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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2002-2003 - Match 21

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

Saturday, December 28th, 2002
Aston Villa v Middlesbrough 1-0

Dublin scored the only goal of the match in the 11th minute when Angel's centre from the right was deflected off Wilson into the Middlesbrough goal. The visitors were shocked when the referee sent Wilson off for two bookable offences. But they very nearly snatched an improbably equaliser when Job, Geremi and Ehiogu all went close in the dying moments of the game.

Blackburn Rovers v West Ham United 2-2

Graeme Souness was furious with his team after they had dropped two points to the worst team in the League. Duff had put Blackburn ahead in the 4th minute when his weak shot somehow squirmed out of 'Calamity' James' grasp and trickled over the line. But the Hammers equalised when Taylor put through his own goal in the 24th minute after deflecting Lomas' cross into the net. Andy Cole looked to have settled the issue in the 78th minute when he shook off the attentions of Gary Breen to fire the ball beyond James. But Defoe had the last word in the 86th minute when he snatched the equaliser after Pearce had headed the ball down to his feet.

Charlton Athletic v West Bromwich Albion 1-0

Lisbie grabbed the only goal of the match in the 6th minute when he flicked in Jensen's corner. Hoult tried to punch the ball away but could only fist it into his own goal. The Baggies fought back but could not convert their chances. They left themselves open to counter-attacks but Charlton were unable to convert their chances.

Everton v Bolton Wanderers 0-0

Wayne Rooney produced another fine performance but Bolton's defence did not allow him to score. In fact, it was Bolton who came closest to winning at Goodison Park when, with twelve minutes left, Okocha hit the bar with Wright hopelessly beaten.

Fulham v Manchester City 0-1

Both sides had chances to win this match before Anelka struck in the 84th minute. Indeed Anelka had earlier contrived to miss from two yards at one point. But there was no mistake when he was put through by substitute Wright-Phillips to crack the ball beyond the unlucky Taylor.

Leeds United v Chelsea 2-0

The Tykes newest star, James Milner, ensured that Leeds continued to climb the table. Woodgate had put the Yorkshire side ahead in the 30th minute when a Wilcox corner saw Kewell head the ball on for Woodgate to stab home. Kewell then went off to be replaced by Milner. Just before the break, Milner made it 2-0 when a pass from Wilcox saw Milner elude Desailly to curl the ball around de Gooey. Smith was lucky to still be on the field at that point as he should have been dismissed for elbowing Le Saux. He was later booked for tangling with Stanic. Chelsea rarely showed any trace of the form that has taken them to the higher reaches of the League.

Manchester United v Birmingham City 2-0

Beckham returned to the side following his absence from injury. Forlan put the Reds ahead in the 37th minute when he volleyed a header from Beckham into the Blues goal. Manchester United then proceeded to waste a string of chances. Finally, Beckham added a second goal in the 73rd minute when he raced on to a Veron pass and unleashed a shot from 25 yards out. But there must be concern that they spurned so many chances to improve their goal difference.

Southampton v Sunderland 2-1

Sunderland looked to have saved a point from this match before they finally conceded the points in the fourth minute of added time. Beattie had fired the Saints ahead in the 73rd minute when he headed home a Marsden centre. Flo equalised in the 77th minute when McCann took a corner and Flo outjumped everyone else to head the ball into the goal net. Tessem grabbed the winner in the fourth minute of added time at the height of a goalmouth melee, though Fernandes looked to have got the final touch to the ball.

Sunday, December 29th, 2002
Arsenal v Liverpool 1-1

Gerard Houllier accused Francis Jeffers of diving to win a penalty. Both goals came from penalty kicks rather than open play. Liverpool have not won a match since November 2nd and are seriously in danger of being unable to qualify for next season's Champions League. Murphy put Liverpool ahead from the penalty spot after Baros had been bought down by Campbell. But in the 79th minute, Henry equalised from the spot after Jeff Winter decided that Riise had tugged Jeffers back, who made a meal of doing so. Both sides missed chances that they would have normally scored and Campbell had a goal disallowed in the first half.

Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur 2-1

Read the full match report here

	
      FA Barclaycard Premiership  

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

 1 Arsenal   21 13  4  4 42-22 20  43 
 2 Chelsea   21 10  8  3 34-17 17  38
 3 Man Utd   21 11  5  5 33-21 12  38
 4 Newcastle 20 11  2  7 34-29  5  35
 5 Everton   21 10  5  6 23-22  1  35 
 6 Liverpool 21  9  7  5 30-21  9  34
 7 So'pton   21  8  8  5 24-21  3  32
 8 Spurs     21  9  5  7 30-30  0  32 
 9 Man City  21  9  3  9 28-29 -1  30
10 M'brough  21  8  5  8 25-20  5  29
11 Blackburn 21  7  8  6 28-25  3  29
12 Charlton  21  8  5  8 24-25 -1  29
13 Leeds     21  8  3 10 28-27  1  27
14 A. Villa  21  7  4 10 19-23 -4  25
15 B'mingham 21  6  7  8 20-25 -5  25
16 Fulham    21  6  5 10 23-27 -4  23 
17 Bolton    20  4  7  9 23-35 -12 19
18 S'derland 21  4  6 11 14-30 -16 18
19 West Brom 21  4  4 13 16-32 -16 16
20 West Ham  21  3  7 11 21-38 -17 16
Cheers, Brian

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