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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2002-2003 - Match 30

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

Saturday, March 15th, 2003
Aston Villa v Manchester United 0-1

Beckham scored the only goal of the match in the 12th minute. Scholes played the ball to Giggs, whose centre found Beckham well placed to put the Reds ahead. The Reds dominated the first half and Beckham should have had a hat-trick. But in the second half, they seemed content to keep their hosts at arm's length, conserving their energies for future matches.

Blackburn Rovers v Arsenal 2-0

The Gooners were missing a number of players and lost Keown through a hamstring injury after 19 minutes. Duff put Blackburn ahead after 22 minutes when Parlour was caught in possession by Flitcroft, who pushed the ball out to Gillespie. The resulting cross from Gillespie was met by Duff, who squandered his chance. But Arsenal failed to clear the ball and Duff did not repeat his mistake as he volleyed the ball behind Taylor. Tugay added a second goal in the 52nd minute when Cygan dithered, allowing Tugay to drive the ball behind Taylor.

Charlton Athletic v Newcastle United 0-2

Once upon a time, Newcastle could not win matches in London. There was never any doubt they would win this one once Shearer put them ahead from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute. Solano ensured the points would be Newcastle's in the 49th minute. Newcastle had just foiled a Charlton raid on their goal when Shearer sent Bellamy charging away upfield. Bellamy passed the ball across the face of the Charlton goal for Solano to tap home behind Kiely.

Everton v West Ham United 0-0

It was the Hammers who left Goodison Park as the happier of the two teams. They had scrounged a priceless point on the day that David Moyes celebrated one year inn charge as Everton's manager. The Hammers looked much more positive than Everton. Even using three substitutes in the 64th minute, including Rooney, failed to boost Everton.

Fulham v Southampton 2-2

Needing points to secure their Premiership future, Fulham allowed two points to escape them. Saha put them ahead in the 44th minute when Malbranque crossed from the right and Saha spun to volley the ball home. Dodd almost scored a bizarre own goal from 25 yards when he lobbed the ball back to Niemi, who headed the ball onto the crossbar before clearing it. Svensson conceded an own goal in the 52nd minute when Malbranque won the ball in midfield and slipped the ball to Saha, who tried to find Marlet. Svensson won the race to the ball but could only divert it behind his goalkeeper. Beattie reduced the arrears in the 81st minute when he headed home Oakley's cross from the wing. Svensson then snatched an improbable equaliser in the 90th minute when Niemi went up to help at a corner for the Saints and lobed the ball forward only to see the ball hit the post and rebound to Svensson to force the ball into the goal.

Leeds United v Middlesbrough 2-3

Yet another home defeat for Leeds, which leaves them uncomfortably close to the relegation battle. Viduka put Leeds ahead in the 24th minute when he swapped passes with Bakke and Schwarzer and Boateng became confused, allowing Viduka to drive the ball into the goal. Maccarone scored from the penalty spot in the 36th minute after Radebe had upended Maccarone. Juninho then capped his come-back by scoring in the 45th minute when Greening's pass presented him with the chance to volley the ball behind Robinson. Geremi increased Middlesbrough's lead in the 64th minute when he lifted a 25-yard shot over Robinson. The Leeds fans then began to barrack Peter Ridsdale. But Leeds struck back when Viduka scored in the 75th minute. Milner fired in a shot that Schwarzer spilled at Viduka's feet, thus enabling Viduka to score.

Sunderland v Bolton Wanderers 0-2

The hosts laid on a welcoming party for new manager Mick McCarthy but the home side slumped to their SEVENTH successive defeat. Bolton were unlucky to reach half-time without having scored but quickly wrapped the game up in the second half. Okocha put the Trotters ahead in the 50th minute when Okocha left Michael Gray for dead and unleashed a shot that Sorensen had no chance of preventing from flying into his goal. Pedersen added a second in the 55th minute when Frandsen stepped over a pass from Djorkaeff to give Mendy a chance to volley the ball goalwards. Sorensen blocked his shot but Pedersen was on hand to ensure the ball went into the goal. Sunderland are now 10 points from the safety zone and games are running out. They look certainties to be relegated.

Sunday, March 16th, 2002
Manchester City v Birmingham City 1-0

This match was a poor advertisement for the Premiership. Both sides struggled to string moves together. But it was Fowler who scored the crucial goal of the match in the 72nd minute. Benarbie's cross found Fowler unmarked and there was just enough space for him to squeeze the ball behind Bennett, the Birmingham reserve team goalkeeper.

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool 2-3

Read the report here, if you must!

West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea 0-2

The Baggies had already been forced to make substitutions through injury before Stanic fired Chelsea ahead in the 38th minute. Moore, their colossus in defence, had been carried off following a challenge by Hasselbaink. McInnes had also limped off. The Baggies defence was thus deprived of its key organisers when Le Saux took the corner from which Stanic headed home. Zola ensured the points would be Chelsea's in the 56th minute when Hasselbaink and Zola swapped passes before Zola struck the ball beyond Hoult from the edge of the penalty area. The Baggies worked very hard but lacked the class to compete with Chelsea.

	
      FA Barclaycard Premiership  

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

 1 Arsenal   30 19  6  5 64-32 32  63 
 2 Man Utd   30 18  7  5 48-27 21  61
 3 Newcastle 30 18  4  8 49-34 15  58
 4 Chelsea   30 14  9  7 52-31 21  51 
 5 Everton   30 14  8  8 38-34  4  50 
 6 Liverpool 30 13 10  7 44-30 14  49
 7 Blackburn 30 12 10  8 37-32  5  46
 8 Charlton  30 13  6 11 39-38  1  45
 9 So'pton   30 11 10  9 32-31  1  43
10 Spurs     30 12  7 11 43-43  0  43 
11 M'brough  30 11  8 11 38-34  4  41
12 Man City  30 12  5 13 40-44 -4  41
13 Fulham    30 10  8 12 35-37 -2  38 
14 A. Villa  30 10  5 15 31-35 -4  35
15 Leeds     30 10  4 16 37-42 -5  34
16 B'mingham 30  8  8 14 28-42 -14 32
17 Bolton    30  6 11 13 33-47 -14 29
18 West Ham  30  6  9 15 32-53 -21 27
19 West Brom 30  5  6 19 21-46 -25 21
20 S'derland 30  4  7 19 19-48 -29 19

Cheers, Brian

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