Boxing Day Wrap: The things you might have missed last night
You may have missed the scores from a busy Boxing Day fixture list, but these were the big stories in the Premier League, as a true Blue hero racked up 50 goals, a Hornet made it to 100, Big Sam got his Crystal Palace tenure underway and there was the obligatory returning player scoring at his former stamping ground.
Watford 1-1 Crystal Palace
Big Sam made his debut in the Palace dugout, coming into the game with the worst Boxing Day record of all Premier League managers ever. However by installing Andros Townsend back in the side he helped avoid another festive defeat: the former Spurs winger slipped in Yohan Cabaye to open the scoring before Heurelho Gomes gave away a penalty, then saved it, Damien Delaney returned the favour by fouling in his own box, and Troy Deeney stepped up to smack in his 100th goal for Watford.
Arsenal 1-0 West Bromwich Albion
Olivier Giroud and Alex Iwobi came in for the Gunners but they struggled to break down a typically solid Tony Pulis-inspired rear-guard effort from the Baggies. Three late substitions from Arsene Wenger failed to find a breakthrough until Giroud rose in the 86th minute to convert a cross for his fifth goal in seven starts and send the north London club leapfrogging over Manchester City in the league table, up to third.
Burnley 1-0 Middlesbrough
A stalemate looked likely at Turf Moor until Andre Gray scored in the 80th minute with a mistake from Victor Valdes helping Burnley to a Boxing Day victory. Sean Dyche will have greatly appreciated three valuable points against a fellow relegation battler, and the result saw the home side fly up to 14th in the table following victory in the first meeting between the two sides since 1976.
Chelsea 3-0 Bournemouth
Without N'Golo Kante and Diego Costa, many thought this might be the week that the Blues slip up. Not to be: Conte went striker-less instead pushing Eden Hazard up front with Willian and Cesc Fabregas coming into the side. And the Spaniard provided the inspiration, setting up his compatriot Pedro before Hazard sealed the result by notching his 50th Chelsea goal from the penalty spot. Pedro then grabbed another minutes before the end.
Leicester City 0-2 Everton
Leicester City missed Jamie Vardy at the King Power Stadium as Kevin Mirallas opened the scoring. Romelu Lukaku then doubled the visitors' lead as the Toffees bounced back from that late Merseyside Derby defeat. The Foxes had laid out Jamie Vardy masks across the stadium before the game but lacked the cutting edge that the England man provides as they were unable to find a way past Ronald Koeman's men.
Man Utd 3-1 Sunderland
Zlatan Ibrahimovic knocked in his 17th goal of the season and set up Daley Blind who charged into the Black Cats' box from left-back to open the scoring at Old Trafford. Henrikh Mkhitaryan then scored a sublime goal before Fabio Borini smashed in a volley to stop United keeping it clean at the back. The Red Devils moved up level with Spurs, having played a game more.
Swansea City 1-4 West Ham
Andre Ayew returned to his old club to open the scoring in this basement-dwellers' battle. Further strikes by Winston Reid and Michail Antonio saw the Hammers take the points, but there was still time for Fernando Llorente to net, and continue his recent fine form in front of goal, before Andu Carroll also got on the scoresheet to round off the proceedings at the Liberty.