LiveBoxing Day Premier League as it happened

Summary

  1. Giroud sent off for headbutt on Onuoha
  2. Rob Green saves Alexis Sanchez penalty
  3. Wins for Chelsea, Man City and Man Utd
  4. Saints, Swansea and Liverpool also win
  5. As do Spurs, Stoke and Hull
  6. BBC Radio 5 live's 606 via audio speaker button until 21:00 GMT

Live Reporting

By Mike Henson, Tom Rostance and Gary Rose

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Manager reaction

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

More from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, speaking to Match of the Day: "It was a mistake from Giroud, simple as that. He stands up for it and admits he has done wrong. Rarely does he make the same error twice.

"Tomas Rosicky, I want to praise him for his quality and his attitude as I haven't given him many games of late. Alexis Sanchez has shown his ability to create chances and his commitment to the side, which has made such a difference for us this season."

Player reaction

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

More from Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky, speaking to Match of the Day: "It was my first start of the season and I wanted to show the boss he can use me more. For every player it's difficult when you don't play for a while and then suddenly you get called up, but you have to be prepared to be called in to action at short notice, so I work incredibly hard in training. This is a special time of year for supporters, when the whole world is watching the Premier League. It's tough for us as players, but you have to embrace it."

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

BBC

As Arsene Wenger says, Arsenal have some ground to make up on the top three, with third-place Manchester United five points ahead and leaders Chelsea 15 points ahead. Today's win was all the more important, though, considering the Gunners head to fifth-place West Ham on Sunday.

Manager reaction

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, speaking to BT Sport about their prospects in the title race: "We find ourselves detached from the teams above us at the moment, with a bit of ground to make up, so we can't get too carried away with trying to make up that ground at the moment, just to concentrate on what we're doing."

Manager reaction

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

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QPR manager Harry Redknapp, speaking to BT Sport: "Once they went down to 10 men, at 1-0 you've got to make sure you keep it tight. The one thing we didn't want to do is conceded another goal. To let the second goal in when we did was criminal. The opening goal was a poor goal as well, we fell asleep and let the fella come round the back and the penalty, we got away with as well. There was no need to go to ground then.

"They dominated possession, they were excellent at times, but once they got down to 10 men there was a great opportunity for us. We got into some great positions, but the final ball was not good enough. We played a different system, it's difficult, at the end of the day you can keep chopping and changing but it's about people making the right decision.

"I feel our passing was sloppy, we gave the ball away too often and when you give the ball away you invite attack after attack."

Manager reaction

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

PA

More from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, speaking to BT Sport about the performance of Alexis Sanchez: "He is a guy full of confidence and playing with some real style.

"He worked tirelessly today in setting up one goal and scoring the other, so we can't be too harsh on him for missing a penalty."

Manager reaction

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, speaking to BT Sport: "From the moment of the sending off, we knew we were in a battle.

"It was was a deserved red card, Olivier didn't control himself. It completely changed the dynamic of the game, we were completely in control at that stage and it was quite comfortable.

"Olivier is a guy who, when he makes mistakes, he stands up and admits it."

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Getty Images

Arsene Wenger gave Olivier Giroud an icy stare when the striker got sent off, but if he was still angry after the game he did pretty well to keep it hidden in his post-match interview. His full reaction coming up.

Player reaction

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky, speaking to BT Sport: "It was my first start of the season and I wanted to show the manager he could use me more. We dug deep and we won the game and it's a very important stage of the season, so we're pleased to have won."

Match of the Day

Right then, here is your Boxing Day Match of the Day running order: West Brom v Man City; Chelsea v West Ham, Man Utd v Newcastle, Arsenal v QPR, Sunderland v Hull, Leicester v Tottenham, Crystal Palace v Southampton, Burnley v Liverpool, Everton v Stoke, Swansea v Aston Villa.

Watch on BBC One at 23:00 GMT.

Player reaction

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

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Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini, speaking to BT Sport: "There was some great character today. We had to scrap it out a bit towards the end, so it's very pleasing to have come through a bit of a challenge there to get all three points."

Join the debate at #bbcfootball

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey on Twitter: A good way to end my birthday watching the lads get three points. Well done! Thanks for all the tweets and wishes today

The entertainers

Not a single goalless game in all 46 played in the top four English tiers today. Impressive.

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Graham Taylor

BBC Radio 5 live at Emirates Stadium

"Going down to 10 men is not an easy thing, but in this respect, Arsenal did well. But, QPR were brought right back in to the game and it made for a far more exciting game than the first half was."

Football League update

Watford 0-1 Wolves

Wolves have moved to within four points of the Championship's top six after Nouha Dicko's winner at Watford.

The visitors carved out a string of first-half chances, Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes denied David Edwards and Kortney Hause with fine saves.

Watford went close to equalising in the closing stages, but substitute Odion Ighalo hit the bar.

Call Caroline and Robbie

BBC Radio 5 live

It's almost time for BBC 606 with Caroline Barker and Robbie Savage.

The lines are open for you to have your say on all the day's action by calling 0500 909 693, text 85058 or @bbc606 on social media.

