25/12/2012 00:15, Report by P Davies & S Bartram
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United's Xmas crackers

The traditional 12 days of Christmas run from 25 December to 5 January, a period that has been good to Manchester United over the years.

This season will hopefully be no exception as the Reds contest four league and cup matches in just 10 days, hosting Newcastle and West Brom before travelling to Wigan and West Ham in the New Year. In light of this, we've studied the archives to recall the first six of a dozen Yuletide fixtures...

25/12/1920: Aston Villa 3 United 4
It’s 55 years since the Reds last played on 25 December – when the Babes gave Luton Town a 3-0 stuffing – but the finest of 33 Christmas Day fixtures came in 1920 at Villa Park. Seems United enjoyed trips to the West Midlands even then, with John Grimwood (2), William Harrison and Teddy Partridge ensuring the Reds were on the right end of a seven-goal thriller.

26/12/1992: Sheffield Wednesday 3 United 3
The first of two dramatic late comebacks against the Owls in 1992/93. Having stormed ahead through David Hirst, Mark Bright and John Sheridan in the first hour, Wednesday were coasting until Brian McClair headed home Lee Sharpe’s cross on 67 minutes. The duo combined for the same outcome with 10 minutes remaining, before Eric Cantona bundled home a leveller. "Ferguson viewed it all with thinly disguised horror,” penned The Guardian’s Stephen Bierley. “But it was one hell of a game."

27/12/1995: United 2 Newcastle 0
This was the first of two crucial victories against the Magpies in 1995/96. Kevin Keegan’s table-toppers led by 10 points, but United reduced the arrears with one of the finest festive results of the Sir Alex era. It was a must-win match and Andy Cole gave United the perfect start, hitting an angled side-footed drive in the sixth minute before Roy Keane fired home after the break. The gap was down to seven points and the title race was back

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