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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2001-2002 - Match 2 (20-22.08.02)

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

Monday 20 August 2001

Everton v Tottenham Hotspur 1-1

Full report available here

Tuesday 21 August 2001

Arsenal v Leeds United 1-2

This match was overshadowed by referee Jeff Winter booking 11 players and dismissing two Leeds players. Harte put Leeds ahead in the 29th minute when Pires fouled Mills some twenty yards out. Arsenal were slow to form a defensive wall and Harte quickly bent the ball around it before Seaman could react. Pires was the catalyst for Arsenal's equaliser. He escaped from the close attention of Dacourt and accelerated through the middle. He slipped the ball to Cole, whose centre was turned into Martyn's goal by Willard in the 33rd minute. Leeds suffered their first blow of the night when Smith limped off in the 47th minute with an ankle injury. Leeds simply allowed Arsenal to pile on the pressure and bided their time. They snatched the winner when Kewell left Lauren sliding in his wake and turned the ball into Viduka, who drilled a low shot behind Seaman in the 53rd minute. Bowyer and Mills were later sent off but Leeds' 9-men side grimly hung on to snatch the points.

Bolton Wanderers v Middlesbrough 1-0

The newly promoted Trotters continue to defy the predictions of the bookies who have made them favourites for the drop at the end of the season. They were not seriously troubled by their visitors, who enjoyed rather more of the possession of the ball than their hosts. Bolton's Per Frandsen admitted after the match that his team had not played particularly well. Bolton went ahead in the 40th minute when Ince lost the ball to Nolan and Ricketts calmly collected Nolan's centre to nudge Bolton ahead. Bo Hansen should have extended Bolton's lead in the 55th minute but he shot wide. Deane carved out a chance for Ricard to score but the Colombian headed wide.

Ipswich Town v Derby County 3-1

The Tractor Boys deserved to win this match with debutant Nigerian international Finidi George taking Portman Road by storm. He scored two of Ipswich's three goals. George put Ipswich ahead in the 14th minute when Holland provided the pass that enabled him to divert the ball under Poom. O'Neill was sent off after the Derby player had tripped Holland and then, a few minutes later, had crashed into Reuser. Naylor added a second for Ipswich three minutes into the second half when his knee deflected Reuser's centre past Poom. George headed a second goal from Reuser's corner in the 76th minute. Ravenelli's 84th minute goal came far too late to affect the outcome of the match. He collected a pass from Burton to deflect the ball behind Sereni.

Wednesday 22 August 2001

Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United 2-2

The only surprise of the first half was that United's dominance produced only a solitary goal from Giggs. The 20th-minute opener showed United's fast, first-time passing at its very best.

The ball raced unerringly from Keane to Giggs and then back to Keane. United's captain redirected play right to Veron, who in turn sent Giggs speeding down the inside-left channel in pursuit of a perfectly weighted pass. Giggs' finish was instantaneous and explosive, the ball driven high into the roof of Brad Friedel's net.

Within four minutes of the re-start, Blackburn were level. Alan Mahon's left-footed free-kick from the right flew in an arc into the box.

It should have been a routine clearing header for Beckham but it flicked off his forehead and accelerated on into the net. The Blackburn End immediately roared its delight.

After 68 minutes, Gillespie collected possession just inside United's box, lost his marker, Mickael Silvestre, and crashed a left-footed shot past Barthez.

But United refused to give up. Ferguson threw on every striker he had and when Short was dismissed for up-ending Dwight Yorke, Beckham swiftly flicked the free-kick over Friedel and in to end a pulsating match.

Fulham v Sunderland 2-0

The West London side had the better of the exchanges but didn't manage to break Sunderland down until late in the second half. Fulham eventually broke through in the 70th minute when Sunderland were punished for a sloppy pass by Sorensen.

His clearance was pounced on by Steed Malbranque, who passed inside to Hayles, who returned the ball to the Frenchman. Malbranque then slid the ball back to Hayles, who made no mistake from close range.

Saha made it 2-0 in the 85th minute with a little good fortune - as the striker shot McCartney tackled him and the ball took a deflection to wrong-foot Sorensen.

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