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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2002-2003 - Match 33

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

Saturday, April 12th, 2003
Birmingham City v Sunderland 2-0

The last rites were read yesterday for Sunderland's bid to survive in the Premiership. Despite all their efforts, Sunderland were condemned to relegation after a hugely disappointing season. Hughes put the Blues ahead in the 43rd minute when Poom punched out a cross from Lazaridis but the ball only ran as far as Hughes, who lobbed the ball into the unguarded goal. Dugarry ensured the points would be the reward for the afternoon's work of the Blues when he scored his first goal for the club in the 60th minute. Poom was again at fault in punching the ball out to Hughes, who slipped the ball to Upson, who centred for Dugarry to head home. Sunderland will not find it easy to regain their place in the Premiership. I suspect things may get worse before McCarthy steers them into calmer waters.

Blackburn Rovers v Charlton Athletic 1-0

Duff scored the only goal of the match in the 34th minute as Blackburn continued their push for the URFA Cup. Friedel took a huge punt downfield. Sukur flicked the ball on to Duff, who crashed the ball home. Blackburn should have won by a bigger score but wasted several good chances or were defied by Kiely in the Charlton goal.

Chelsea v Bolton Wanderers 1-0

Carlton Cole scored the only goal of the match in the 58th minute and showed enough touches to prove he is a future Chelsea legend. Bolton made life very difficult for Chelsea but were punchless. Chelsea were wasteful, none more so than Hasselbaink. The goal was created by Petit, who floated the ball over as Cole timed his run to perfection. The defenders hesitated long enough to allow Cole to recover the ball after appearing to lose it. Campo almost snatched an equaliser with a 35-yard shot that was just slightly too high.

Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur 2-2

As usual, the full Spurs Odyssey report is here

Liverpool v Fulham 2-0

The Reds had no trouble in disposing of a very poor Fulham side. Heskey put them ahead in the 36th minute when Riise's free-kick dropped into Smicer's path. He laid the ball off for Heskey, who spun to score his 9th goal of the season. Owen ensured the points would remain at Anfield with a 59th minute goal. Smicer split the Fulham defence leaving Owen one on one with Taylor, the Fulham goalkeeper, and the ball billowed the back of the net. Far too late, Fulham tried to fight back but they had left themselves with a mountain to climb.

Manchester City v Middlesbrough 0-0

A furious Kevin Keegan substituted his expensive strikers, Anelka and Fowler, as their drought in front of goal continued. He replaced them with the workmanlike Goater and Macken to the delight of the fans. Neither side looked likely to break the deadlock and the final whistle was greeted by the biggest cheer of the afternoon.

Newcastle United v Manchester United 2-6

TEN goals in successive League games! 4-0 against Liverpool last weekend, 6-2 yesterday at Newcastle! And yet Jenas scored the best goal of the eight in the 21st minute as Newcastle took the lead. with a shot from well outside the area. Solksjaer equalised in the 32nd minute when he beat the Magpies offside trap and hammered the ball home. Scholes put the visitors ahead in the 34th minute when he played a one-two with Solksjaer before smashing the ball beyond Given. Scholes increased the Mancunians lead in the 38th minute when Wes Brown provided the pass for Scholes to drive home with blistering pace. Giggs took the score to 4-1 when a shot from O'Shea came back off the bar for Giggs to force home in the 44th minute. Scholes completed his hat-trick in the 52nd minute when Gary Neville played the ball for Scholes to fire home. Ruud van Nistelrooy then scored from the penalty spot in the 58th minute after Forlan was sent flying by Bramble. Amoebi added a consolation goal in the 89th minute after Manchester United finished with 10 men due to injuries to Keane and O'Shea. Barthez miscued a clearance that flew straight to Amoebi, who did not allow Barthez to retrieve his error of judgement.

West Bromwich Albion v Everton 1-2

It is only because the Hammers failed to win against Aston Villa that the Baggies still survive. Their fans cheered loudly when Balis scored from the penalty spot in the 18th minute after Stubbs had handled the ball in the area. Weir equalised for Everton in the 23rd minute when Pembridge gave Hoult some problems and the goalkeeper dropped the ball which Weir swept into the net. Thereafter, it was all Everton and how they managed to make hard work of it is something of a mystery. Campbell clinched the points for Everton in the 45th minute when Hoult spilled the ball to Rooney, who chipped the ball to Campbell, who had the simplest of tap-ins.

West Ham United v Aston Villa 2-2

How the Hammers failed to win this match is a minor mystery, They were clearly the better side for much of the game. Sinclair put the Hammers ahead in the 15th minute when Kanoute floated in a cross for the unmarked Sinclair to whip home from the blind side of the goal area. Vassell equalised from the penalty spot in the 36th minute after Repka was adjudged by the referee to have pulled back Allback. TV replays were inconclusive. Leonhardsen put Villa ahead in the 53rd minute when Barry's cross was forced in by the Norwegian shortly after coming on as a substitute. Kanoute then grabbed an equaliser in the 65th minute when Cole floated over a superb pass which Kanoute brought under control before forcing the ball home. West Ham continued to create chances bur Defoe bungled them all as the Hammers dropped two valuable points.

	
      FA Barclaycard Premiership  

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

 1 Man Utd   33 21  7  5 61-29 32  70
 2 Arsenal   32 20  7  5 67-34 33  67 
 3 Newcastle 33 19  4 10 57-43 14  61
 4 Chelsea   33 17  9  7 60-32 28  60 
 5 Everton   33 16  8  9 43-38  5  56 
 6 Liverpool 33 15 10  8 49-35 14  55
 7 Blackburn 33 14 10  9 43-37  6  52
 8 Spurs     33 13  8 12 47-47  0  47 
 9 M'brough  33 12 10 11 42-35  7  46
10 Charlton  33 13  7 13 41-46 -5  46
11 So'pton   32 11 12  9 35-34  1  45
12 Man City  33 12  6 15 40-51 -11 42
13 Leeds     33 11  5 17 46-48 -2  38
14 A. Villa  33 10  8 15 36-40 -4  38
15 Fulham    33 10  8 15 35-46 -11 38 
16 B'mingham 33 10  8 15 32-44 -12 38
17 Bolton    33  8 11 14 36-48 -12 35
18 West Ham  33  7 11 15 37-56 -19 32
19 West Brom 33  5  6 22 22-52 -30 21
20 S'derland 33  4  7 22 20-54 -34 19 R

Cheers, Brian

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