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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2002-2003 - Match 17

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

Saturday, December 7th, 2002
Aston Villa v Newcastle United 0-1

Shearer scored the only goal of the game in the 82nd minute when he rose to head Griffin's cross into the Villa goal. This was only the second win Newcastle had secured away from St James' Park. They had looked second best to Villa for most of the match as they sought to add to the 12 goals they had scored in their previous three home games.

Bolton Wanderers v Blackburn Rovers 1-1

The Trotters were very unlucky not to claim three points as they were clearly the best side for much of the match. Okocha gave them an 8th minute lead when Pedersen knocked down Frandsen's cross into his path for Okocha to drive into the bottom corner of the net. Just as it looked that Bolton had done enough to win the three points, Short popped up in the 90th minute to equalise when he headed the ball from a Yorke cross into the Bolton goal.

Charlton Athletic v Liverpool 2-0

This victory was Charlton's fourth consecutive victory, a record for them in the Premiership. Euell gave them a 36th minute lead when Lisbie laid off the ball to Rowett and his cross came down and hit Carragher in the back. Euell was quickest to react and whipped the ball behind Kirkland. Konchesky added a second when Lisbie lobbed the ball into his path in the 78th minute, leaving him with a fairly easy chance to score. Liverpool had their chances but could do nothing to take advantage of the fact Arsenal had lost earlier in the day.

Everton v Chelsea 1-3

Stanic put Chelsea ahead in the 5th minute when Everton failed to clear a Desailly corner. The ball came off Gravesen to leave Stanic with a simple chance to head the ball behind Wright. Hasselbaink added a second in the 28th minute when Lampard won the race to a loose ball and unleashed a 30-yard shot that Wright could only parry and Hasselbaink quickly whipped the ball into the unguarded goal. Naysmith reduced the arrears in the 43rd minute when a flurry of passes left Naysmith one on one with Cudicini. Circling cautiously, Naysmith picked his moment to score. At the end of the game as it slipped into added time, Unsworth clashed with Gronkjaer and was sent off. Gronkjaer was booked for his part in the incident. From the restart, Gronkjaer raced away with the ball to score and to ensure that Chelsea went home with all three points at stake.

Fulham v Leeds United 1-0

Leeds are now condemned to fighting a relegation battle after losing yet another match. They could quite easily have been thrashed out of sight if it had not been for Robinson in goal. Djetou scored the only goal of the game in the 10th minute when he outjumped everyone else to head home Wome's corner. Both sides were without four strikers as Viduka, Kewell, Bowyer were all injured for Leeds and Fowler was only a substitute returning after a long absence. Fulham were without all four strikers as Hayles is out with a long-term neck injury until at least next July. Yet Fulham were more cohesive and could have thrashed Leeds out of sight. The question is : how much more longer will Venables be given to turn the Leeds fortunes around?

Manchester United v Arsenal 2-0

The Mancunians were far too good for Arsenal, who looked a pale shadow of the side that won the title at Old Trafford last season. Veron gave the hosts a 22nd minute lead when Scholes took the ball to the bye-line before cutting it back to the oncoming Veron, who did not check his stride as he forced the ball into Arsenal's goal. Scholes added a second in the 73rd minute when van Nistelrooy played an astute through ball to Scholes, who rifled his shot past Taylor, who had earlier replaced Shaaban in the Arsenal goal. It was the first time this season that Arsenal have failed to score.

Middlesbrough v West Ham United 2-2

The Hammers were very unfortunate they did not win this match as they led for long spells. Cole put them ahead in the 46th minute when he burst down the right wing and held off Quendrue as he struck the ball beyond Schwarzer. Nemeth equalised for Middlesbrough in the 58th minute when he fed Boksic, who back-heeled the ball to Nemeth, who struck a crisp low shot into James's goal. Pearce put the Hammers back in front in the 76th minute when Defoe's shot rebounded off Southgate's legs to Pearce, who swept the ball behind Schwarzer. Ehiogu grabbed a late 88th minute equaliser when he outjumped everyone else to head home Geremi's corner.

Southampton v Birmingham City 2-0

Birmingham were completely out of their depth at St Mary's. The only surprise was that it took the Saints so long to impose themselves. Beattie put the Saints ahead in the 60th minute when Beattie scored from the penalty spot after Purse had blocked the ball with his forearm. Beattie then added a second goal in the 83rd minute when Tessem broke down on the right, Ormerod flicked the ball on and an unmarked Beattie was on hand to tap the ball into the Birmingham goal.

Sunday, December 8th, 2002
Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion 3-1

The full match report can be found here.

Monday, December 9th, 2002
Sunderland v Manchester City 0-3

Another poor performance by Sunderland has left them rooted to the bottom of the Premiership table. Only the Hammers are below them. They are increasingly looking certainties to go down. Leeds currently hold the Premiership record with only 28 goals for the season, the lowest ever. The record low score for any club in the top flight is held by Stoke City, who only scored 24 goals in season 1984-85. Foe put Manchester City ahead in the 44th minute when Bjorklund headed the ball against his own bar and Foe forced the rebound home. Jihai added a second goal in the 62nd minute when Macho failed to hold a ball and Jihai forced the ball home from close to the penalty spot. Goater completed the rout in the 87th minute when Berkovic nodded the ball down for Goater to sweep home.

	
      FA Barclaycard Premiership  

Pos.         Pl. W. D. L. F-A.  GD Pts

 1 Arsenal   17 11  2  4 36-19 17  35 
 2 Chelsea   17  9  6  2 31-14 17  33
 3 Man Utd   17  9  5  3 27-17 10  32
 4 Liverpool 17  9  4  4 27-17 10  31
 5 Everton   17  9  2  6 20-20  0  29 
 6 Newcastle 16  9  1  6 26-23  3  28
 7 Spurs     17  8  3  6 23-23  0  27 
 8 So'pton   17  7  5  5 20-18  2  26
 9 M'brough  17  7  4  6 21-15  6  25
10 Blackburn 17  6  6  5 23-20  3  24
11 Charlton  17  7  2  8 18-20 -2  23
12 Man City  17  7  2  8 20-23 -3  23
13 Fulham    17  6  4  7 22-22  0  22 
14 B'mingham 17  5  5  7 17-21 -4  20
15 A. Villa  17  5  4  8 15-17 -2  19
16 Leeds     17  5  2 10 20-25 -5  17
17 West Brom 17  4  3 10 12-25 -13 15
18 Bolton    16  3  5  8 18-28 -10 14
19 S'derland 17  3  5  9  8-23 -15 14
20 West Ham  17  3  4 10 17-31 -14 13

Cheers, Brian

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