The traditional Boxing Day in the English Premier League made the hearts of football fans beat faster - including Jürgen Klopp's.
The coach celebrated with Liverpool FC a hard-fought 3-1 (2-0) away win at Aston Villa on Boxing Day, with which the Reds reduced the gap to the Champions League places to five points.
Liverpool benefited from Tottenham Hotspur's slip-up, which only drew 2-2 (0-1) at Brentford FC in the first league game after the long World Cup break.
After that, things continued to go well.
Thanks to a strong first half, Newcastle United won 3-0 (3-0) at Leicester City and took second place behind leaders Arsenal for at least two days, who deserved a lot late in the evening despite being 1-0 down 3: 1 against West Ham United won.
Fulham FC (3-0 at Crystal Palace), Wolverhampton Wanderers (2-1 at Everton FC) and Brighton & Hove Albion (3-1 at Southampton FC) also celebrated away wins.
Bajcetic makes everything clear
Liverpool only continued their convincing league performances from November in the first half.
Villa dominated in the second half and pushed for an equalizer after Olli Watkins' goal (59th minute).
Attacking star Mohamed Salah (5th) and defender Virgil van Dijk (37th) ensured Liverpool's 2-0 lead.
Youngster Stefan Bajcetic (81st), who had just come on as a substitute, marked the 3-1 final score.
The assist to make it 1-0 came from Andrew Robertson, who with 54 assists is now the most assisted defender in league history.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have signed Dutch international striker Cody Gakpo, who last performed well at the World Cup in Qatar, scoring three goals in five games.
As his previous club PSV Eindhoven announced on Monday evening, the 23-year-old attacker is traveling to England "immediately" to complete the formalities necessary for the change.
The club did not provide any precise information about the transfer fee for Gakpo, who was originally tied to Eindhoven until mid-2026, but PSV managing director Marcel Brands spoke in the club announcement of a “record transfer” for the Eindhoveners.
Recovery for World Cup finalists
England soccer star Harry Kane (65th minute) and former Bundesliga professional Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg (71st) saved fourth-placed Tottenham a draw after being 0-2 down.
For Kane, who missed a penalty in England's World Cup quarter-final against France, it was the tenth Premier League goal on Boxing Day.
This made the attacker the sole record scorer in this ranking, ahead of Robbie Fowler (9).
Brentford, who had surprisingly won 2-1 at champions Manchester City before the league break, had taken the lead through German professional Vitaly Janelt (15th) and goalscorer Ivan Toney (54th).
At Tottenham, the newly cut Argentine world champion Cristian Romero was not in the squad.
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who as captain lost the World Cup final on penalties with France, was only on the bench on his 36th birthday due to stress.
"After a World Cup, it's important to give the players a little rest," explained coach Antonio Conte.
Unlike in other top European leagues, the ball also rolls at Christmas in the Premier League. The term “Boxing Day” goes back to an old British tradition on December 26th, on which day employees usually received a Christmas box from their employers .
The first Boxing Day in the Premier League took place in 1966.