What the papers say

  • Last Updated: December 24 2012, 8:32 GMT

A look at the stories making the back page headlines in Christmas Eve's national newspapers.

The clash between Williams and Van Persie is in the news
The clash between Williams and Van Persie is in the news

THE GUARDIAN: Sir Alex Ferguson called on the Football Association to hit Ashley Williams with a lengthy ban after claiming the Swansea City defender "could have killed" Robin van Persie during Manchester United's 1-1 draw yesterday. Also: Rafael Benitez has warned there is better to come from his Chelsea side after an 8-0 defeat of Aston Villa, the heaviest in their visitors' 138-year history, propelled the European champions back to the fringes of the title race.

DAILY MAIL: Sir Alex Ferguson last night called for Swansea's Ashley Williams to be given a long suspension after an ugly incident that "could have killed" Robin van Persie. Also: Rafa Benitez claimed there was "room for improvement" last night even after his rampant Chelsea side had thrashed Aston Villa 8-0 at Stamford Bridge.

THE SUN: Alex Ferguson last night declared star striker Robin van Persie could have been killed on the pitch. Also: Frank Lampard is now Chelsea's leading top-flight scorer of all time after they blitzed Aston Villa 8-0.

THE TIMES: Sir Alex Ferguson has called on the Football Association to hit Ashley Williams with a lengthy ban after claiming that the Swansea City defender could have "killed" Robin van Persie at the Liberty Stadium yesterday. Also: Andy Flower has already achieved more than any of his predecessors at the head of the England team.

DAILY MIRROR: Furious Sir Alex Ferguson claimed Robin van Persie was "lucky to be alive" after a horror blow to the head. Also: Frank Lampard wrote his name into the history books as Chelsea hammered Aston Villa 8-0 - and then promised there is another chapter to come.

DAILY EXPRESS: Robin van Persie could have been killed by Swansea skipper Ashley Williams. Also: Liverpool's owners will be asked to offer Steven Gerrard an extension to his current contract after manager Brendan Rodgers said the skipper was "vital" to his Anfield masterplan.

THE INDEPENDENT: Michael Laudrup paused to consider an appropriate response to the eye-raising suggestion, which Sir Alex Ferguson had just offered outside, that one of the Swansea City defenders could have killed Robin van Persie with what had appeared to be an unintentional clearance into the back of his head. Also: What a timely return to lavish home comfort this was for Chelsea.

DAILY TELEGRAPH: Under Rafa Benitez in December, Chelsea have put six past Nordsjaelland, five through Leeds and now eight in Aston Villa's net. Also: Sir Alex Ferguson vented his frustration at Manchester United's first league draw of the season with the outlandish claim that Robin van Persie was "lucky to be alive" after being struck by the ball in a melee during a 1-1 draw at Swansea City.

DAILY STAR: Furious Sir Alex Ferguson last night accused Swansea skipper Ashley Williams of trying to kill Robin van Persie. Also: Roy Hodgson believes England can become world champions - if they follow the example of Euro champions Chelsea.


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