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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2002-2003 - Match 19

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

Saturday, December 21st, 2002
Arsenal v Middlesbrough 2-0

Middlesbrough keeper Schwarzer had kept the Gunners at bay until Campbell struck in the 45th minute. Boateng had been stretchered off with a serious injury after 24 minutes. But with the referee looking at his watch von Bronckhorst took a free kick from which Campbell headed the ball into Schwarzer's goal. Wilkshire was later sent off for two cautionable offences which Middlesbrough angrily denied. Pires snatched a 90th minute second goal when he sent in a low ball from the edge of the penalty area that left Schwarzer beaten.

Birmingham City v Charlton Athletic 1-1

Birmingham came back from the dead to snatch a point. Jensen had given Charlton the lead in the 37th minute when Jensen played a one-two with Parker before dummying the ball into the net. Cisse then gained his 10th booking of the season and Horsfield was sent off to boost Birmingham's crime sheet to 52 yellow cards and 3 red cards. Devlin converted a penalty in the 67th minute after Ciise had been upended by Jensen.

Chelsea v Aston Villa 2-0

The Blues are now second in the table and looking good for a challenge for the title. Gudjohnssen put the Blues ahead in the 42nd minute when he latched on to Hasselbaink's pass and sent Enckleman the wrong way with his shot. Lampard grabbed a second goal in the 57th minute when his cross skidded off the wet pitch, eluding everyone in the penalty area and flew into the corner of the goal.

Leeds United v Southampton 1-1

Both goals came very late in the game. It was Leeds who struck first when Kewell got on to the end of a Harte corner in the 74th minute to force the ball home. Just as Leeds thought they had done enough to snatch the points, Fernandes popped up in the 89th minute to score after a raking driving from Fernandes. An identical move a couple of moments later almost saw Saints win the match but Robinson was able to block the shot this time.

Newcastle United v Fulham 2-0

Solano put the Toon ahead in the 8th minute when Bellamy forced a Fulham defender to pass the ball back to Van Der Sar. The goalkeeper spooned the ball to Solano, who promptly lobbed the ball into Fulham's goal. Shearer missed a penalty three minutes after the break after Davis was penalised for tugging Dyer's shirt. Van Der Sar limped off after 62 minutes to be replaced by Maik Taylor and was quickly followed by Wome, who was sent off for a dreadful challenge on O'Brien. Bellamy made sure of the points in the 70th minute when Dyer fed Bellamy who broke away and fired the ball behind Taylor.

West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland 2-2

Sunderland snatched an unexpected point after going 2-0 down at the Hawthorns. Dichio's goal came from a corner in the 27th minute when Koumas put the ball on to his head. Koumas added a second in the 33rd minute when he volleyed a terrific shot that left Macho rooted to his line. In the second half, Phillips reduced the arrears in the 56th minute when Gregan failed to deal with a Kilbane pass, leaving Phillips with a relatively simple chance to score. Phillips then ensured that Sunderland shared the points when he cut in from the left in the 64th minute and eluded two Baggies defenders before volleying the ball behind Hoult.

West Ham United v Bolton Wanderers 1-1

The Hammers go into Christmas still rooted bottom of the table. No side has yet avoided relegation after being bottom of the table at this stage of the season. Pearce put the Hammers ahead in the 17th minute when Carrick fed the ball to make-shift striker Pearce, who outpaced the Bolton defence to volley the ball home. Ricketts snatched an equaliser in the 65th minute when he came on as a substitute and scored from what looked to be an offside position. But West Ham should have won the game when in injury time, Lomas crossed from the right but Sinclair could only head the ball wide.

Sunday, December 22nd, 2002
Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United 1-0

Flitcroft scored the only goal of the match in the 40th minute, thus ending Manchester United's run of eight consecutive victories. Dunn was tripped by Scholes just outside the penalty area. Duff floated a free-kick over the wall and Taylor headed a ball on to Wes Brown with the ball falling into Flitcroft's oncoming path. Barthez could do nothing to stop his shot flying into his goal. It was the first time in 14 outings that Manchester United had failed to score.

Liverpool v Everton 0-0

Neither side really looked like scoring as both defences were well on top for the majority of this match. Liverpool played much better defensively with Hyypia and Henchoz returning to something like their normal form. However, Gerrard was one of a few players who fell foul of referee Poll but he had only himself to blame for going in double footed with studs exposed on Naysmith. That tackle provoked a confrontation between the two teams. In my view, Gerrard should have been dismissed as I felt he could have broken Naysmith's leg. Six other players were booked, three from each side, including Naysmith for extracting revenge on Gerrard.

Monday, December 23rd, 2002
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur 2-3

Read the full report here

	
      FA Barclaycard Premiership  

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

 1 Arsenal   19 12  3  4 39-20 19  39 
 2 Chelsea   19 10  7  2 34-15 19  37
 3 Man Utd   19 10  5  4 30-18 12  35
 4 Everton   19 10  3  6 22-21  1  33 
 5 Liverpool 19  9  5  5 28-19  9  32
 6 Newcastle 18 10  2  6 29-24  5  32
 7 Spurs     19  9  4  6 27-26  0  31 
 8 So'pton   19  7  7  5 22-20  2  28
 9 Blackburn 19  7  6  6 25-22  3  27
10 M'brough  19  7  5  7 22-18  4  26
11 Charlton  19  7  4  8 21-23 -2  25
12 B'mingham 19  6  6  7 19-22 -3  24
13 Man City  19  7  3  9 24-28 -4  24
14 Fulham    19  6  4  9 22-25 -3  22 
15 A. Villa  19  6  4  9 17-20 -3  22
16 Leeds     19  6  3 10 24-26 -2  21
17 S'derland 19  4  6  9 12-26 -14 18
18 West Brom 19  4  4 11 15-29 -14 16
19 Bolton    18  3  6  9 19-32 -13 15
20 West Ham  19  3  5 11 18-35 -17 14

Cheers, Brian

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