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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2001-2002 - Match 15 - 1-3.12.01

With many thanks to Brian Judson, without whom this feature would not be possible

Saturday 1 December 2001

Aston Villa v Leicester City 0-2

Not for the first time in his long reign as Villa Chairman, Doug Ellis is again being barracked by his club's supporters. Villa were always second best to Leicester City, the side who had scored the fewest goals in the championship so far this season. Akinbiyi set Leicester on the road to victory when he headed home a corner kick taken by Dennis Wise. Villa loudly protested, to no avail, that Schmeichel had been hindered by Sinclair but referee Steve Bennett was having none of it. Scowcroft extended Leicester's lead in the 51st minute when Schmeichel failed to hold a cross from Marshall when under pressure from Akinbiyi. As Schmeichel collided with Mellberg, the ball ran loose to Scowcroft who had all the time in the world to score. With seven minutes left, Ginola was sent off for kicking Wise. The referee had no doubts about sending him off but Ginola had an altercation with the fourth official before heading for the dressing room. (Note : it has been announced that Ginola is likely to be charged for the altercation with the fourth official as well as receiving a three game ban for his dismissal.)

Blackburn Rovers v Middlesbrough 0-1

Boksic scored the only goal of the game deep in first half injury time when he was struck by the ball from a shot by Greening and looped over Friedel into the net. Blackburn tried to fight back in the second half but could make no headway against the effective Ehiogu and Southgate, who marshalled their defence very well.

Charlton Athletic v Newcastle United 1-1

Newcastle looked to have broken their London hoodoo when they went ahead in the 73rd minute through a goal by Gary Speed. They have not won in London for four years. Robert had floated a speculative centre which Stuart seemed to have cleared. The ball ran loose to Speed who volleyed the ball home as Kiely dived in a vain attempt to block the shot. Macdonald equalised for the Addicks in the 83rd minute when MacDonald cracked the ball home from 18 yards. Shearer was dismissed with three minutes to go when the referee, Andy D'Urso, decided, after consulting his linesman, that Shearer had elbowed Fortune. (Note : Tonight, it has been announced that Shearer will NOT be suspended as the referee changed his mind about the dismissal after watching a video of the incident.)

Derby County v Liverpool 0-1

Michael Owen scored the only goal of the game in the 6th minute but Derby really should have salvaged something from the match. It was Poom's error that cost Derby because he spilled the ball at Owen's feet and Owen reacted faster than anyone else, needless to say. Dudek defied Derby for long periods but could do nothing when Heskey handled the ball in his own penalty area with five minutes left to play. Ravenelli missed the resulting penalty for the second week running by shooting straight to Dudek.

Ipswich Town v Arsenal 0-2

The Tractor Boys are deep in trouble at the foot of the table. Ljungberg put Arsenal ahead after only 5 minutes. It was also the Swede who was instrumental in securing the penalty when he was brought down by Venus in the 56th minute. Henry scored from the spot to give Arsenal an unassailable lead. Ljungberg also blocked the ball on his own goal line from Hreidarsson when the Ipswich defender tried to head home a corner kick.

Manchester United v Chelsea 0-3

The Champions effectively conceded their hopes for a fourth successive title when they lost this match. They were always second best despite having more of the possession than Chelsea. Melchiot put the Blues ahead after only 6 minutes when he headed home Hasselbaink's corner from the right wing. No one was marking Melchiot, who had plenty of time to pick his spot. Chelsea should have gone into the half-time break at least 3-0 ahead but Hasselbaink ensured Chelsea would win when he scored their second in the 64th minute. Veron gave the ball away in midfield and Gudjohnsen pounced on the ball. The ball went to Hasselbaink whose low shot eluded Barthez and ricochetted into the United goal off the far upright. Gudjohnsen confirmed the rout with four minutes to go when he scored.

Sunderland v West Ham United 1-0

Kevin Phillips struck late in the game to deny a gutsy West Ham side a share of the points. West Ham wasted many chances to secure all three points for themselves through rank poor shooting. Sunderland predictably aimed for the tall head of Niall Quinn in the hope that he could knock down a ball for Phillips to profit from and it was exactly this tactic that settled the game. Arca centred the ball which everyone expected to be headed downwards by Quinn but Phillips got there first to prod the ball behind James.

Sunday 2 December 2001

Everton v Southampton 2-0

Both of the Everton goals came in the second half when they were much more inventive, due largely to the fact Gascoigne came on as a second half substitute. 'Gazza' is no longer the force he once was and can only figure in cameo roles. But prior to his arrival, Everton were not looking likely to score in a month of Sundays. 'Gazza' played no part in their first goal. It was Steve Watson whose flick put Radzinski clear on the left in the 50th minute with the Saints defence in total disarray and Paul Jones, the Saints 'keeper, could do nothing to retrieve the situation. After that, it was always obvious that Everton were going to win. But Walter Smith was visibly annoyed at the number of chances they missed that could have turned this match into a thrashing for the Saints. Finally, Pembridge, another second half substitute, scored the winning goal in the 87th minute when he timed his run to perfection to latch on to Gravesen's cross, to thump the ball home.

Fulham v Leeds United 0-0

Robbie Fowler's debut was the only talking point of a match that saw Fulham end the match reflecting on another afternoon of poor finishing. There were few incidents worthy of recollection. Leeds were poor at times. Their passing was abysmal, their attitude negative and Smith was needlessly cautioned only a week after being sent off. Kelly cleared one shot off the line from Boa Morte. But that was all that was worthy of notice.

Monday 3 December 2001

Tottenham Hotspur v Bolton Wanderers 3-2

Full report here.


Pos             Pl. W. D. L.  For-Ag Pts.
  1  Liverpool  13  9  2  2   23-11   29
  2  Arsenal    14  7  5  2   30-15   26
  3  Leeds      14  6  7  1   16- 8   25
  4  Newcastle  14  7  3  4   24-18   24
  5  Spurs      15  7  3  5   24-20   25
  6  Chelsea    14  5  8  1   19-11   23
  7  A. Villa   14  6  5  3   18-14   23
  8  Man United 14  6  3  5   31-26   21
  9  Everton    14  5  5  4   20-17   20
 10  Bolton     15  5  5  5   20-20   20
 11  Blackburn  15  4  7  3   21-17   19
 12  Fulham     14  4  7  3   15-13   19
 13  S'derland  15  5  4  6   13-15   19
 14  M'brough   15  5  4  6   17-20   19
 15  Charlton   14  3  6  5   17-19   15
 16  West Ham   14  4  3  7   16-26   15
 17  Leicester  15  3  4  8    9-25   13
 18  S'hampton  14  3  1 10   11-24   10
 19  Derby      14  2  4  8   10-24   10
 20  Ipswich    15  1  6  8   14-24    9

Cheers, Brian

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