Boxing Day matches are a tradition I very much enjoy. Well, in theory, rather. Over the last couple seasons, Aston Villa's boxing day matches have been pretty much all bad. As Villa look to finally have a good Christmas period (in their worst season in forever, of course), let's see how far we have to go back to find a decent Boxing Day performance.
Villa traveled to Swansea City on Boxing Day 2014. Villa came in on a semi-high having drew with Manchester United the weekend before. Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the only goal as Villa lost 1-0. That began league goalless streak that lasted until February 7th and Paul Lambert lost his job a few days later after a loss to Hull City.
Villa had the majority of the possession against Crystal Palace, but didn't really do much with it. Dwight Gayle scored the match's only goal in added time, sinking Villa to a 1-0 loss.
Hey, we found one that wasn't a loss! It still wasn't a great result. The two teams combined for six shots on target. Somewhere Alex McLeish just grinned and he has no idea why.
We have to go back five years to find the last goal Villa scored on Boxing Day. Jermain Defoe got sent off in the 27th minute, but Villa couldn't take advantage until Marc Albrighton scored in the 82nd minute. By that point Rafael van der Vaart had already scored two goals and Villa fell short.
Not technically Boxing Day, but this one was played on the 27th so we'll count it. Cesc Fabregas started the game on the bench due to injury concerns. He eventually came on in the 57th minute, scored two goals and was taken off in the 84th minute. Villa were still in the Champions League places after this loss, but it was a blow for a team that would fall short once again.
We did it everyone! We found a good result on Boxing Day. Villa fell behind 2-0, but a Gareth Barry penalty and a Zat Knight (!) injury time equalizer clawed Villa back in what, at the time, looked to be a signature moment for that team. However, that team also couldn't keep it up and fell short of the Champions League.
We have to go back seven years to find a decent result on Boxing Day, and it was still just a draw. To find the last win, you have to go another three years to 2005, when they beat Everton 4-0. This year, Villa will host West Ham. Hopefully this will be the year that Aston Villa don't ruin Christmas and actually get a win on Boxing Day.