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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2002-2003 - Week One

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

Saturday, August 17th, 2002

Blackburn Rovers v Sunderland 0-0

Neither side looked like scoring as Blackburn failed to break down the Sunderland defence. The Black Cats defended in depth and rarely threatened to provide Freidel with any headaches. When Sunderland's defence was breached, Blackburn found Sorensen in fine form. Part of Blackburn's problems centred on the fact Gillespie seemed to be out of sorts on the right wing.

Charlton Athletic v Chelsea 2-3

Konchesky fired the Addicks ahead in the 7th minute when Babyaro made a hash of a clearance and Ferrer compounded the error. Jensen picked up the loose ball and fed it to Konchesky, who hammered the ball home. Shortly afterwards, at the height of a corner for Chelsea, Konchesky appeared to elbow De Lucas outside the penalty area and was promptly sent off. Rufus headed home a free-kick in the 33rd minute after Powell had been sent flying. Zola reduced the arrears in the 43rd minute when Zenden laid on a pass through the Charlton defence. Cole, who was making his debut for Chelsea, equalised in the 84th minute when the youngster strolled past three defenders to score. Lampard then snatched an 89th minute winner after a wicked deflection had cannoned off Kishishev into his path.

Everton v Tottenham Hotspur 2-2

Full report available here.

Fulham v Bolton Wanderers 4-1

The first goal of the new season was scored by Ricketts from the penalty spot after only 4 minutes. But Saha equalised, also from the penalty spot, seven minutes later. Legwinski then added a second goal in the 33rd minute when he hit the ball into the far corner of the net. Marlet then scored a 38th minute penalty after Boa Morte had been upended. Legwinski completed the rout after 79 minutes when he intercepted a botched clearance from Warhurst to force the ball home.

Leeds United v Manchester City 3-0

Although Manchester City played quite well, they displayed some defensive frailties that their defensive coach Stuart Pearce will have to deal with quite urgently if Manchester City are to avoid yet another relegation. All three of the Leeds goals could have been prevented had players reacted faster to the situation. Barmby scored the first after 15 minutes when he turned in Danny Mills cross behind Carlo Nash. Viduka added a second just before half-time when he beat a poor offside trap to lazily race in to score. Berkovic hit the bar ten minutes after the break. Leeds should have gone further ahead when Kewell supplied a pass that bobbled along the goal line but Viduka could not stretch his leg far enough. Keane rounded off the scoring with ten minutes to go when he lobbed the ball over Nash.

Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion 1-0

Solksjaer scored the only goal of the game in which the visitors were returning to top flight football for the first time since the mid-1980s. But Manchester United have defensive frailties that will have to be dealt with if they are to win honours this season. McInnes was sent off after an awful two-footed assault on Butt in the second half. The Baggies were hard to break down even after McInnes' dismissal. It was only after the Norwegian striker came on that Manchester United finally woke up. In the 78th minute, Keane fed Scholes, who slipped the ball to the oncoming Norwegian and Hoult, who had performed heroics in goal, could do nothing to prevent the strike.

Southampton v Middlesbrough 0-0

Maccarone may not have scored for Middlesbrough but he did suggest that they would not find goals so hard to come by once he receives the sort of service he requires. There were few chances for both sides and Southampton look likely to find the bottom of the table their main concern this season.

Sunday, August 18th, 2002

Arsenal v Birmingham City 2-0

The Champions were not troubled too much by Birmingham's first game back in top flight football since the 1980s. The suspicion was that Arsenal did not get out of bottom gear for much of the match, preferring to save their energy for more important matches. Once Henry had given Arsenal a 9th minute lead, there was always only going to be one winner. Henry whipped in a shot that Vaessen could not hold and he could only watch in horror as the ball spun into his goal. In the 24th minute, Wiltord increased Arsenal's lead when passes from Campbell to Vieira, Henry and Bergkamp left Wiltord with a simple chance to score. The only sour note of the afternoon was reserved for the dismissal of Birmingham's Ciise, which many thought was more accidental a collision on Cole more than anything else.

This victory removed Tottenham's 13 consecutive victories from the record book.

Aston Villa v Liverpool 0-1

Liverpool scored the only goal of the game with a dramatic run from one end of the pitch to the other. Murphy picked up a ball cleared from his defence and went on a long run, unchallenged by the Villa defenders. He saw Riise moving unmarked on to the other side of the penalty area. As Delaney shaped to challenge him, Delaney slipped, leaving Riise with all the time in the world to score in the 47th minute. Liverpool should have increased their lead in the 79th minute when Gerrard was sent flying in the penalty area. But Owen fired straight at the goalkeeper from the penalty and Enckleman blocked his shot with a trailing foot. After the match, the Villa fans left their team in no doubt as to how they viewed their poor performance.

Monday, August 19th, 2002

Newcastle United v West Ham United 4-0

There was only going to be one winner in this match. West Ham came intent on saving a point and left with nothing. The surprise was that it took the Magpies so long to break through! Lua Lua's first goal in the 61st minute was compounded by a lack of man marking by West Ham's defence. Jenas flicked on Solano's corner and Lua Lua forced the ball home. Lua Lua's second goal in the 72th minute saw Viana provide the cross for Lua Lua to head home after James had pushed the ball on to the bar. Shearer added a third in the 76th minute when Solano provided the pass from which the former England captain scored. Solano completed the rout in the 86th minute when Shearer provided the pass for Solano to score. West Ham were very poor.


Pos.             Pl.  W.  D.  L.  For- Ag.  Pts
  1  Newcastle    1   1   0   0    4-   0    3
  2  Fulham       1   1   0   0    4-   1    3
  3  Leeds        1   1   0   0    3-   0    3
  4  Arsenal      1   1   0   0    2-   0    3
  5  Chelsea      1   1   0   0    3-   2    3
  6  Liverpool    1   1   0   0    1-   0    3
  7  Man United   1   1   0   0    1-   0    3
  8  Everton      1   0   1   0    2-   2    1
  9  Spurs        1   0   1   0    2-   2    1
 10  Blackburn    1   0   1   0    0-   0    1
 11  M'brough     1   0   1   0    0-   0    1
 12  So'ton       1   0   1   0    0-   0    1
 13  S'derland    1   0   1   0    0-   0    1
 14  Charlton     1   0   0   1    2-   3    0
 15  A. Villa     1   0   0   1    0-   1    0
 16  West Brom    1   0   0   1    0-   1    0
 17  Birmingham   1   0   0   1    0-   2    0
 18  Bolton       1   0   0   1    1-   4    0
 19  Man City     1   0   0   1    0-   3    0
 20  West Ham     1   0   0   1    0-   4    0

Cheers, Brian

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