St Stephen's Day football has happened – and while it wasn’t as exciting as that famous day in 1963 that saw a record 66 goals scored, there are more than few talking points – namely Chelsea’s continued dominance.
Here’s what went down.
Burnley 1 – 0 Middlesbrough
Man United 3 – 1 Sunderland
Leicester 0 – 2 Everton
Arsenal 1 – 0 West Brom
Swansea 1 – 4 West Ham
Chelsea 3 – 0 Bournemouth
12 – Chelsea have won 12 consecutive league games for the first time in their history. Record.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 26, 2016
We’d all seen the kind of phenomenal winning runs Antonio Conte had been on as manager of Juventus, but never did we think he could break records in the same way in the Premier League. How wrong we were.
With his side’s 3-0 victory over Bournemouth Conte has achieved something within his first few months in charge that no Blues team in the history of the Football League has been able to do.
It certainly looks a difficult prospect for the teams around Chelsea to catch them – and they did this without arguably their two best players this season, N’Golo Kante and Diego Costa.
The club gave out masks so fans could protest over the striker’s suspension, picked up after getting a straight red card against Stoke, and at one point the cameras even picked out Vardy wearing a mask of his own face and enthusiastically making sure everyone around him saw.
The spectacle didn’t help Leicester though as they went down to Ronald Koeman’s men.
But Mkhitaryan’s goal appeared to be offside, so this can only go to one man.
The goal, which came from the penalty spot and secured a point against Crystal Palace, means the 28-year-old Hornets captain has scored more goals than Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney in 2016.
100 - Mesut Ozil is making his 100th PL appearance today: only Eric Cantona (39) had more assists than him after 100 PL apps (35). Giver.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 26, 2016
The German playmaker made his 100th Premier League appearance during Arsenal’s win over West Brom, adding another assist to his name to make the number up there 36 assists in 100 games.
Özil back to assisting Giroud, water is finally wet again— christmas bri (@Xhakaed) December 26, 2016
98 - Cesc Fabregas has provided 98 assists in the PL; only Wayne Rooney (101), Frank Lampard (102) and Ryan Giggs (162) have more. Magic.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 26, 2016
Slightly awkward given what’s written above, but with the likes of Santi Cazorla missing from their midfield Arsenal have been missing something – something Cesc Fabregas’s record shows he’d likely be able to produce for his old club if still there.
Unfortunately for Arsene Wenger and Gooners everywhere that ship set sail long ago, they just have to hope now Fabregas doesn’t prove to be the difference between Chelsea winning the league and Arsenal winning it.
In the end it didn’t matter for Arsenal, with an incredible display from Ben Foster eventually being broken by Olivier Giroud’s head on what was his first start of the season. Arsenal surely can’t keep leaving it so late though…
Eden Hazard has now scored 50 Premier League goals, the only midfielder ever to reach the milestone faster is Robert Pires.
Pure class 👌 pic.twitter.com/JKbuxbsR1G— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 26, 2016
Match of the Day is worth a watch tonight just for this man’s performance. Enchanting.
He’s also joined a pretty decent club with the goal too.
50 – Eden Hazard is the 6th player to score 50 PL goals for Chelsea after Lampard, Drogba, Hasselbaink, Zola & Gudjohnsen. Elite.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 26, 2016
Watford's mascot, The Hornet, just dived in front of Zaha as he walked over to applaud Palace's travelling supporters. Zaha not happy.— Sam Cunningham (@samcunningham) December 26, 2016
Wilfried Zaha went down in the box against Watford in what Sam Allardyce thought was a penalty – instead all the tricky winger got was a yellow for diving.
To rub his nose in it further, the Watford mascot Harry the Hornet dove in front of Zaha as the man who’s been asked by England manager Gareth Southgate to reconsider playing for England rather than the Ivory Coast walked over to applaud the travelling supporters.
It came at the end of another good performance for Zaha amid rumours that Spurs will make another attempt to sign him in January.
In truth his goal was a tap in from a yard out, but his first ever goal for the Hammers was always going to come today.
Michail Antonio has now scored more Premier League goals (15) in 2016 than Jamie Vardy and Roberto Firmino (both 14).
Unsung hero 💪 pic.twitter.com/EQsjxdUjnL— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 26, 2016
It’s been a long journey for Michail Antonio to this point but after getting his chance for West Ham in the Premier League he’s not looked back.
The former Sheffield Wednesday, Reading and Nottingham Forest player is also on a list of players who’ve scored the most headed goals in Europe’s top five leagues this season that includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Giroud.
Let’s hope he continues growing in 2017.