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Top Five: Boxing Day blockbusters

Santa isn't the only one coming to town in the next couple of days... Big Sam is bringing his Sunderland side to the Etihad Stadium on Boxing Day.

To mark the occasion, we've scoured the history books for some famous recent St Stephen’s Day stormers to whet your appetite for Saturday.

Liverpool 2013/14

In what proved to be a pivotal win over our closest title rivals, City recorded a 2-1 victory over Liverpool with Vincent Kompany and Alvaro Negredo bagging the goals.

Phillipe Coutinho had given the visitors a 24th minute lead before the home side roared back with two goals in the remaining minutes of the first half.

Considering the Blues went on to beat Liverpool to the title by just two points, it was an important victory by any measure.

Liverpool 1981/82

Sorry to any diehard Liverpool fans who’ve unwittingly stumbled onto the wrong page… but there’s another memorable game against the Merseysiders which took place on 26 December.

Asa Hartford gave City a surprise lead at Anfield after nine minutes when Bob Paisley’s side failed to clear the ball and it stayed that way until the 75th minute when a Bruce Grobbelaar mistake led to a penalty being awarded which was duly dispatched by Kevin Bond.

Ronnie Whelan gave the Reds a brief flicker of hope in the 85th minute, making it 2-1, but Kevin Reeves had the last word, restoring the two-goal lead with a minute to go, courtesy of another error from Liverpool’s mercurial Zimbabwean goalkeeper.

Alan Parry in the BBC commentary box famous said: "Grobbelaar's misery is complete - Reeves gets the goal, but really it was almost an own goal by this sad figure called Bruce Grobelaar."

At Christmas, too…

Aston Villa 2002/03

City’s old stager Ali Benarbia climbed off the bench to inspire an impressive 3-1 win over Aston Villa on Boxing Day back in the 2002/03 season.

Kevin Keegan’s side were struggling to cope with the aerial threat of Dion Dublin but the 34-year old’s introduction after 64 minutes enabled the Blues to gain control of midfield and, crucially, he also laid on a goal for Mark Vivien Foe and bagged one himself.

“Ali changed the game,” said Keegan after the game, “Before he went on I said to him, ‘give me a bit of magic’. He said ‘no magic, just a bad goal’. Well, he got a very good goal today.”

West Brom 2014/15

Flash back to last season where City blew the Baggies off the field in the first 45 to maintain a perfect December.

First half goals from Fernando, Yaya Toure and David Silva soon had the spoils in safe keeping as the Champions equalled a Club record nine wins in succession.

Fernando opened his City account with an unconventional eighth minute bicycle kick before a Yaya Toure penalty doubled the damage four minutes later.

With 12 minutes of the half remaining, Silva dispatched a brilliant finish past Ben Foster in the West Brom goal to cap a memorable Boxing Day win.

However, the game will probably be remembered best for the flurry of second half snow which really added to the festive ambience around The Hawthorns that day...

Hull 2008/09

Hull City manager Phil Brown famously gave his half-time team talk on the pitch at the City of Manchester Stadium after his side were blown away in a by the rampant home side.

Felipe Caicedo and Robinho helped themselves to two goals each in a devastating first-half before Stevie Ireland grabbed the fifth after the break in a 5-1 City win.

However, the day undeniably belonged to the Tigers' effervescent boss who would end the season singing Sloop John B at the KC Stadium.

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