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The Etihad was a venue of one of our classic Boxing Day moments
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Best ever Premier League Boxing Day moments

One of the biggest Christmas traditions in Britain is the frantically festive feast of football with Boxing Day matches a staple of the national game for decades.

While most people get a few precious days off to spend time with family and friends, footballers are in action up to three times in the space of a week - a time of the year that usually makes a huge difference in terms of any title races.

Here are five of the standout games and moments from the Premier League era on December 26th.

Sky Blues put title-chasing Gunners to the sword (1999)

Two years after winning his first Premier League title, Arsene Wenger was battling for a second along with Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson - a rivalry that defined much of the late 90s and early noughties.

However, they ran into a Coventry side managed by Gordon Strachan that was full of exciting talent and experience, and duly came unstuck.

Gary McAllister gave the Sky Blues the lead after six minutes before Mustapha Hadji's lovely curler doubled their advantage just before the break.

Freddie Ljungberg responded midway through the second but it was Robbie Keane who ultimately scored the winner after audaciously flicking the ball home from a narrow-angle.

Davor Suker ensured it would be a nervy finish after making it 3-2 but Coventry held on for one of their most impressive wins of the season. Arsenal ultimately fell way short of Manchester United who won the league that season by 18 points.

Di Canio taunts nouveau riche Chelsea (2003)

This was the first taste of Boxing Day football for Roman Ambramovich whose Chelsea side were looking to join Arsenal and Manchester United in the Premier League title race.

However, Charlton were flying under Alan Curbishley with the Addicks genuinely looking like European football contenders.

The revolutionised Chelsea conceded inside a minute as Hermann Hreidarsson headed home unmarked, though John Terry found an equaliser soon after.

Matt Holland gave Charlton the lead 10 minutes before the break after arriving late into the box to head home Jonatan Johansson's cross.

Johansson and Jason Euell scored in quick succession after the break to humble Chelsea, whose grabbed a consolation courtesy of Eidur Gudjohnsen.

Di Canio assisted twice and put in a super performance against the Blues while Scott Parker was also excellent in midfield. He made such an impact on the Blues that he left the Valley to join up with Claudio Ranieri's men soon after.

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Eight goals shared at Stamford Bridge (2007)

Three months after the departure of Jose Mourinho, Chelsea were still finding their feet under interim boss Avram Grant and this 4-4 showcased brilliance and vulnerability in equal measure.

Shaun Maloney's brace gave Villa the lead before Andriy Shevchenko's penalty just before half-time made it 2-1.

Ukrainian Shevchenko, by and large a real disappointment in the Abramovich era, did have one of his good days by making it 2-2 as Chelsea sought to complete the comeback.

They did through defender Alex but fellow centre-back Martin Laursen made it 3-3 with Villa refusing to lie down and be beaten under Martin O'Neill.

Chelsea thought they netted a winner through Michael Ballack in the 88th minute but the game had one last twist.

Gabby Agbonlahor's header was cleared off the line by Ashley Cole with referee Phil Dowd deciding the England left-back handled on the line.

Gareth Barry was composed from the spot to make it 4-4 and dent Chelsea's title hopes.

Brown launches team talk tirade on turf (2008)

This game was notable for one of the most extraordinary moments in Premier League history as Phil Brown turned into a strict headmaster during the break of their trip to Manchester City.

The Tigers, competing in their first-ever Premier League campaign, were hopeless at the Etihad with Felipe Caicedo and Robinho both scoring braces to make it 4-0 at the break.

A furious Brown responded by holding his half-time team talk on the field, near the away end where several thousand Hull fans were housed with players bowing their heads sheepishly.

The pantomime-esque performance had little effect as Hull went on to lose 5-1 though Brown's action did have a legacy.

In November of the following year, joker of the pack Jimmy Bullard bagged a penalty against City and celebrated by mimicking Brown's actions with all the Hull players sat down

Martina scores sensational rocket (2015)

If you are only to ever score one goal in your time at a club, try and make it a good one.

That is advice that Curacaoan defender Cuco Martina heeded when Southampton faced Arsenal on Boxing Day in 2015.

With 19 minutes on the clock, Arsenal routinely headed out a cross from the penalty area, believing they have done enough to clear the danger.

Martina had other ideas. He caught the ball so sweetly first time and fizzed a 35-yarder into the bottom corner to send St Mary's into raptures.

It was one of those goals that looked even better from the reverse-angle replay. Initially, the strike appeared to be heading wide, but the technique of the shot saw the ball arc back towards goal.

Martina left Southampton after two years, only playing 36 times, but that goal will live long in the memory.

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