Hello and welcome to my latest EPL blog post, where I do a round-up of yesterday's matches in the Boxing Day Special, including the last 2 evening matches between Aston Villa vs Tottenham and Stoke vs Liverpool, along with the LATEST EPL News.
5:30pm kick-off match:
Aston Villa 0 Tottenham Hotspur 4
This match was played at Villa Park, as the hosts tried to bounce back from an 8-0 thrashing away from home against Chelsea on Sunday, while Tottenham had the chance to move back into the top 4 with their 5th away win of the season.
Tottenham had all of the chances in the first half, with Bale having a curling shot from 20 yards out which was dipping straight into the top corner of the net - if it was not for goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
Striker Jermain Defoe broke the deadlock in the 58th minute to score his 10th goal of the season after getting past the Aston Villa defenders but beating the offside trap thanks to a through ball by defender Kyle Walker.
|10 for the season: Defoe breaks the deadlock in the 58th minute with a good strike that beats Guzan.|
|It was coming: Defoe celebrates his goal against Aston Villa after 58 minutes of pressing by Spurs.|
Welsh winger Gareth Bale doubled the lead in the 61st minute with a great solo effort beating a defender for pace before getting past the goalkeeper to slot the ball into the net after a defensive mistake.
He doubled his tally for the day from 12 yards out after a through ball by Lennon found him and he took a touch to control the ball before hitting the ball past Guzan into the net in the 73rd minute.
|Easy does it: Bale goes around Guzan, before tapping the ball into the net to make it 2-0.|
|Brace: Bale scores again to make it 3-0 in the 73rd minute.|
He completed his hat-trick to rub salt into Aston Villa's fresh new wounds in the 84th minute after a ball was played into him by midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson inside the 16-yard box.
|Hat-trick hero: Bale celebrates his 3 goals against Aston Villa after winning the matchball.|
|Nice: Bale posted a picture on Twitter with his matchball on the top of his Christmas tree.|
FACT: Aston Villa have conceded 12 goals in their last 2 matches against Chelsea, and now Tottenham.
Not good enough for a side trying to avoid the relegation battle. If they do not spend money in the Winter transfer window, they may regret it and see themselves in the Championship next season.
Stoke City 3 Liverpool 1
This match was the 7:45pm kick-off at The Britannia Stadium, as Stoke hosted Liverpool.
Liverpool talisman and striker Luis Suarez was brought down by Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross inside the penalty area, and the penalty was given.
Captain Steven Gerrard stepped up to take it, and he broke the deadlock in the 2nd minute with a cool, low effort straight into the bottom corner of the net.
|Liverpool midfielder and captain Steven Gerrard breaks the deadlock from the penalty spot in the 2nd minute.|
Stoke instantly replied in the 5th minute, when striker Jonathan Walters equalised after taking advantage of a Martin Skrtel slip to place the ball into the net out of Pepe Reina's reach.
|Slotted: Stoke striker Jonathan Walters equalises with a good effort past Reina in the 5th minute to make it 1-1.|
Liverpool were shocked after this, and a Stoke corner was turned into the net by unmarked striker Kenwyne Jones after his header beat Reina and the Liverpool defenders to find the net.
|Flying in the air: Jones celebrates his headed effort to put Stoke ahead in the 12th minute from a corner.|
|Acrobatic celebration: Jones celebrates his header against Liverpool to give the hosts the lead.|
Stoke winger Matthew Etherington almost made it 3-1 with a powerful effort from 14 yards out in the 22nd minute, but for a good save by Reina who acrobatically pushed the ball over the bar.
The Reds were desperate to get back into the match, and had chances with Suarez coming close on numerous occasions thanks to some good footwork inside the box, but his efforts were denied by Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
In the second half, Stoke made it 3-1 thanks to striker Jonathan Walters who took a half-volley shot towards goal, and even though Reina got a hand to it, it was too powerful to stop it from going into the back of the net.
|Nice one: Walters celebrates his 2nd with his Stoke team-mates after a half-volley effort makes it 3-1.|
|Ahead at OT: Newcastle full-back James Perch celebrates his goal against Manchester United.|
Defender Jonny Evans equalised for the hosts with a scrappy goal inside the 6-yard box after a shot by striker Javier Hernandez was saved by Krul.
|Equaliser: Defender Jonny Evans celebrates his scrappy goal with the Manchester United supporters.|
Evans then scored again - but this time at the other end and gave Newcastle the lead again after a deflected effort hit him.
Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra equalised in the 58th minute with a low strike which beat Tim Krul and found its way into the back of the net, into the bottom corner.
|Come on! United left-back Patrice Evra shows no celebration as his goal gets United back into the match.|
Manchester United striker Robin van Persie made it 3-3 in the 71st minute after a scrappy bit of play in the box allowed him to win the ball inside the 16-yard box.
He had his first shot parried by fellow Dutchman Tim Krul, but the follow-up was was clincically finished by van Persie to equalise.
|Equaliser - AGAIN: Striker Robin van Persie scored his 13th goal of the season to make it 3-3 in the 71st minute.|
- Chelsea beat Norwich 1-0 to move back into 3rd place thanks to a goal from winger Juan Mata.
- Manchester United and Newcastle involved in 7-goal thriller at Old Trafford, with Hernandez scoring a last-minute winner.
- Stoke keep their 100% unbeaten home run in-tact after 3-1 win over Liverpool.
- Reading draw 0-0 at home with Swansea.
- Bale hat-trick and Defoe give Aston Villa more Christmas nigtmares with 4-0 win away from home to put Spurs into 4th place.
- QPR lose again, this time 2-1 to West Brom.
- Former Manchester City winger Adam Johnson comes back to haunt his old club with the only goal in a 1-0 win for Sunderland against 2nd placed City.
- The Arsenal vs West Ham match is POSTPONED due to safety and transport reasons.
- Berbatov gives Fulham the lead, but Southampton striker Rickie Lambert gives the away side a point after a 85th minute penalty goal. 1-1 is how it finished.
|Time for a change? Wigan striker Franco Di Santo is linked with a move to Liverpool.|
|Blow: Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao has scored 17 goals in the Liga BBVA so far this season - and is there to stay.|