Opinion: Christmas Crackers – Tottenham’s best ever festive matches this decade

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

It is less than a week until Christmas, so it is only right to recall some of Tottenham’s best festive matches in recent years. Before the celebrations take place, attention turns to Chelsea at home on Sunday. But will Jose Mourinho’s men add to the list of Christmas memories?

  1. Aston Villa 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur (26/12/2012)

It was the first season in the tenure of Andre Villas Boas. Tottenham were fighting for the top four, but for many, it was the season of Gareth Bale brilliance.

The match was once again taken over by Bale. However, it can be said that the Welshman initially had a quiet start to the game. For the most part, Tottenham were the dominant force in the match, doing especially well to silence a striker in Christian Benteke, who at the time was a feared attacker for many defences.

It was the Tottenham legend, Jermaine Defoe, who opened the scoring before the hour mark. But the rest of the match will be known for its Bale brilliance. Tottenham doubled their lead just moments later. In the end, it took Bale just over 23 minutes to complete a sublime hat-trick. It was a Boxing Day to remember for the club. But it was one of the many occasions where Bale stepped up for the club, in a season which ultimately resulted in him leaving for Real Madrid.

2. Manchester United 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur (01/01/2014)

Wins at Old Trafford for Tottenham are like London Buses. You wait an age for one but another will come moments later. The North London side were visiting Old Trafford on the back of a 3-2 victory a season before. However, there was a change for both clubs as Tottenham were travelling to Manchester with Tim Sherwood in charge, following the departure of Andre Villas-Boas. Whereas, the short David Moyes era at Manchester was underway after the retirement of Sir Alex Fergurson.

Tottenham took the lead halfway through the first half. It was yet another goal for Emmanuel Adebayor, who scored a sublime header. Adebayor was just kickstarting a great run of form under Sherwood.

Tottenham would later go onto double the lead in the second half. A driving run from Aaron Lennon led to the ball breaking to Christian Eriksen. Eriksen was able to steer home a header and celebrate in the corner of the travelling fans.

Despite Danny Welbeck pulling a goal back just a minute later, Tottenham would go onto have a memorable New Years Day.

3. Tottenham Hotspur 5-3 Chelsea (01/01/2015)

Football is a crazy game. We are now taking a look back at a game managed by Mauricio Pochettino and Jose Mourinho, with the Portuguese manager leading the blues to an eventual league title.

However, the match was the breakthrough of Harry Kane on the big stage. Chelsea were the ones to have the better start, with Diego Costa breaking the deadlock. But Harry Kane equalised moments later with an unbelievable strike from outside the box. It was a crazy first half of football at the Lane.

The team of Pochettino were tearing the league leaders apart! As the teams looked to go into the break drawing, Tottenham were to score two goals on the stroke of half time. Danny Rose was there to give Spurs the lead, before a penalty converted by Andros Townsend led to clear daylight.

Minutes into the second half saw Tottenham race into a three-goal lead. A smart turn from Kane to get past the Chelsea defence, before slotting the ball home created an electric home atmosphere. Although Chelsea pulled a goal back through Eden Hazard, it wasn’t enough. Nacer Chadli made scored the fifth goal for Spurs and not even a strike from John Terry late on could spoil the London bragging rights of Tottenham.

4. Watford 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur (28/01/2015)

Tottenham travelled to Vicarage Road in excellent form. The side were trying to mount a serious title challenge.

When Erik Lamela made the breakthrough inside the first twenty minutes, many believed it would be a comfortable away trip. However, Watford equalised on the stroke of half time through Odion Ighalo.

For the majority of the second half, it was Spurs who asked the questions. The North London side were desperate not to drop points. A few days after the trip, the side were to have a notoriously difficult trip to Goodison Park before entertaining the high-flying Leicester at White Hart Lane.

However, in the last minute, Tottenham snatched the win. A clever backheel from Heung-Min Son went through the legs of Heauralio Gomes. The goal sent the travelling fans into pandemonium. The players and fans celebrating in unison created a memorable, late Christmas present.

5. Southampton 1-4 Tottenham Hotspur (28/12/2016)

It was yet another difficult away trip for Pochettino’s men. Spurs were looking to build some winter momentum in order to keep up with the pace that Chelsea were setting.

However, they got off to the worst possible start. It took Southampton just two minutes to make the breakthrough. It was no other than Virgil Van Dijk, who headed home. However, Dele Alli towered over the now Liverpool defender to equalise.

With the sides going into the break deadlocked, Tottenham came out with all of the momentum. Harry Kane, who had also missed a penalty, smashed a sublime header to give Spurs the lead. From then on, it was all Tottenham, especially after Nathan Redmond had been sent off for the home side.

Heung-Min Son was able to smash home after a swift counter. Just two minutes later saw Dele grab his brace, to the delight of the away fans.

6. Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 Southampton (26/12/2017)

Is it possible for Spurs to not play Southampton in the festive period? However, this match was arguably the most special one of all. Going into the game, the build-up was about one man. That man was Harry Kane. Following his hat-trick away at Burnley just a few days prior, the striker was going into the game aiming to break a record. Kane just needed a goal to break the record of the most goals in a calendar year of the English league, set by Alan Shearer.

Midway through the first half saw Kane accomplish that feat. Smashing a header into an empty net, after a brilliant free-kick from Christian Eriksen. On the stroke of half time, Kane was able to grab his second.

In just five minutes, Dele Alli and Son had wrapped up the match, to the delight of Wembley Stadium. Harry Kane was able to seal his hat-trick with a sublime chip. The goal was equally as important, as it meant he had scored more goals in 2017 than any player in the top five divisions in Europe. The away side left with another consolation goal through Dusan Tadic, but Spurs would end 2017 with another memorable win.

It is the first Christmas at the new home! With a massive game against Chelsea on Sunday, Spurs can only hope to add to the list of these festive encounters. However, a win against the West London side would certainly come close to topping any list of Christmas encounters.

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