With many thanks to Brian Judson, without whom this feature would not be possible.
Saturday, December 14th, 2002
Aston Villa v West Bromwich Albion 2-1
The West Midlands derby saw Villa come out on top. Vassell put Villa ahead
in the 16th minute when Koumas conceded a free-kick. Hitzlsperger took the
free-kick which took two deflections into Vassell's path and he quickly
whipped the ball into the net. Koumas equalised for the visitors in the
29th minute when a shot from Hughes against the run of play was charged
down but Koumas was on hand to pick up the rebound and force the ball into
the Villa goal. Staunton, who was returning from a suspension, was sent
off in the second half after clashing with Dichio. Hitzlsperger snatched a
90th minute winner when he saw his 25-yard shot take a deflection off
McInnes and fly into the visitors' goal.
Charlton Athletic v Manchester City 2-2
All the action came in the second half. Euell put the Addicks ahead from
the penalty spot in the 51st minute after Lisbie had been tripped by
Horlock. Jensen added a second in the 63rd minute when Lisbie laid the
ball off for Jensen to steer the ball beyond Schmeichel. Foe reduced the
arrears in the 73rd minute when Benarbie floated a ball over and Rowett
could not clear the ball. Foe pounced to force the ball home. As the game
neared its end, Foe equalised in the 87th minute when he deflected
Berkovic's shot beyond Kiely.
Everton v Blackburn Rovers 2-1
The Toffees continue to excel at Goodison Park. But they were shocked when
Cole gave Blackburn a 6th minute lead. There was slack marking when
Thompson took a free-kick and Cole timed his run to perfection to head
home his 100th Premiership goal. Carsley equalised in the 12th minute when
a header by Carsley set Campbell romping down the wing. Campbell's centre
was met by Rooney who unleashed a volley from 15 yards. The ball came off
the post but eluded Friedel, leaving Carsley with a simple tap-in chance.
Rooney scored what proved to be the 25th minute winner when an upfield
punt from Wright was flicked on by Rooney. Taking advantage of the
indecision by the Rovers defenders, Rooney powered forward and fired home
an unstoppable shot. Cole should have equalised near the end when a shot
eluded Wright but came back off an upright.
Manchester United v West Ham United 3-0
This win enabled Manchester United to join Arsenal at the top of the table
for at least 24 hours. Solksjaer gave them a 15th minute lead when his
header from a Gary Neville cross was deflected into James' goal. Veron
then put the Reds further ahead in the 17th minute when Veron swept the
ball into the net from a free-kick after Repka had upended van Nistelrooy.
Schemmel conceded an own goal in the 61st minute after Gary Neville had
whipped in a vicious cross.
Middlesbrough v Chelsea 1-1
The Blues lost their way on a day when a win would have taken them to the
top of the table. Not for the first time, the Blues erratic form let them
down. Geremi put Middlesbrough ahead in the 32nd minute when Petit tripped
Greening to concede a free-kick. Quendrue stepped over the ball and Geremi
bent the ball over the wall to leave Cudicini hopelessly stranded. Terry
equalised for Chelsea in the 62nd minute when Hasselbaink took a corner
and Terry stabbed the ball home.
Southampton v Newcastle United 1-1
Both goals came in a spell of three minutes early in the second half.
Bellamy put the Toon ahead in the 50th minute when he unleashed a shot
from some 20-yards out that caught Jones napping. Marsden equalised in the
52nd minute when Fernandes put in a low cross and Marsden slid in to force
the ball home.
Sunday, December 15th, 2002
Fulham v Birmingham City 0-1
This win lifts Birmingham further away from the scrap at the bottom of the
table. They had seven bookings, one sending off and the only goal of the
game. Kirovski cut into the Fulham penalty area in the 7th minute. He
played a one-two with Morrison before thumping the ball into van der Sar's
goal. Plagued by injuries and Marlet suspended, Fulham were unable to
fight their way back onto level terms.
Sunderland v Liverpool 2-1
The Merseysiders look to be in free fall as they crashed yet again. Macho,
the Sunderland goalkeeper, was in fine form. McCann put Sunderland ahead
in the 36th minute when an error by Gerrard allowed Flo to surge forward.
He slipped the ball to McCann, who deftly lobbed the ball over the
advancing Kirkland into the unguarded goal. Baros equalised for Liverpool
in the 68th minute when Sunderland conceded two successive corners. From
the second, Baros picked his way through the Sunderland defence to thump
the ball behind Macho. Proctor scored the winning goal in the 85th minute
when a clearance by Troare flew straight to the youngster, who thumped the
ball home, joyfully. It was Sunderland's first home victory over Liverpool
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal 1-1
Full report available here
Monday, December 16th, 2002
Bolton Wanderers v Leeds United 0-3
Mills opened the scoring in the 12th minute when he broke out of defence
and swapped passes with Kewell before hitting a shot that struck the bar
and dropped into the Bolton goal. Fowler added a second in the 16th minute
when a header from Kewell was not cleared and Fowler pounced to score.
Wilcox completed the scoring in the 75th minute when he was fed by Bakke
and cut inside to curl a 25-yard shot into the Bolton goal.
FA Barclaycard Premiership
Pos. Pl. W. D. L. F-A. GD Pts
1 Arsenal 18 11 3 4 37-20 17 36
2 Man Utd 18 10 5 3 30-17 13 35
3 Chelsea 18 9 7 2 32-15 17 34
4 Everton 18 10 2 6 22-21 1 32
5 Liverpool 18 9 4 5 28-19 9 31
6 Newcastle 17 9 2 6 27-24 3 29
7 Spurs 18 8 4 6 24-24 0 28
8 So'pton 18 7 6 5 21-19 2 27
9 M'brough 18 7 5 6 22-16 6 26
10 Blackburn 18 6 6 6 24-22 2 24
11 Charlton 18 7 3 8 20-22 -2 24
12 Man City 18 7 3 8 22-25 -3 24
13 B'mingham 18 6 5 7 18-21 -3 23
14 Fulham 18 6 4 8 22-23 -1 22
15 A. Villa 18 6 4 8 17-18 -1 22
16 Leeds 18 6 2 10 23-25 -2 20
17 S'derland 18 4 5 9 10-24 -14 17
18 West Brom 18 4 3 11 13-27 -14 15
19 Bolton 17 3 5 9 18-31 -13 14
20 West Ham 18 3 4 11 17-34 -17 13