Boxing Day in the Premier League is one of the great traditions in English and British football. The day after Christmas has been a staple of some memorable moments from one of the most competitive leagues in the world. With all twenty clubs in action on Saturday, it was quite the gift for footy fans on the day. Eighteen rounds have come and gone in the Premier League, and while Leicester City retained first place, Arsenal would squander their chance to take top of the table. Trivia abounds, as we unravel Five Interesting Facts From Premier League Matchday 18.
A Cracker from Curaçao
— Cuco Martina (@CucoMartina) December 26, 2015
Southampton would beat Arsenal at St. Mary’s in consecutive league games for the first time in the Premier League era, as the Saints thwarted the visiting Gunners 4-0, halting Arsenal’s chance to take top spot on the table. Of the four goals from Southampton’s win, none were more emphatic than the delectable gift of a strike from defender Cuco Martina. Martina’s 19th minute goal was the first goal ever scored from a player from the tiny Caribbean island of Curaçao, once a part of the Netherlands Antilles. It was also the Curaçaoan’s first start for the club. 56 Still the Number for United
FT – Stoke 2 United 0. Goals from Bojan and Arnautovic do the damage as the Reds slip to defeat on Boxing Day. pic.twitter.com/nGMnymAmx8
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 26, 2015
The vultures seem to now swirl around Louis Van Gaal and his time at Manchester United. Van Gaal’s men were defeated by Stoke City 2-0 on Boxing Day. United and their supporters can take solace in knowing, however, that they are still in first place on the Premier League table for matches played on Boxing Day. The Red Devils still sit on fifty-six points on this table, some fifteen points ahead of Arsenal and Liverpool.
Bournemouth, Palace in a B&I Affair
— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) December 26, 2015
AFC Bournemouth and Crystal Palace shared a point after their goalless Boxing Day bout in Bournemouth in their first ever Premier League encounter. Bournemouth haven’t lost a league match in six matches, while the Eagles increased their unbeaten run to five. Of the twenty-two players starting on both teams, twenty players represented the British Isles. Thirteen of those players were English, both teams each had a Scotsman and an Irishman, and Palace started two Welshmen. Bournemouth’s Polish goalkeeper Artur Boruc and Crystal Palace’s Malian defender Pape Souare were the only players from outside the region who started. Spurs Continue Holiday Streak
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 26, 2015
Birthday boy Hugo Lloris recorded a clean sheet, and Harry Kane and Tom Carroll scored to lift Tottenham Hotspur to victory over Norwich City, 3-0. Spurs have now not lost on Boxing Day since 2003 (Won nine times). Spurs remain fourth on the Premier League table.
Manchester City Continues Home Streak vs. Sunderland
— Manchester City FC (@MCFC) December 26, 2015
Manchester City extended their winning streak at home against Sunderland with a knockout 4-1 performance on Boxing Day. Since 2000, City haven’t lost at home in any of their Premier League encounters against Sunderland (ten wins, two draws). Four different players tallied on the day as Manchester City stayed in the top three title picture.