Christmas Crackers

Manchester United head to Hull City on Boxing Day for a game live on Sky Sports 1HD. United have a liking for December 26 fixtures having put many teams to the sword - and here Simon Wilkes invites you to vote on their best Boxing Day goal of the Premier League era.

While most of Europe put their feet up over the festive period, England goes football crazy for a frantic fortnight and the goals fly in faster than Santa's sleigh.

The goal-laden spree of 1963, when a whopping 157 efforts hit the net in 10 Division One games, has never been repeated.

But we can still relish a mouth-watering set of top-flight fixtures which are kick-started by Hull City v Manchester United live on Sky Sports 1HD from 12.45pm.

United have delivered many a knockout punch in previous Boxing Day showdowns, with Javier Hernandez pinching a dramatic 4-3 victory over Newcastle United with a stoppage-time winner in 2012, and Dimitar Berbatov helping himself to a hat-trick in a 5-0 walloping of Wigan in 2011.

Other famous December 26 goals include James Milner's effort against Sunderland in 2002, when he netted his first Leeds United goal to become the Premier League's youngest scorer at the time at 16.

But for now we're focusing on the best Boxing Day goals in United's illustrious Premier League history, with five fantastic choices to choose from.


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Ryan Giggs - Manchester Utd 3 Nottingham Forest 0, 1998

Ronny Johnsen's double had given the hosts a commanding lead, but Giggs put the icing on the cake with a typically clinical finish. Teddy Sheringham and David Beckham combined superbly to set up the chance for the Welsh wing wizard, who coolly lifted a left-footed dink over Dave Beasant and into the net.

Roy Keane - Manchester Utd 4 Bradford City 0, 1999

The Bantams had stood firm for 75 minutes, then conceded three goals in the next 12 with Quinton Fortune, Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole all finding the net. The capitulation continued with two minutes remaining, when left-back Andy Myers' loose pass out of defence went straight to Keane, who drove towards the 18-yard box and slipped a right-footed shot past a beleaguered Matt Clarke.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - Aston Villa 0 Manchester United 1, 2000

United had found Villa a tough nut to crack on home soil and the game was goalless as it entered the final five minutes. The visitors launched a swift counter-attack, though, feeding the ball to David Beckham on the right flank, and his pinpoint cross was superbly glanced past David James by Solskjaer.

Ruud van Nistelrooy - Everton 0 Manchester United 2, 2001

Ryan Giggs had given United a 1-0 lead at Goodison with 12 minutes to go, and the Toffees were throwing the kitchen sink at the visitors' goal in search of an equaliser. There seemed little threat when Fabien Barthez caught the ball on 85 minutes, but his quick long throw-out to the halfway line was flicked into the path of Ryan Giggs, whose cross to the far post found van Nistelrooy, who thumped home an unstoppable volley to make sure of the three points.

Cristiano Ronaldo - Sunderland 0 Manchester Utd 4, 2007

First-half goals from Wayne Rooney and Louis Saha had silenced a jovial Stadium of Light crowd and put United in control as the half-time whistle approached. Just before the break, however, United won a free-kick 25 yards from goal, with Rooney and Ronaldo the men standing over the set-piece. The Portuguese star won the argument over who should take it - and proved it was a wise decision by swerving a trademark strike over the wall and into the top left-hand corner, giving poor Craig Gordon no chance at all.

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Who scored Manchester Utd's best Premier League Boxing Day goal?

  • Ryan Giggs v Nottingham Forest, 1998
  • Roy Keane v Bradford City, 1999
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer v Aston Villa, 2000
  • Ruud van Nistelrooy v Everton, 2001
  • Cristiano Ronaldo v Sunderland, 2007