Happy 600 wins day!

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Arsenal/Twitter

A personal milestone for Arsene Wenger as he secures his 600th win as Arsenal boss.

One person who won't be getting any celebratory cake though is Olivier Giroud. His sending off almost proved costly as QPR pressed in the closing stages, but Arsenal held on.

FULL-TIME

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

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That's it! Arsenal hold on to secure an important win as they move up to sixth.

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

...Niko Kranjcar sends the free-kick over the bar. Surely that is it?

YELLOW CARD

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Francis Coquelin commits a foul 30 yards from goal and this is a last chance for QPR....

YELLOW CARD

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Arsenal win a free-kick near the halfway line, with Niko Kranjcar getting a yellow card for a foul. A precious couple of seconds earned for Arsenal.

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Graham Taylor

BBC Radio 5 live at Emirates Stadium

"What a waste there from QPR. They had Arsenal on the back foot and the cross was a complete waste from Junior Hoilett."

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Four minutes of added time. Enough for QPR to find an equaliser?

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Bobby Zamora screams for a penalty as he is challenged by Kieran Gibbs when trying to sweep home Junior Hoilett's cross from close range. Nothing given.

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Graham Taylor

BBC Radio 5 live at Emirates Stadium

"That was close for Arsenal as for a second that header from Vargas looked in."

CLOSE!

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Close for QPR as Niko Kranjcar drives in a corner and Eduardo Vargas flicks a header goalwards, but it is blocked on the line. All QPR.

SUBSTITUTION

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Arsenal make a second change as Danny Welbeck makes way for Francis Coquelin, a regular from the bench in the closing stages of the last couple of games.

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Calum Chambers is on to provide extra protection against Junior Hoilett, who is QPR's most dangerous player in these closing stages. Hoilett manages to get beyond Chambers but, fortunately for Arsenal, his cross is far too heavy and goes out for a goal kick.

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Graham Taylor

BBC Radio 5 live at Emirates Stadium

"If this had stayed 11-a-side, it's fair to say this game would have been long decided in Arsenal's favour. That's what makes Giroud's actions even more baffling, why did he choose to do what he did?"

SUBSTITUTION

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Arsene Wenger wants to shore things up as QPR press and on comes Calum Chambers for Tomas Rosicky. Can they hold on?

Join the debate at #bbcfootball

Chris Fleming: Shocking decision. The ref is right there and Debuchy gets a touch for certain.

Ryan Mould: Not a penalty in the slightest - now lets see Arsenal's predictable collapse

John de Vliering: How could Martin Atkinson give that penalty???? Debuchy clearly got the ball.

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

We are into the final 10 minutes as Junior Hoilett runs at Mathieu Debuchy, but the Arsenal man has it under control this time, picking the ball off Hoilett and taking it out of the Arsenal area.

Arsenal 2-1 QPR

Graham Taylor

BBC Radio 5 live

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"I have to say this. I look where the referee was for that foul from Debuchy and he has the best possible view from five or six yards away and he makes his decision almost immediately. It will certainly be interesting to see what effect that goal has on the game. Will QPR press on in belief they can find an equaliser?"

GOAL

Arsenal 2-1 QPR - Charlie Austin (pen)

Reuters

In the form he is in, Charlie Austin has to take the spot kick. He does, and he sends it straight down the middle and into the back of the net. The fightback is on!

PENALTY TO QPR

Arsenal 2-0 QPR

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Chance for QPR to get back into the match as Junior Hoilett is caught by Matheiu Debuchy in the area, penalty...

Arsenal 2-0 QPR

Harry Redknapp wants a penalty as Bobby Zamora goes down under a challenge as he tries to get his head to Junior Hoilett's deep cross. Martin Atkinson is having none of it and Redknapp raises his arms in frustration.

Arsenal 2-0 QPR

Graham Taylor

BBC Radio 5 live at Emitrates Stadium

"Arsenal are so good at keeping possession that when you look out there at how this game is going, you wouldn't know they are down to 10 men."

SUBSTITUTION

Arsenal 2-0 QPR

With nothing to lose, QPR boss Harry Redknapp brings on Bobby Zamora for Jordon Mutch for the final 20 minutes of this game.

YELLOW CARD

Arsenal 2-0 QPR

Junior Hoilett is booked as he pulls down Mathieu Debuchy just outside the QPR area, Santi Cazorla can't make the most of the free-kick, though, as he fires over from 20 yards.

Arsenal 2-0 QPR

QPR were just starting to get into the game before Tomas Rosicky struck and, to their credit, they remain on the offensive despite that setback as Mauricio Isla wrong-foots his marker to wriggle into the area but a poor finish, and I mean really poor, lets him down as he effectively passes the ball to Wojciech Szczesny.

Join the debate at #bbcfootball

Jake Hevness: Losing a player doesn't matter, Arsenal only need one and that's Sanchez

Robert Whittaker: A walk in the park becomes a walk in the park

Arsenal 2-0 QPR

Graham Taylor

BBC Radio 5 live at Emirates Stadium

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"Tomas Rosicky put it in so well and cleanly there, but you have to look at Alexis Sanchez. When he gets the ball, he wants to run in to space, he wants to beat people. When he picks it up, the crowd really feel something's going to happen."

