English Boxing Day has always been a special day within the football world. A different fixture where the Premier League comes as a savior for all the fans around the world who want to watch the game every December 26th in order to get a break from all the Christmas meals. Packed stadiums with people wearing Santa Claus hats, typical cloudy British weather, and a storm of goals and excitement all around with epic matches that take us back to the football routine that we already miss by then. Many things have changed during this fateful year, but the essence stays the same: stands are now covered to protect the seats for when the fans return, but the attractiveness of every game was just as any other year through a football marathon.

Boxing Day 2020
Getty Images.

Others do not, like the cruelty from the English producers when they put the replay on every action showing the guilty and the absent, like it happened in the first minute of the day when Rashford missed his header and Cavani was shown from the bench, who ended up assisting Bruno Fernandes when the Uruguayan went in; neither changes that Vardy only needs to touch a ball in 90 minutes to give a point to his team and two for Liverpool. No goals at Craven Cottage due to a huge miss by Che Adams and two disallowed ones because of offside (Shane Long and Theo Walcott), but Aston Villa made it up at the same time with an offensive show to beat Crystal Palace.

The evening brought the London derby, which allowed Arsenal to breath against a very weak Chelsea: just like in Spain, in England referees make the wrong calls even after watching the replay on the VAR, which turned into a PK that Lacazette scored after a great acting performance by Tierney and a non existing fault by James. Then there were two more goals for the Gunners, an astonishing free kick by Xhaka and a cross that turned into a shot to the top left of the net by Saka.

The Blues were already 3-0 down when they realized that they were about to lose, but Abraham put them back in the game and who knows what would have happened if Jorginho had done what he was supposed to do. Once in a while, but not to often, Arsenal get lucky and pick a comfortable win. The problem is that the only regular aspect from the most irregular team is that they used to end 4th and now is not even clear if they will make it to the Europa League.

Manchester City closed the day with a 2-0 victory against Newcastle that keep them in the battle and Everton grabbed the three points thanks to a goal by Sigurðsson that make the Toffees dream about a chance to pull it off. That is the magic of English football in an unpublished Boxing day, just like anything else.


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