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.

Havertz makes history in Bayer win

Freiburg v. Bayer Leverkusen recap and video highlights
Photo by RONALD WITTEK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
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Kai Havertz made more Bundesliga history as Bayer Leverkusen got back in the win column with a 1-0 win at scrappy Freiburg on Friday.

Havertz became the first player in history to score 35 Bundesliga goals before the age of 21 with the match’s early second-half opener, assisted by Leon Bailey. He turns 21 on June 11.

[ Bundesliga: Live scores ]

Havertz has 11 goals and five assists in Bundesliga play this season including five goals since the end of the coronavirus pause.

Bayer pulls in third place with 56 points, one ahead of RB Leipzig and one back of Borussia Dortmund. Gladbach lurks three points back.

Freiburg may have waved goodbye to its sixth-place hopes, now four points back of Wolfsburg.

[ MORE: Week 29 preview, predictions  ] 

There were hints of danger for both teams in the opening throes.

Leon Bailey missed an early chance for the visitors, and Vincenzo Grifo saw a turnover at the other end denied by a sliding challenge.

Bailey was dangerous but not clinical as Bayer controlled the first half but, like many, couldn’t find away through Freiburg’s cagey, Burnley-like compactness.

Freiburg broke the other way and had a glorious chance to steal a lead when Roland Sallai sent Lucas Holer on goal, but Lukas Hradecky cut down the angle and Holer missed wide on a chance to score in consecutive matches.

Bailey played his part well in setting up Havertz’s post-halftime opener. The Jamaican dribbled into an out of traffic before cutting a path onto Havertz’s path.

Havertz rolled the ball between the legs of Freiburg star backstop Alexander Schwolow to make it 1-0 in the 55th.

Freiburg had one more big chance to get a point, as Christian Gunter crossed for Nils Petersen but the latter couldn’t get enough on the shot to beat Hradecky.

Bundesliga preview: Paderborn v. Borussia Dortmund

Paderborn v. Borussia Dortmund preview
Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images
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Last-place Paderborn is running out of time to make a run out of the drop zone, and a visit from Borussia Dortmund wouldn’t normally inspire too much.

But Sunday’s match between the two sides sees Dortmund taking the pitch for the first time since seeing its title hopes dashed in a fierce Klassiker, and Paderborn’s picked up points in all three matches since play resumed from the coronavirus pause.

Not only that, the sides drew 3-3 in November at Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion, BVB firing back from a 3-0 halftime deficit thanks to goals from Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus, and Axel Witsel.

[ Bundesliga: Live scores | Week 29 preview, predictions  ] 

Paderborn has been playing well for a last-place side, ornery and collecting more cards than most teams in the Bundesliga.

As for Dortmund, the black and yellow side performed well enough to get a result from Bayern but lost on a Joshua Kimmich wondergoal and will likely still be lamenting what could’ve been if VAR reviewed an apparent Jerome Boateng handball in the box.

Still, there’s too much talent here, even at a desperate host. In a non-coronavirus world, the home crowd changes our opinion a little on the score line. We’re feeling a blowout, Dortmund 4-0.

Below is how to watch Borussia Dortmund v. Paderborn on TV in the USA this Saturday, while above you can follow the action live, as the three points are so valuable to both clubs but for very different reasons.

Bundesliga schedule

  • TV Channels: FS1
  • Stream LiveVia Fox Soccer
  • When: Saturday, May 30 – 12:30 p.m. ET: Bayern Munich v Fortuna Dusseldorf
  • Americans Abroad: Giovanni Reyna (Dortmund)

Remaining Premier League fixtures ahead of June 17 return

Premier League schedule
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
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The 2019-20 Premier League season will restart on June 17, the league confirmed Thursday, as ‘Project Restart’ readies for empty stadiums around England.

So who’s left on the schedule? The slate of 92 matches features some doozies including the Merseyside Derby (Matchday 30), the North London Derby (Matchday 35), and — of course — Liverpool’s visit to Manchester City (Matchday 32)

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Check out all the stats for the season so far, as well as the state of play for all 20 clubs’ seasons in the races for the Champions League, Europa League, and safety from relegation.

Of course, you’ll be able to watch the Premier League via NBCSports.com all summer long.

Additionally, the matches will be staged in non-traditional windows. Here are the kickoff times for midweek and weekend matches.