GOAL

Arsenal 2-0 QPR - Tomas Rosicky

Getty Images

This will help settle Arsenal fans' nerves! Tomas Rosicky marks his first Premier League start since May with a composed finish. Alexis Sanchez was the creator, drawing in defenders before squeezing a pass to Rosicky on the right side of the area and he fires in low, with the ball helped into the net by a slight deflection.

SUBSTITUTION

Arsenal 1-0 QPR

QPR make a double change and it is not really a surprise to see Armand Traore make way as he is replaced by Junior Hoilett, while Leroy Fer comes on for Karl Henry.

Football League latest

Watford 0-1 Wolves

Wolves have taken the lead at Vicarage Road against Watford in the late Championship game as Nouha Dicko nets his fifth goal of the season after a cross from Rajiv Van La Parra from the left wing.

Arsenal 1-0 QPR

Despite being a man down, Arsenal are in control and almost snatch a second when Santi Cazorla gets away down the left and passes to Kieran Gibbs, who flashes a cross low into the area, but Alexis Sanchez can't make the crucial connection.

Join the debate at #bbcfootball

Tom Sheen: No argument for what Giroud did but there's also no place for Onuoha throwing himself to the ground like that

Cliff B: Totally daft from Giroud. Wenger's face said it all. Pure hatred.

Ray King: Crazy by Giroud. But how weak was Onuoha flopping to the ground like that??

Have your say

BBC Radio 5 live

Lines are now open for BBC 606 at full-time at Emirates Stadium from 19:30 with Caroline Barker and Robbie Savage.

Have your say on all the day's action by calling 0500 909 693, text 85058 or @bbc606 on social media.

Arsenal 1-0 QPR

Graham Taylor

BBC Radio 5 live

Getty Images

"Giroud just ran off there, didn't look at Arsene Wenger at all there as he went down the tunnel. He knew exactly what he had done there straightaway. You just have to ask, what has he done there?"

RED CARD FOR ARSENAL

Arsenal 1-0 QPR - Olivier Giroud

Reuters

Madness from Olivier Giroud, who has just given QPR a boost by getting himself needlessly sent off.

He looked to have been pushed by Nedum Onuoha as he chased a ball towards the QPR area and clashed with Rob Green, but reacted angrily by appearing to headbutt Onuoha. Referee Martin Atkinson was right next to the incident and immediately showed him the red card.

Getty Images

Arsenal 1-0 QPR

Arsenal are in control, but it feels like they are just about doing the bare minimum. There's not much energy in this game from either side, and not much in the way of chances as a result.

Arsenal 1-0 QPR

Graham Taylor

BBC Radio 5 live at Emirates Stadium

"It will be interesting to see how this game goes from now. I would have loved to be a spy in both dressing rooms at half time, but especially the QPR one, as where do you go from here? You're already behind, so you need to do something to force a change in the momentum of the game."

Arsenal 1-0 QPR

Armand Traore had not started a game since early October before today. It shows. He gave away the penalty, was out of position for Arsenal's opener and has just given the ball away before clattering into Tomas Rosicky in an attempt to win it back. Set up for him to grab a late double?

KICK-OFF

Arsenal 1-0 QPR

Off we go with the second half. What will QPR's response be?

Join the debate at #bbcfootball

Not doing a triffic job

Paul Moore: QPR look lifeless. 'Arry deserves better in twilight of career. Needs to go abroad. Start working on a cockney-dutch accent?

Merry Men of United

Man Utd 3-1 Newcastle

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea ‏on Twitter: A great victory at Old Trafford is the best way to enjoy a #BoxingDay. Thanks for your support!

Twitter

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie ‏on Twitter: Very important win today on Boxing Day vs Newcastle. Thanks all the people who came to the stadium & around the world who supported us!

Arsenal 1-0 QPR

Graham Taylor

BBC Radio 5 live at Emirates Stadium

"QPR will have to do what they do at home and really try and attack the opposition in the second half. But Arsenal are so good at keeping the ball at home and that's exactly what they've done so far. I'd like to see QPR pressing Arsenal a bit more when they have the ball. They're being a bit more cautious at the moment and standing off, but that isn't going to force the game."

Arsenal 1-0 QPR

Alexis Sanchez's 10th Premier League goal of the season marked a pretty significant milestone for the forward as he became the second fastest player to reach double figures in Arsenal's history, having done it in 17 league games.

The fastest? Ian Wright in 14 games. Arsenal fans will be happy if he can ultimately prove as much of a legendary player as Wright at the Gunners.

Football league latest

Watford 0-0 Wolves

Goalless at half time at Vicarage Road. Wolves have had the better of the chances, but Watford holding on at the moment as they go for a fourth win in a row.

HALF-TIME

Arsenal 1-0 QPR

MOTD's Simon Brotherton at the Emirates

"Arsenal have been the superior of the two teams, despite the lack of chances at times. QPR are yet to test Szczesny in the Arsenal goal."