Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle, Dec 2012

The oft-repeated cliché about unusually high scores around Christmas is that defenders are still half asleep having over-indulged during the previous days. Yet this match was full of fantastic finishing and some memorable attacking play that would have troubled the sharpest of defences.

At half-time the score was just 1-1, with a deflected Demba Ba free-kick cancelling out Theo Walcott’s distinctly Thierry Henry-esque opener.

The second half was, frankly, bonkers. Twice more Arsenal took the lead, only to be pegged back both times by an obdurate Magpies side. Eventually the Gunners turned the screw, scoring four times in the final 17 minutes. Walcott completed his hat-trick aided by the game’s one piece of traditional festive generosity.

Tottenham 6-4 Reading, Dec 2007

Unfortunately for Reading, who dominated the majority of this match, their striker Dave Kitson finished like a man fixated on pigs in blankets for the first hour.

Spurs had Dimitar Berbatov leading the line, whose tastes are altogether more cerebral. The Bulgarian scored four goals in one of his finest-ever performances, helping Spurs leapfrog Reading into 12th place. They finished the season in a distinctly average 11th, while a horrendous run of form saw Reading relegated on goal difference and wondering what might have been had they been able to take their minds off tasty trimmings.

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