Matchday 28 — June 17

Aston Villa v. Sheffield United
Manchester City v. Arsenal

Matchday 30

Aston Villa v. Chelsea
Bournemouth v. Crystal Palace
Brighton and Hove Albion v. Arsenal
Everton v. Liverpool
Manchester City v. Burnley
Newcastle United v. Sheffield United
Norwich City v. Southampton
Tottenham v. Manchester United
Watford v. Leicester City
West Ham v. Wolves

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Matchday 31

Burnley v. Watford
Liverpool v. Crystal Palace
Tottenham v. West Ham
Wolves v. Bournemouth

Matchday 31 to be rescheduled due to FA Cup quarters
Chelsea v. Manchester City
Leicester City v. Brighton and Hove Albion
Manchester United v. Sheffield United
Newcastle United v. Aston Villa
Norwich City v. Everton
Southampton v. Arsenal

Matchday 32

Arsenal v. Norwich City
Aston Villa v. Wolves
Bournemouth v. Newcastle United
Brighton and Hove Albion v. Manchester United
Crystal Palace v. Burnley
Everton v. Leicester City
Manchester City v. Liverpool
Sheffield United v. Tottenham
Watford v. Southampton
West Ham v. Chelsea

Matchday 33

Burnley v. Sheffield United
Chelsea v. Watford
Leicester City v. Crystal Palace
Liverpool v. Aston Villa
Manchester United v. Bournemouth
Newcastle United v. West Ham
Norwich City v. Brighton and Hove Albion
Southampton v. Manchester City
Tottenham v. Everton
Wolves v. Arsenal

(Paul Harding/PA via AP)

Matchday 34

Arsenal v. Leicester City
Aston Villa v. Manchester United
Brighton and Hove Albion v. Liverpool
Bournemouth v. Tottenham
Crystal Palace v. Chelsea
Everton v. Southampton
Manchester City v. Newcastle United
Sheffield United v. Wolves
Watford v. Norwich City
West Ham v. Burnley

Matchday 35

Aston Villa v. Crystal Palace
Bournemouth v. Leicester City
Brighton and Hove Albion v. Manchester City
Liverpool v. Burnley
Manchester United v. Southampton
Norwich City v. West Ham
Sheffield United v. Chelsea
Tottenham v. Arsenal
Watford v. Newcastle United
Wolves v. Everton

(Photo by Visionhaus)

Matchday 36

Arsenal v. Liverpool
Burnley v. Wolves
Chelsea v. Norwich City
Crystal Palace v. Manchester United
Everton v. Aston Villa
Leicester City v. Sheffield United
Manchester City v. Bournemouth
Newcastle United v. Tottenham
Southampton v. Brighton and Hove Albion
West Ham v. Watford

Matchday 37

Aston Villa v. Arsenal
Bournemouth v. Southampton
Brighton and Hove Albion v. Newcastle United
Liverpool v. Chelsea
Manchester United v. West Ham
Norwich City v. Burnley
Sheffield United v. Everton
Tottenham v. Leicester City
Watford v. Manchester City
Wolves v. Crystal Palace

Matchday 38

Arsenal v. Watford
Burnley v. Brighton and Hove Albion
Chelsea v. Wolves
Crystal Palace v. Tottenham
Everton v. Bournemouth
Leicester City v. Manchester United
Manchester City v. Norwich City
Newcastle United v. Liverpool
Southampton v. Sheffield United
West Ham v. Aston Villa

Ndidi
(Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)

LIVE, Bundesliga: Week 29 begins with Freiburg-Bayer

Freiburg v. Bayer Leverkusen live
Photo by TF-Images/Getty Imaes
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Week 29 in Germany begins with two clubs holding onto hope of berths in the Champions League and Europa League, respectively, when Bayer Leverkusen visit Freiburg at the Black Forest Stadium.

Last time out, the scrappy hosts tossed away a 2-goal lead in drawing Eintracht, while Bayer saw its red-hot form cooled off with an exclamation point in a 4-1 loss to Wolfsburg. Freiburg’s now four points out of sixth and Bayer’s outside the top four on goal difference. That said, Kai Havertz’s Bayer has weapons for days and the creativity to get through the compact, physical Freiburg formation.

[ Bundesliga: Live scores | Week 29 preview, predictions  ] 

Matchweek 29 in the Bundesliga will again see games played in empty stadiums, which is the plan for the rest of the season and beyond. If you’re new to Germany’s top-flight, here’s a guide to help you pick a club to support.

How to Watch the Bundesliga

You can check out the full schedulestandings and find out how to watch the action, while we will have you covered right here on ProSoccerTalk with analysis, reaction and more.

[ MORE: Takeaways from Week 28 of the Bundesliga ]