Liverpool’s 8 best Boxing Day wins

Liverpool were hoping to play today but instead it’s an enforced extended rest – but over the years we’ve created plenty of Boxing Day memories for the fans.

A depleted Leeds might have escaped the in-form and free-scoring Reds for now, but we hardly have to turn the calendar back too far to recall some fantastic post-Christmas days out for Jurgen Klopp‘s side.

He’s far from the only boss to preside over some fantastic and memorable wins on 26 December, though.

We’ve searched the record books and rewound the clock and picked out eight of the best Boxing Day wins from yesteryear.


8. 1989: Table-topping Reds beat Owls late on

Liverpool's John Barnes (left) celebrates the winning goal with Ian Rush (right) 1989 FA Cup final, Wembley (PA Images)

If the game can’t be a classic, a win is the only requirement. Of course, when it’s courtesy of a late strike to seal a memorable occasion for those there, it’s even better.

Our first game went that exact way, with Jan Molby and Dalian Atkinson each scoring within minutes of kick-off in either half as the Reds hosted Sheffield Wednesday in ’89.

Step forward the ever-reliable in front of goal Ian Rush to win it in the closing stages for Kenny Dalglish‘s team.


7. 2008: Reds go top as Keane serves reminder

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, December 26, 2008: Liverpool's Robbie Keane celebrates scoring his side's second goal against Bolton Wanderers during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool had been one of the most consistent sides in Europe over the past few years by the time the 08/09 season rolled around, but summer transfers hadn’t all been successful this time around.

Robbie Keane did his best to put a stop to the criticism here with a two-goal haul to see off Bolton, with Albert Riera netting the other.

It took the Irish forward to five for the season, but he’d soon be back off to former club Spurs. Rafa was in the stands for this game after an operation, so maybe he missed who scored!


6. 2004: Riise at the double as Reds hint at what’s to come

BOLTON, ENGLAND - SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th , 2006: Liverpool's John Arne Riise is tackled by Bolton Wanderers' Ivan Campo during the Premiership match at the Reebok Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A more flattering scoreline this time as the Reds ran riot against West Brom, hitting five and even missing a penalty through Milan Baros.

John Arne Riise was the star of the show, striking twice and almost netting a hat-trick, with Steven Gerrard, Florent Sinama-Pongolle and Luis Garcia all on the scoresheet too.

This was our first notable win since the madness of Olympiacos earlier in the month – a very happy Christmas for Reds overall, before the euphoria went into overdrive at the end of the season.


5. 2005: Rafa’s Reds just love a clean sheet

BOLTON, ENGLAND - MONDAY, JANUARY 2nd, 2006: Liverpool's Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring the equalising goal from the penalty spot during the Premiership match against Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

One year later and the Reds were at it again. The performance was more controlled, the scoreline rather more low-key, but the team was utterly relentless.

A 2-0 win over Newcastle meant an eighth clean sheet and victory on the spin, with Gerrard once more setting us away before Lee Bowyer was sent-off for good measure.

This victor was a nice boost after returning from the Club World Cup final as very much undeserved runners-up.


4. 1963: No missing out on most lunatic Boxing Day in history

Roger Hunt, Liverpool, 1970 (Picture by S&G S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport)

No Boxing Day compilation is complete without referring to the infamous afternoon of 1963, when 10 top-flight games contributed a whopping haul of 66 goals. Fulham won 10-1, Man United had six put past them, Spurs were involved in a 4-4 draw and West Ham lost 8-2 at home to Blackburn – and the Reds played their part in the goalfest, too.

There were seven goals for the punters as we hammered Stoke City, Roger Hunt plundering no fewer than four of them with the Reds en route to the title.

Ian St John and Alf Arrowsmith also found the net to send the Anfield faithful home happy.


3. 2017: Bobby with the sauce and Ox brings the chips

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Boxing Day, Tuesday, December 26, 2017: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scores the fifth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Swansea City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sometimes teams turn up to face the Reds and are just utterly, woefully outclassed. That’s especially true in the Klopp era and was the fate to befall Swansea as Roberto Firmino and Co tore them apart four years ago.

Bobby netted twice, including a trademark no-look finish, while Phil Coutinho scored early and Trent Alexander-Arnold battered in his first Anfield goal with a strike off the bar.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wrapped up the win with a gorgeous dinked finish over a defender and the ‘keeper as the full-throttle Reds showed what their attack would become capable of on a more regular basis in the future.


2. 1979: Reds go clear at the top by beating rivals

Alan Hansen, Liverpool, 1980 (Peter Robinson/EMPICS Sport)

What’s a better late Christmas present than three points at Anfield? Three points at Anfield to beat Manchester United and go top of the table ahead of them, of course. Well, technically it was still only two for a win in ’79, but the rest still applies.

Alan Hansen scored early on to put the Reds ahead, before David Johnson scored in front of the Kop with five minutes left, his 12th of the campaign, to seal the points and top spot for Bob Paisley’s team.

51,000 very happy fans went home that day convinced the Reds were going to win the league…which they did indeed do – by just two points ahead of these same rivals.



1. 2019: Trent trounces Leicester with Reds on top of the world

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, December 26, 2019: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates scoring the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Leicester City FC and Liverpool FC at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Our best performance and result on Boxing Day, though, might just be the relatively recent thrashing of a former boss…and our next opponents.

Just two years ago we returned from the Club World Cup as officially the greatest club in the planet, with little recovery time and up against what the media was then terming the greatest title challenger to ourselves and Man City…and we absolutely wiped the floor with them.

Trent was irrepressible, claiming a pair of assists and netting a scorcher himself in a thumping, statement-sounding 4-0 victory.

We missed a host of other chances too but the warning had well and truly been served: Liverpool were just months away from winning the league and being Champions of Everything.