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Match Reports
Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2002-2003 - Match 24

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

Saturday, January 18th, 2003
Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur 0-1

Read the full report here!

Blackburn Rovers v Birmingham City 1-1

The hosts made a brilliant start to the game, scoring with an exquisite movement. Thompson centred the ball for Yorke to put Duff through in the 19th minute seconds after Cole had completely missed his kick in front of an open goal. The game's most controversial moment came when Dugarry and Todd clashed in an off the ball incident and Todd blatantly kicked Dugarry. The TV replays seemed to suggest Dugarry was not completely innocent but the referee missed his part in the incident and dismissed Todd. John equalised for Birmingham in the 83rd minute when John finally found a gap in Friedel's well-organised defence.

Charlton Athletic v Bolton Wanderers 1-1

Alan Curbishley was annoyed that Charlton dropped two points from this match. Fish put the Addicks ahead in the 47th minute when he scored with a shot that went in off the post. Djorkaeff snatched an unexpected equaliser in the 85th minute when Frandsen chipped a ball into the area and the Frenchman produced a wonderful overhead kick to send the ball beyond Kiely into the goal.

Everton v Sunderland 2-1

Kilbane scored his first goal of the season for Sunderland in the 34th minute when Phillips sent Kilbane down the wing. The Irishman then took a long punt which deceived Wright in the Everton goal. McBride equalised in the 51st minute when Gemmill caught the ball on the byeline and McBride's header was deflected by Thirlwell into his own goal. Everton then snatched the winner when McBride scored in the 57th minute after Radzinski put him clear. McBride stumbled but recovered quickly to hammer the ball beyond Sorensen.

Leeds United v West Bromwich Albion 0-0

The Baggies achieved what they set out to do and snatched a priceless point in their battle against relegation. They frustrated Leeds completely. In the closing stages, Leeds had Fowler, Kewell, Viduka, Smith and Milner were all on the pitch yet they could not break the Baggies down. This was mostly due to the fine form of Russell Hoult in the Baggies goal. Even after Johnson had been sent off for two bookable offences, Leeds never looked like making the breakthrough against the 10-men Baggies.

Manchester United v Chelsea 2-1

The Blues have the best record of visitors to Old Trafford. The Old Trafford pitch was almost as bad as that of Stamford Bridge last weekend. Hasselbaink limped off after only 15 minutes following a tangle with Phil Neville. Gudjohnsen put the Blues ahead in the 30th minute when Petit put Gudjohnsen through with sufficient time to lob the ball over the advancing Barthez. Scholes equalised in the 39th minute when Cudicini made a hash of clearing the ball and Beckham centred the ball for Scholes to head home. It was deep in injury time at the end of the match when Forlan scored the 90th minute winner. Veron spotted a chink in the Chelsea wall and sent Forlan scurrying through the gap. Cudicini had no chance of blocking Forlan's volley.

Newcastle United v Manchester City 2-0

Shearer put the Magpies ahead in 10.4 seconds. Manchester City kicked off and Howey passed the ball back to Carlo Nash. Shearer blocked Nash's downfield clearance and put the ball into the unguarded net. But Ledley King's 10 second goal against Bradford City a couple of years ago is still the record. Bellamy added a second goal in the 64th minute when Jenas sent Robert away with a brilliant pass and Bellamy slid in at the far post to score. Manchester City squandered chances created for Anelka and Goater to score, leaving Keegan with a headache.

Southampton v Liverpool 0-1

On a night of torrential rain, Heskey scored the only goal of the game in the 14th minute to end Liverpool's depressing run that stretched back to last November. Southampton conceded a free-kick. Riise took it and Heskey outjumped everyone else to head the ball behind Niemi. Southampton rarely threatened. Indeed, Liverpool should have gone further ahead but were frustrated by poor shooting from Murphy, Heskey and Owen. Liverpool were able to contain everything the Saints threw at them with ease. Kirkland looks set to be the Liverpool goalkeeper for a long time to come in the same way that Tommy Lawrence, Ray Clemence and Bruce Grobbelaar dominated the goal area.

