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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2002-2003 - Match 34

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

Wednesday, April 16th, 2003
Arsenal v Manchester United 2-2

Ruud van Nistelrooy put the Mancunians ahead in the 24th minute. The Dutchman nodded the ball down to Giggs, who swiftly created the chance for van Nistelrooy to slip away from Campbell, who slipped as he pursued the Dutchman, and Keown, worn down by age. Taylor, deputising for Seaman, did not stand a chance. In the 33rd minute, Vieira limped off with a recurrence of his knee injury and is likely to miss the rest of the season. There was a spat when Butt upended Pires and Ferguson made diving motions towards Pires. Pires reacted with a typically unprintable Gallic oath.

Henry equalised in the 51st minute when Pire's shot was deflected from Bergkamp to Cole, whose shot was going wide until it hit Henry and flew past Barthez. Henry put Arsenal ahead from a blatantly offside position in the 62nd minute. The Mancunians vehemently called for offside as Henry spun on to Gilberto's pass and forced the ball home. But within a minute Giggs had equalised in the 63rd minute when Solksjaer whipped in a pass from the right wing and Giggs popped up totally unmarked to head the ball home.

Late in the game, Campbell was dismissed for allegedly whacking Solksjaer in the face. If Mark Halsey does not rescind the red card, Campbell will miss the rest of the season, including the Cup Final.

Friday, April 17th, 2003
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City 0-2

The latest sorry episode in this Spurs season can be read here

Saturday, April 19th, 2003
Aston Villa v Chelsea 2-1

The Villa side are now safe from relegation. But they need to be grateful for a player they have ignored for most of the season. Allback put Villa ahead in the 11th minute when Gudjonsson whipped in a cross, Barry chested the ball down and Allback swept the bal behind Cudicini. There was a long wait for the next goal during which Chelsea were largely out of sorts. Indeed Chelsea did not worry Enckleman at all in the first half. Allback added a second goal in the 78th minute when he won a challenge from Desailly before forcing the ball home. Terry gave Chelsea brief hope in the 89th minute when he headed home a Hasselbaink corner.

Bolton Wanderers v West Ham United 1-0

It is looking grim for the Hammers now following their defeat at the Rebok Stadium. But they only had themselves to blame for this defeat with poor marking and some heavy tackling. Okocha grabbed the golden goal in the 38th minute when he picked up the ball in his own area and shrugged aside all the opposition before piledriving a shot into James's goal. The Hammers should have had a point at least but Defoe scuffed his shot in the 76th minute. Right at the end of the game, there was almost a mass brawl as Pearce flattened Bergsson with a tackle that was so late he had no chance of playing the ball. Pearce was surrounded by angry Bolton players but Campo pushed them all away. The referee had no hesitation in sending off Pearce but several other Hammers could have gone for raising fists. In the tunnel afterwards, the arguments continued and police have reported both Joe Cole and Brevett to the Football Association.

Charlton Athletic v Birmingham City 0-2

The Blues are almost safe as a result of this win and results elsewhere. Dugarry put Birmingham ahead in the 20th minute when Horsfield shook off a Fortune challenge and Dugarry raced into the area to flick the ball between his legs and roll into the net. Savage ensured the points would go back to St Andrews when he converted a penalty in the 55th minute, following a foul on Savage by Powell. The Addicks furiously protested but they were waved away. Charlton were bereft of confidence and looked as if they were playing as strangers.

Everton v Liverpool 1-2

On the morning of the match, Everton were above Liverpool on a Merseyside Derby Day for the first time in a very long time. But it was not destined to last. Owen fired Liverpool ahead in the 31st minute when he outpaced Yobo and fired the ball behind Wright as he scampered into the penalty area. Unsworth equalised from the penalty spot after Carragher had fouled Naysmith in the 58th minute. But Murphy won the match for Liverpool in the 64th minute when a shot from Hamann was blocked and the ball ran loose to Murphy, who smashed the ball behind Wright. Everton saw their side reduced to 9 men when Naysmith and Weir were dismissed for two yellow cards each.

