Premier League roundup: Boxing Day sees Man United, Arsenal, Leicester lose

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Boxing Day brilliance, or Boxing Day insanity and incompetence? You be the judge.

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As the Premier League season wears on, we’re supposed to gain more clarity, not a further sense of disarray and a complete lack of sense, over which club(s) are favorites to win the league title. Someone didn’t tell that to Boxing Day 2015, because Saturday’s slate of PL games left us far more unsure than we were when the day began.

For a complete recap and highlights of each game, click the link through to the full recap.

Stoke City 2-0 Manchester UnitedFULL RECAP

Louis, Louis, Louis, you’re gonna cry. Louis Van Gaal‘s time in England might just be up after Man United lost yet again (three straight in the league), this time away to Stoke City. Memphis Depay gifted the Potters their opening goal very early on, and Marko Arnautovic blasted home the second from outside the penalty area. Winless in seven games (all competitions) isn’t the best look for anyone involved, so Van Gaal says he might just walk away on his own accord.

Southampton 4-0 ArsenalFULL RECAP

Southampton were winless in five league games (four losses) and Arsenal were flying high after beating Manchester City on Monday. So, of course Saints hammered the Gunners with four goals and blew the title race even further open. Cuco Martina scored a Goal of the Year candidate, which preceded a single tally from Jose Fonte and a brace from Shane Long. The Gunners miss a chance to go top of the league, while letting Man City right back into the title race.

Liverpool 1-0 Leicester CityFULL RECAP

Has Leicester City’s seemingly-inevitable regression finally begun? Kicking off a run of four league games that will see them face Liverpool, Manchester City, Bournemouth and Tottenham, the Foxes suffered their first league defeat since late September on Saturday. Despite the defeat, Claudio Ranieri‘s side stays top of the league, with many thanks to Arsenal’s capitulation away to Southampton a bit later on Boxing Day.

Manchester City 4-1 SunderlandFULL RECAP

Raheem Sterling, Yaya Toure, Wilfried Bony and Kevin De Bruyne — a quartet of names that would strike fear in any opposing defensive unit anywhere in the world; also, the four goalscorers for Man City as the Blues hammered Sunderland to get their title challenge back on track after losing to Arsenal on Monday. The victory move Man City back to within three points of Leicester for the league lead, and a single point back of Arsenal for second.

Chelsea 2-2 WatfordFULL RECAP

Chelsea had turned a corner after the firing of Jose Mourinho, we thought. Instead, they reverted back to their old ways in Guus Hiddink’s re-debut as the club’s interim manager, in a 2-2 draw with Watford on Saturday. The Blues went up a goal, then fell behind by a goal, by which time a point didn’t seem so bad. Still, it’s a far cry from the levels which last season’s champions routinely hit. Now 13 points out of the top-four, it’s a long, long way into next year’s UEFA Champions League.

Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Norwich CityFULL RECAP

Tottenham look intent on keeping hold of a top-four place this season. Since coughing up a 1-0 lead against Newcastle United two weeks ago, Spurs have responded with a pair of clean sheets in beating Southampton and Norwich City by a combined score of 5-0. Harry Kane grabbed two more goals on Saturday (his 10th and 11th league goals of the season), thus putting to bed the “one-season wonder” narrative once and for all.

Newcastle United 0-1 EvertonFULL RECAP

Just when Newcastle look like they’ve turned over a new leaf, the old Newcastle pops right back up and reminds us all why they are, and will likely continue to be, threatened by relegation just about every year. On Saturday, it was Tom Cleverley‘s 92nd-minute winner that undid a mostly solid, draw-worthy performance from the Magpies.

Aston Villa 1-1 West Ham UnitedFULL RECAP

West Ham United are clutching for dear life at a place in the top half of the league table after failing to win for their eighth-straight league game. Aaron Cresswell put the Hammers ahead in first-half stoppage time, but Jordan Ayew equalized to rescue a point for 20th-place Villa for a second week in a row.

Swansea City 1-0 West Bromwich AlbionFULL RECAP

Swansea pulled themselves all the way out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 victory over West Brom on Saturday. Ki Sung-Yueng scored the game’s only goal in the 9th minute, and the Swans, under the watchful eye of interim manager Alan Curtis, snapped a seven-game winless streak (five losses), which greatly contributed to the firing of Garry Monk. Now in 16th place, Swansea are two places and a single point ahead of Newcastle, who fall back into the bottom-three.

Bournemouth 0-0 Crystal PalaceFULL RECAP

Bournemouth moved to six games unbeaten in league play with a 0-0 draw against 5th-place Crystal Palace. The resulting point keeps Eddie Howe‘s Cherries a place and a point ahead of Chelsea in the race for 14th, while Palace fall two points back of Spurs for fourth.

Watch Live: Man City v. Spurs

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The marquee match of the week, and maybe the Premier League’s opening month, sees Manchester City host Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Both teams were dominant in Opening Day wins, though Spurs had to work a bit longer to find their finish.

Man City’s available subs for this match are filthy, with Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, Joao Cancelo, David Silva, and Fernandinho all options for Pep Guardiola (as well as Phil Foden and Claudio Bravo).

Giovani Lo Celso is on the bench for Spurs.

WATCH, STREAM: Wilson, Pukki score screamers amongst 10 a.m. ET kicks

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This season is going to be a challenge for Norwich City, but one of last season’s true heroes made sure the Canaries fans got a bit of home delight.

[ STREAM: All 10 a.m. ET kicks ]

Newcastle is visiting town on Saturday, and Teemu Pukki scored a delightful opener to give the Canaries a halftime lead.

It’s appropriate, as the volley takes a page out of Newcastle hero Alan Shearer’s playbook.

Norwich City 1-0 Newcastle UnitedSTREAM

Aston Villa 0-2 BournemouthSTREAM

And how about this from Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson, who is making Villa’s home return to the Premier League less than ideal.

VIDEO: Sadio Mane scores screamer for Liverpool v. Saints

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Sadio Mane has started the season in sensational fashion.

After scoring twice for Liverpool in their Super Cup final win against Chelsea on Wednesday, Mane curled home a stunning shot right on half time.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]  

Mane was playing against his former club and after Southampton had created the best chances, it was a huge boost for Liverpool to go in ahead at the break.

Click play on the video below to see Mane open the scoring in style.

Emery impressed with versatile Ceballos as Arsenal stays perfect

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Despite the score line, Unai Emery can be fairly happy with Arsenal’s performance in a 2-1 defeat of Burnley at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

On midfielder Dani Ceballos, though, Emery will be very pleased.

[ RECAP: Arsenal 2-1 Burnley ]

The Real Madrid loanee was the easy Man of the Match, his silky skill on the ball and quality industry endearing himself to Arsenal faithful. From Football.London:

“It’s to use his quality in the best position in our team. I spoke with him before coming here, it’s to play as an eight and a No.10. He started like a 10 but changed with Willock. He can feel better on the pitch.”

Emery will be less than pleased with his defense, who allowed a goal to early season Golden Boot candidate Ashley Barnes.

“We won in our moments we did the difference for 2-1. A lot of moments we couldn’t impose our gameplan because they pushed and their gameplan was a struggle for us.”