Goals of the week: December 26

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Football News

Manchester United did it again - concede early, battle back, win at the death - it seems to be the Old Trafford way this season.

Javier Hernandez struck in stoppage time to break Newcastle's spirits, and secure all three points on Boxing Day - a day late, but perhaps the best Christmas present Sir Alex Ferguson could ask for.

Their 4-3 victory was another thriller, but for the 11th time this season, they were the first to fall behind. Still, their powers of recovery grow with each passing week, and Manchester City's slip-up at the Stadium of Light has extended their Premier League advantage to seven points.

But, maybe Manchester City will not be Ferguson's chief rival this season. Rafa Benitez is quietly picking up results at Chelsea - the Stamford Bridge boo-boys a little less vociferous with each victory.

He will never convince some, but he knew that when he took over. A 1-0 away win at Norwich is an excellent result, and puts Chelsea back in the picture. Juan Mata continues to impress, and the Spaniard was once again the difference for the Blues.

Elsewhere, Sunderland stunned Manchester City, just like they did last season. Pablo Zabaleta was clearly fouled in the build-up to the Black Cats' only goal, but that doesn't mean City would have won the match - they were dreadful before and after the goal.

It was a happy Boxing Day for half of Merseyside as Everton edged past Wigan at Goodison Park, while Liverpool retreated into the shells after taking an early lead at Stoke only to get resoundly beaten 3-1.

It's a mark of how far Liverpool have fallen that it would have been something of a surprise to see them take even a point from the Britannia. That's through no fault of Brendan Rodgers, but sooner or later Liverpool fans will want a clear sign that their club is heading back in the right direction. That's yet to happen.

The majority of the Premier League now finds itself half-way through the season, but such has been the nature of the campaign so far, there's no clear favourite for the title.

United may be seven points clear, but their defence has been so ragged, their midfield so exposed, that a mid-season wobble seems nailed on.

Still, that's to come. Enjoy the best goals from the festive period here…

Juan Mata | Norwich 0-1 Chelsea

Javier Hernandez | Manchester United 4-3 Newcastle

Gareth Bale | Aston Villa 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur

Jonathan Walters | Stoke 3-1 Liverpool

Papiss Cisse | Manchester United 4-3 Newcastle

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Premier League
Manchester United
Javier Hernandez

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