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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2002-2003 - Match 23

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

Saturday, January 11th, 2003
Bolton Wanderers v Fulham 0-0

This relegation struggle saw Bolton closer to winning the points rather than Fulham. Pedersen should have scored a hat-trick but was foiled by the woodwork and bad shooting. Sava did get the ball in the Bolton goal but the goal was disallowed. Neither side looked like producing anything special to win the match. Rickets did not feature in the Bolton squad and Sam Allardyce said that Tottenham remained the only club interested in Ricketts, but not at a price that Bolton felt acceptable.

Chelsea v Charlton Athletic 4-1

The Blues won this game in a canter on a pitch that looked more like Southend-on-Sea's beach when the tide has gone out! Hasselbaink put the Blues ahead from the penalty spot in the 3rd minute after the referee decided that Powell had upended Hasselbaink. Gallas added a second in the 11th minute when Powell misjudged a clearance and Gallas joyfully slammed the ball behind Kiely. Gudjohnsen extended the Blues' lead to 3-0 in the 34th minute when Gronkjaer flew past the hapless Powell and centred the ball for Gudjohnsen to deflect off Young behind Kiely. Euell reduced the arrears from the penalty spot in the 42nd minute after Desailly was deemed to have upended Lisbie. Le Saux rounded off the scoring in the 54th minute when Kiely misjudged the flight of a long shot from Le Saux and allowed the ball to spin into his own goal. The Blues should have added more to their winning margin but slackened off. After the game, the bulldozers moved in to rip up the pitch to allow groundstaff to reseed the pitch.

Liverpool v Aston Villa 1-1

The Reds' miserable run continues despite the return to form of Michael Owen. Villa were very poor at times yet Liverpool seemed unable to impose themselves on their visitors. Owen put the Reds ahead in the 38th minute when Diouf wriggled his way through the Villa defence and unleashed a shot that caught Mellberg on the arm. As the Liverpool players screamed for a penalty, Owen picked up the loose ball and hammered it behind Enckleman. Dublin equalised from the penalty spot in the 49th minute when Hyypia was ruled to have pulled down Barry in the penalty area. After that, Villa appeared the more cohesive of the two teams as Liverpool gradually lost confidence.

Manchester City v Leeds United 2-1

The rumours insist that Fowler will sign for Manchester City soon.Ed: Since confirmed as the deal was done late this afternoon - 13.01.03 Goater seems to have other ideas about that as he was a constant menace to Leeds and opened the scoring in the 29th minute. It was a pass from Berkovic that gave Goater his chance to punish Leeds for some slack marking and Robinson could do nothing to prevent him from scoring. Jensen added a second in the 50th minute when Anelka lobbed a high ball forward and Jensen quickly controlled the ball before volleying it in to the Leeds net. When Fowler finally came on as a substitute, he was warmly greeted by the home fans, who obviously want Keegan to sign him, whilst the Leeds fans scarcely reacted. Kewell scored a very late consolation goal in the 90th minute when he latched on to a pass from Woodgate to score.

Middlesbrough v Southampton 2-2

The Saints really should have won this match but have only themselves to blame for the fact they did not do so. Beattie put them ahead in the 40th minute when Beattie headed the ball to Marsden by the far post, who headed the ball back to Beattie. The Middlesbrough defence was far too slow to react, allowing Beattie to pick his spot. Beattie added a second in the 60th minute when Vidmar, the Middlesbrough defender, played the ball to straight to Beattie, who promptly volleyed the ball behind Schwarzer. Whelan reduced the arrears in the 73rd minute when Maccarone flicked on a long pass to Whelan, who volleyed the ball into the Saints goal from 35 yards. Maccarone snatched an undeserved equaliser from the penalty spot in the 82nd minute when Telfer pulled down Wilkshire in the penalty area.

Sunderland v Blackburn Rovers 0-0

Sorensen returned in goal at the expense of Macho. He played a blinder to prevent the visitors from scoring. Craddock almost scored in the 69th minute when his shot came back off the foot of a post with Friedel stranded. Sunderland never looked like scoring and Blackburn should have won the match quite easily.

West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United 1-3

Koumas put the Baggies ahead in the 6th minute when he intercepted a poor pass from Ferdinand and unleashed a shot that Barthez could not block. But United quickly retaliated and van Nistlerooy equalised in the 8th minute, less than 22 second after the game had been re-started. Beckham punished a Clement mistake to free the Dutchman, who poked the ball beyond Hoult. Scholes extended the visitors' lead in the 23rd minute when he swept home a cross from Keane. Solksjaer completed the rout in the 55th minute when he timed his run to perfection to meet a cross from Gary Neville to smash the ball behind Hoult. The gulf in class between the two sides was painfully obvious and the Baggies look certain to be relegated on this form.

West Ham United v Newcastle United 2-2

There were protests made before the game by the Anti-Nazi League concerning West Ham signing Bowyer from Leeds. Bellamy put the Toon ahead in the 9th minute when Ameoebi, deputising for the suspended Shearer, put in a cross for Dyer to slip to Bellamy, whose shot on the turn left James with no chance. Cole equalised for the Hammers in the 14th minute when a throw-in on the right found Cole, who held off Griffin, to score. Defoe put the Hammers ahead in the 45th minute when Lomas put in a cross to Defoe, who dummied to go one way, went the other and smashed the ball behind Given. The second half was a scrappy affair and West Ham looked to have done enough to secure their first win at home.Late in the game, there was a flurry of substitutions and Pearce and Hutchison were the last of them. They had barely gained their bearings before Jenas struck in the 81st minute and volleyed the ball behind James.

Sunday, January 12th, 2003
Birmingham City v Arsenal 0-4

The Blues were always second best in a match delayed for 30 minutes by a floodlight failure. Henry put the Londoners ahead in the 6th minute when he swapped passes with Bergkamp before Henry slipped the ball beyond Vaesen. Pires added a second in the 29th minute when Johnson lost possession of the ball to Pires, who whipped it into the goal before anyone else could react. Lauren added a third in the 67th minute when Bergkamp lobbed the ball to the far post for Lauren to head over Vaesen. Henry completed the rout in the 70th minute with his 100th goal for Arsenal when Pires sent Wiltord away down the left. Wiltord timed his pass to perfection and Vaesen was left clutching thin air as Henry drove the ball into the back of the net.

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton 4-3

The full report and pictures can be found here

	
      FA Barclaycard Premiership  

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

 1 Arsenal   23 15  4  4 49-24 25  49 
 2 Man Utd   23 13  5  5 38-23 15  44
 3 Chelsea   23 11  8  4 40-21 19  41
 4 Newcastle 22 12  3  7 37-31  6  39
 5 So'pton   23  9  9  5 27-23  4  36
 6 Everton   23 10  6  7 28-28  0  36 
 7 Liverpool 23  9  8  6 31-23  8  35
 8 Spurs     23 10  5  8 34-34  0  35 
 9 Man City  23 10  4  9 32-32  0  34
10 Blackburn 23  8  9  6 29-25  4  33
11 M'brough  23  8  6  9 27-23  4  30
12 Leeds     23  9  3 11 31-29  2  30
13 A. Villa  23  8  5 10 22-24 -2  29
14 Charlton  22  8  5  9 25-29 -4  29
15 B'mingham 23  6  7 10 20-31 -11 25
16 Fulham    22  6  6 10 23-27 -4  24 
17 Bolton    22  4  8 10 23-37 -14 20
18 S'derland 23  4  7 12 15-32 -17 19
19 West Ham  22  3  8 11 23-40 -17 17
20 West Brom 22  4  4 14 17-35 -18 16

Cheers, Brian

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