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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2002-2003 - Match 18

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 since 1958.

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

Cheers, Brian

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