Saturday, May 28

Best ever Premier League Boxing Day goals – ranked

Boxing Day will forever be a red letter day in every football fan’s calendar, with a feast of the beautiful game to gorge on following our Christmas Day overindulgence.

The years might be getting stranger as each 12 months passes, but the festive period is always a great time to let your eyes feast on some tasty football nostalgia.

So why not have one last little trip down memory lane as we recall the greatest Premier league goals from the annual Boxing Day bonanza.

Boxing Day 2004 was certainly a day to remember for Liverpool fans, as their side demolished West Brom 5-0 at the Hawthorns.

John Arne Riise set them on their way with a trademark thunderous left-footed strike, meeting the ball on the edge of the area as he powered his effort with pinpoint accuracy into the top corner.

It’s fair to say that David Ginola didn’t do bad goals, but this one was a cracker even by his standards.

The Tottenham man picked up the ball on the right before darting inside in with his usual menace and guile, dropping a shoulder not once, not twice, but THRICE, before setting himself and firing an unstoppable drive past the despairing dive of Alec Chamberlain.

The goal set Spurs on their way as they recorded a comfortable 4-0 win over the Hornets, who would ultimately finish rock bottom of the Premier League.

Many Arsenal fans (and neutrals for that matter) will often wax lyrical about the player Abou Diaby could have been, and his goal at Villa Park in 2008 proves they’re not wrong.

The injury-prone Frenchman started off a flowing Gunners move with a neat piece of skill in his own half before laying the ball off to Emmanuel Eboue. The right-back strolled towards the Villa penalty area before slipping in Diaby, who showed all the composure in the world to dink it over the emerging Brad Friedel.

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Steven Defour was something of an enigma at Burnley. The Belgian represented a marquee signing for the newly-promoted side in 2016, yet he seemed to disappear after a couple of seasons at Turf Moor.

Nevertheless, he left them with an absolute wonder strike to remember him by, putting the visitors 2-0 up at Old Trafford in 2017 with a sumptuous free kick.

Sean Dyche’s side would ultimately endure a frustrating afternoon, throwing away a two-goal lead late on and heading back to Lancashire with just a point to show for their efforts.

Rooney scored a screamer at Hull in 2013Rooney scored a screamer at Hull in 2013

Rooney scored a screamer at Hull in 2013 / AFP/Getty Images

Rooney was never short of a moment of magic during his time at Manchester United – well, for the most part anyway.

England’s all-time record goalscorer delivered a beauty on Boxing Day 2013, controlling the ball with his thigh before unleashing a piledriver into the top right-hand corner, as David Moyes’ men came from a goal down to record a 3-2 victory over Hull.

Cristiano Ronaldo produced his fair share of stunning free kicks in his first spell at Old Trafford, and Sunderland were on the receiving end of one in 2007 as he powered home an unstoppable drive from the edge of the penalty area.

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Sir Alex Ferguson’s men ran out 4-0 winners at the Stadium of Light in a comfortable afternoon’s work in the north east.

Andy Cole challenge Liverpool's Stephane HenchozAndy Cole challenge Liverpool's Stephane Henchoz

Andy Cole challenge Liverpool’s Stephane Henchoz / Gary M. Prior/Getty Images

A stellar career prior to his move to Blackburn Rovers means Andy Cole’s spell at Ewood Park is rarely mentioned, though 37 goals in his two and a half years in Lancashire is a decent return.

The delight on the former Manchester United man’s face was clear for all to see as he silenced the Anfield crowd on Boxing Day 2002, controlling the ball was his chest before firing past Chris Kirkland at the Kop end.

The strike was enough to secure a precious point for the visitors, cancelling out John Arne Riise’s early goal.

For all the goalscoring machines on our list, Cuco Martina certainly isn’t a man you’d associate with goals, but he produced a wonder strike to put Southampton ahead against Arsenal in 2015.

His superb effort with the outside of his right boot is one of the most aesthetically pleasing goals you’re ever likely to see, and it handed his side the lead in their 4-0 thumping of Arsene Wenger’s men.

You could write the highlights of Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s time at Manchester United on the back of a postage stamp, though this would definitely be top of the list.

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The Armenia international’s incredible scorpion kick put United’s clash with Sunderland to bed as a contest, as the Red Devils took a three-goal lead and secured all three points in the process on Boxing Day 2016.

And finally, our number one Boxing Day goal in Premier League history.

Trevor Sinclair wasn’t a 20-goal-a-season midfielder, but when he did pop up with a goal he tended to make them special, and this effort in 2001 was no different.

The West Ham man’s acrobatic effort seemed to take everyone by surprise – including Derby goalkeeper Mart Poom – as he helped the Hammers record an emphatic 4-0 win over the Rams.

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