Sunday, January 19th, 2003
Arsenal v West Ham United 3-1

On this performance, West Ham might just as well accept relegation is an accomplished fact and begin to plan for next season. Arsenal were at their imperious best at times, often stroking the ball around the pitch. West Ham shot themselves in the foot when Lomas conceded a penalty when he pulled Pires off the ball as he threatened to score. The referee had no hesitation in dismissing Lomas. Henry then converted the penalty kick in the 14th minute. Defoe equalised when Cole forced Edu into making a suicidal back pass in the 40th minute and Defoe latched on to the ball to fire it past Seaman. Henry restored Arsenal's lead in the 71st minute when Bergkamp beat Bowyer to the ball and swung the ball over for Henry to score. The last goal sealed the victory for Arsenal when Bergkamp and Pires set up Henry, who sidefooted the ball behind James in the 86th minute. After the match, some West Ham players thought Bergkamp should have been sent off for elbowing Bowyer in the face.

Fulham v Middlesbrough 1-0

A poor performance by Middlesbrough allowed Fulham to nick the points. Neither side really applied much pressure and both sides were extremely poor to say the least. Davis grabbed the vital goal for Fulham in the 39th minute when Legwinski put Davis through with a pass that split Middlesbrough's creaking defence. Southgate attempted to block Davis but could do nothing to prevent Davis from side-footing the ball behind Schwarzer. The closest Middlesbrough came to scoring was when Whelan was slow to react just before half-time when Maik Taylor completely misjudged the bounce of a long clearance by Southgate but Djetou conceded a corner.

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2003
Charlton Athletic v West Ham United 4-2

The Hammers looked doomed to relegation after losing this match. Their recent signings could do nothing to lift West Ham. Rufus conceded an own goal in the 19th minute after Cisse had put him under pressure. Jensen equalised for Charlton in the 42nd minute when Dailly conceded a free kick for leaning on Parker. The ball then flew into James' goal from the resulting free-kick. Parker put the Addicks ahead in the 45th minute when Euell sent him dancing through a static Hammers defence to score. Charlton went further ahead when Parker scored again in the 52nd minute. Breen failed to clear a free-kick and Parker whipped the ball into West Ham's goal. Fish then gave Hammers brief hope when he conceded an own goal in the 62th minute when he put the ball into his own goal under pressure from Sinclair. Kishishev ensured the Addicks won the points in the 90th minute when Svensson fed the ball to Kishishev to tap the ball in for his first ever goal for the Addicks.

Newcastle United v Bolton Wanderers 1-0

Jenas grabbed the only goal of the game in the 18th minute when Bellamy carved a path through the Bolton defence before slipping the ball beyond N'Gotty to Jenas for the latter to score. Bolton fought hard but rarely looked like scoring. Newcastle could have had other goals but found Bolton very difficult to break down. The closest Bolton came to equalising was when Caldwell sliced a clearance that Given had to push behind for a corner to prevent an own goal.

	
      FA Barclaycard Premiership  

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

 1 Arsenal   24 16  4  4 52-25 27  52 
 2 Man Utd   24 14  5  5 40-24 16  47
 3 Newcastle 24 14  3  7 40-31  9  45
 4 Chelsea   24 11  8  5 41-23 18  41
 5 Everton   24 11  6  7 30-29  1  39 
 6 Liverpool 24 10  8  6 32-23  9  38
 7 Spurs     24 11  5  8 35-34  1  38 
 8 So'pton   24  9  9  6 27-24  3  36
 9 Blackburn 24  8 10  6 30-26  4  34
10 Man City  24 10  4 10 32-34 -2  34
11 Charlton  24  9  6  9 30-32 -2  33
12 Leeds     24  9  4 11 31-29  2  31
13 M'brough  24  8  6 10 27-24  3  30
14 A. Villa  24  8  5 11 22-25 -3  29
15 Fulham    23  7  6 10 24-27 -3  27 
16 B'mingham 24  6  8 10 21-32 -11 26
17 Bolton    24  4  9 11 24-39 -15 21
18 S'derland 24  4  7 13 16-34 -18 19
19 West Brom 23  4  5 14 17-35 -18 17
20 West Ham  24  3  8 13 26-47 -21 17

Cheers, Brian

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