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Top five: City Christmas crackers

Mario

Mario

Mancini’s men host Reading on Saturday in their final game before Christmas, providing a perfect opportunity to relive five of the best fixtures from the Yuletide period in City history.

Newcastle United (a) 26/12/2010

Roberto Mancini’s men couldn’t have got off to a much better start in their St Stephen’s Day trip to St James’ Park, roaring into a two goal lead after just six minutes.

An in-form Carlos Tevez provided a goal for Gareth Barry after two minutes and just four minutes later he grabbed one himself, slicing the ball into the roof of the net from a cross by former Magpie James Milner.

Andy Carroll halved Newcastle’s deficit after the break but Tevez was to leave his indelible mark on the game, slamming home a deflected strike in the 81st minute to tie up a 3-1 win.

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Stoke City (a) 26/12/1988

A Boxing Day match which will hardly be remembered by Blues for the on-field action but one that stands the test of time, thanks to the colourful atmosphere generated by 12,000 City fans who travelled to the Victoria Ground.

This 3-1 defeat represented the pinnacle of the brief inflatables craze enjoyed by Blues as the terraces of the decrepit stadium were filled with bananas, blow-up skeletons and grown men in fancy dress.

It was a match that reminded us sometimes football really is about more than the result.

Crowd waving flags and bananas at Man City vs Hamburg at City of Manchester Stadium 0809

Liverpool (a) 26/12/1981

Unusually, Liverpool’s 1981/82 Championship winning side are equally as remembered for this 3-1 defeat as they are for the title they went on to win.

City’s remarkable triumph at Anfield against the European champions was their first at the ground in 28 years and helped the Blues to within three points of top spot.

They went on finish in 10th

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Newcastle United (h) 26/12/1977

Colin Bell’s triumphant return from injury made this Boxing Day win one of the most explosive Christmas crackers of recent times.

The Blues were deadlocked at 0-0 going in for the half-time break , but thanks to the inspirational introduction of their talisman and a hat-trick from Dennis Tueart, they scored four second half goals without reply.

Bell’s form would never hit the dizzying heights of his pre-injury pomp but this was one of many crowning moments for the King of the Kippax.

Colin Bell1

Chelsea (h and a) 25 and 26/12/1951

If Roberto Mancini thinks that the festive fixture calendar is gruelling on his players in 2012, he should spare a thought for his fifties counterpart Les McDowell who faced Chelsea in back to back away and home fixtures on Christmas Day and Boxing Day 1951.

City came out on top in both matches, winning 3-0 at Stamford Bridge and 3-1 at Maine Road with Dennis Westcott getting on the scoresheet on both occasions.

City squad 1952

Let's hope City can add another Christmas cracker to the list when they meet Reading on Saturday - in the meantime, let us know if we missed any of your favourite festive fixtures by tweeting in using the hashtag: #cityxmascrackers. 

Merry Christmas! 

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