Fulham v Newcastle United 2-1

The Magpies returned to losing ways in London after going ahead. Shearer opened the scoring in the 39th minute when he got on to the end of a Viana corner to force the ball home. It looked as if that would be enough for long spells but Fulham had other ideas. Legions equalised in the 69th minute when he unleashed a drive from some 30 yards out. Given was deceived by the flight of the ball and could not block it. Clark then snatched an 86th minute winner when he repaid caretaker manager Chris Coleman's faith in him by snatching the late winner with a shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Manchester United v Blackburn Rovers 3-1

The Reds continue to be in the driving seat despite having played one more game than Arsenal. Ruud van Nistlerooy opened the scoring against the run of play in the 20th minute. Former United defender Berg equalised in the 24th minute after Beckham had upended Duff. From the free-kick taken by Dunn, Berg beat Barthez to the ball to head him. But Scholes struck in the 42nd minute to restore the lead for the Reds. Phil Neville's pass confused Short and Scholes exploded from nowhere to force the ball home. Barthez was replaced in goal by Ricardo, who was kept quite busy for a while. Ferdinand conceded a penalty by upending Cole. Dunn's penalty was sweetly struck but somehow Ricardo pushed the ball round the post. But just when it looked as if Blackburn could mount a fright-back, Scholes struck again in the 61st minute when van Nistlerooy saw Scholes was better placed to score.

Middlesbrough v Arsenal 0-2

The Gunners worked hard but still remain chasing Manchester United. It looks as if the 2-2 draw between the two clubs last week has swung the title towards Old Trafford. The first half was spoiled by the wind and was very poor. But Wiltord seized a chance to put Arsenal in the driving seat in the 48th minute when he side-footed the ball beyond Schwarzer. Wiltord did get the ball in the net in the 70th minute but the goal was disallowed for offside. Henry ensured the points would be Arsenal's in the 82nd minute when he scored from a free-kick. Ehiogu almost reduced the arrears but Ljungberg blocked the ball on the line.

Southampton v Leeds United 3-2

The Saints must have been dreaming of Cardiff towards the end of the match. There is no other explanation for the way Leads fought back to reduce the arrears. Ormerod fired the Saints ahead in the 31st minute when Robinson, overworked from a succession of corners, could only push yet another corner as far as Anders Svensson for him to sweep back towards the goal and Ormerod turned in the rebound off Robinson. Beattie added to the Saints lead in the 45th minute when he scuffed in Ormerod's cross. Anders Svensson made it 3-0 in the 53rd minute when Beattie provided the pass from which Svensson scored. Beattie then missed chances to further extend the Saints' lead. Alan Smith was sent off yet again on the hour, following two yellow cards in the space of a few minutes. Kewell reduced the arrears in the 80th minute when Kewell strode through the static defence and fired the ball beyond Jones. Barmby added a second goal in the 90th minute when he latched on to a Harte free-kick.

Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion 1-2

The bottom two clashed at the Stadium of Light. The Baggies knew their hopes of avoiding the drop depended on results elsewhere. McInnes cashed in on defensive misunderstandings in the 39th minute to steer the ball into an empty goal. The Baggies' faithful were soon cheering again as McInnes extended their lead in the 42nd minute when Koumas took a free-kick which Poom blocked but McInnes reacted faster to whip the ball into the net. Stewart grabbed a consolation goal for Sunderland in the 70th minute when he bundled the ball home from close range. Later, Stewart wasted a good chance to deny the Baggies of a rare win but fired wide of the goal.(Ed: Bolton's win means that West Brom are relegated)

	
      FA Barclaycard Premiership  

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

 1 Man Utd   35 22  8  5 66-32 34  74
 2 Arsenal   34 21  8  5 71-36 35  71 
 3 Newcastle 34 19  4 11 58-45 13  61
 4 Chelsea   34 17  9  8 61-34 27  60 
 5 Liverpool 34 16 10  8 51-36 15  58
 6 Everton   34 16  8 10 44-40  4  56 
 7 Blackburn 34 14 10 10 44-40  4  52
 8 So'pton   33 12 12  9 38-36  2  48
 9 Spurs     34 13  8 13 47-49 -2  47 
10 M'brough  34 12 10 12 42-37  5  46
11 Charlton  34 13  7 14 41-48 -7  46
12 Man City  34 13  6 15 42-51 -9  42
13 A. Villa  34 11  8 15 38-41 -3  41
14 Fulham    34 11  8 15 37-47 -10 41 
15 B'mingham 34 11  8 15 34-44 -10 41
16 Leeds     34 11  5 18 48-51 -3  38
17 Bolton    34  9 11 14 37-48 -11 38
18 West Ham  34  7 11 16 37-57 -20 32
19 West Brom 34  6  6 22 24-53 -29 24 R
20 S'derland 34  4  7 23 21-56 -35 19 R

Cheers, Brian

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