it was rather a tight match as the Red Devils failed to impress with the quality of the football being very average, but still the managed a 1-3 win over Hull, with Rooney opening the score, but also involved in a horrendous back pass which ended in Rafael fouling Altidore, and Folan equalizing from the resulting penalty, but Rooney was yet again in the thick of the action this time at the correct end, as his pass was converted into his own net by Dawson, and again Rooney was in action some minutes later as he slid a perfect ball to Berbatov for the latter to tap in and secure victory, with Kuszczak as well contributing for United in keeping out some Hull shots.
The Premier League continues again tomorrow upto Wednesday for the gameweek 20 this time, and all points gained or lost will prove to be vital for every team, either for the title race or the race to escape relegation.