With many thanks to Brian Judson, without whom this feature would not be possible.
Saturday, May 3rd, 2003
Aston Villa v Sunderland 1-0
The only goal of the game was scored by Allback in the 80th minute.
Sunderland played their best football since Mick McCarthy took over as
manager. They were unlucky not to share the points. It was Gudjonsson who
provided the pass from which Allback scored.
Blackburn Rovers v West Bromwich Albion 1-1
Blackburn had been hoping to qualify for the UEFA Cup. Things looked good
when Duff put Blackburn ahead in the 11th minute. None of the Baggies
defenders stood in his way to stop him as he raced through their defence
as if it was not there. Koumas equalised for the Baggies in the 54th
minute when he robbed Flitcroft and hared for the Blackburn goal. He
unleashed a shot that came off Neill's leg and flew into Friedel's goal.
Fulham v Everton 2-0
The hopes of Champions League football for Everton disappeared as a result
of two bizarre goals. Stubbs conceded an own goal in the 34th minute when
he lobbed the ball over Wright, who was well off his line, into his own
goal. Wright conceded an own goal in the 43rd minute when Malbranque's
free-kick brushed Gravesen's studs and flew around before the ball
squirmed under Wright and over the line. Everton had their chances in the
second half but Ferguson, Campbell and Rooney spurned the best that came
Liverpool v Manchester City 1-2
The Reds look like failing to qualify for the Champions League as it all
rests on their final match .... at Chelsea, where they do not have a very
good record. It had all looked to be going well as Baros put them in front
in the 59th minute when Diouf provided the pass from which Baros scored.
Disaster struck when Trarore clipped Anelka in the penalty area. Anelka
duly converted the penalty in the 74th minute. Anelka then snatched the
points for the Sky Blues in the 90th minute when Benarbia and
Wright-Phillips created the chance for Anelka to reduce Anfield to stunned
Manchester United v Charlton Athletic 4-1
An imperious performance by Manchester United! Beckham put them ahead in
the 11th minute when he took a corner which flew into the Charlton goal.
Jensen snatched a 13th minute equaliser when Keane made a mess of a pass
back to Carroll, who miskicked the ball out to Jensen, who made the most
of the chance. Ruud van Nistelrooy then took charge of events. In the 32nd
minute, Beckham took a corner and the Dutchman headed home. The Reds
extended their lead when Solksjaer flicked the ball in for van Nistelrooy
to turn over Kiely in the 37th minute. The final goal by van Nistelrooy
was scored in the 53rd minute after Beckham had played a long pass forward
for the Dutchman to fasten on to and slice through the Charlton defence.
After the match, Beckham was very emotional as if he was waving goodbye to
the Manchester United fans. If he is leaving, that can only mean he will
be heading for Real Madrid.
Middlesbrough v Tottenham Hotspur 5-1
As is my normal custom, I am NOT commenting on this disgraceful rout
except to say HODDLE OUT! Ed: I usually edit out Brian's regular comment on Spurs games, but couldn't help myself!Read the match report here, if you dare!
Newcastle United v Birmingham City 1-0
The Magpies grabbed the win that confirms a Champions League place for
them next season. The surprise was that there was only one goal. Newcastle
made life difficult for them by spurning lots of chances. Finally, Vlana
grabbed the only goal of the game in the 42nd minute. Bellamy was upended
as he broke through the Blues defence. Vlana took the resulting free kick
and settled the match.
Southampton v Bolton Wanderers 0-0
The Trotters achieved what they had come for in forcing a goal-less draw.
The Saints were the better team but they could not break down the Bolton
defence. Bolton became more adventurous late in the match as they tried to
snatch a late goal.
West Ham United v Chelsea 1-0
The Hammers continue to argue they can survive. They fought long and hard
and Chelsea wilted in the sunshine. Midway through the second half.
Brooking, the stand-in manager, sent him on as a substitute. Di Canio
scored the most valuable of all his goals for the Hammers in the 71st
minute. Cole fed Sinclair on the right and his low cross was diverted into
the path of the Italian striker. From four yards, Di Canio could not miss!
It sparked off amazing scenes of celebration but the fact remains West Ham
must win again next weekend and hope Bolton do not win.
Sunday, May 4th, 2003
Arsenal v Leeds United 2-3
The Gooners finally ran out of luck! They HAD to win this match to keep
their title hopes alive. But it was Leeds who struck first when Kewell
scored in the 5th minute. Kewell was released by along pass from Wilcox.
Bringing the ball under control, he quickly whipped the ball behind
Seaman. Arsenal took a while to emerge from the shock of falling behind
but Henry struck in the 31st minute. Parlour unleashed a shot that
Robinson could only parry and Henry was the first to react and head the
ball into the Leeds goal. Three minutes into the second half, Leeds were
awarded a free-kick. Harte took the kick in the 48th minute and it took a
slight deflection off Cole before flying into the net. Bergkamp equalised
in the 63rd minute when Henry sent Pires away down the left. Pires found
Bergkamp who whipped the ball into the net. But Leeds were not done.
Viduka scored in the 88th minute to ensure Leeds were safe.
Wednesday, May 7th, 2003
Arsenal v Southampton 6-1
The Gunners ran amok in their final home game of the season. The manner of
the way Southampton lost would have reduced Sir Alex Ferguson to apoplexy
had the points still had a bearing on the title. Parlour broke through in
the 9th minute and Jones could only parry his shot. Pires was on hand to
whip the rebound behind the prone goalkeeper. Pennant scored in the 16th
minute following a series of passes between Henry, von Bronckhorst and
Pennant fired home. A little later, Kanu took a corner that had been
conceded. Henry centred the ball and Pennant headed home in the 19th
minute. Pires made the score 4-0 in the 23rd minute when Parlour, Kanu and
Henry swapped passes before Pires drilled the ball behind Jones. Henry
created the fifth goal from which Pennant netted the ball. Tessam reduced
the arrears in the 35th minute when Bridge centred the ball and Tessam
slid in to force the ball behind Taylor. Pires completed the rout two
minutes after half-time when he curled in a 35-yard shot.
FA Barclaycard Premiership
Pos. Pl. W. D. L. F-A. GD Pts
1 Man Utd 37 24 8 5 72-33 39 80 C
2 Arsenal 37 22 9 6 81-42 39 75
3 Newcastle 37 21 5 11 61-46 15 68
4 Chelsea 37 18 10 9 66-37 29 64
5 Liverpool 37 18 10 9 60-39 21 64
6 Everton 37 17 8 12 47-47 0 59
7 Blackburn 37 15 12 10 48-43 5 57
8 Man City 37 15 6 16 47-53 -6 51
9 Spurs 37 14 8 15 51-58 -7 50
10 M'brough 37 13 10 14 47-42 5 49
11 So'pton 37 12 13 12 42-47 -5 49
12 Charlton 37 14 7 16 45-56 -11 49
13 B'mingham 37 13 8 16 40-47 -7 47
14 A. Villa 37 12 9 16 41-44 -3 45
15 Fulham 37 12 9 16 40-50 -10 45
16 Leeds 37 13 5 19 55-56 -1 44
17 Bolton 37 9 14 14 39-50 -11 41
18 West Ham 37 10 11 16 40-57 -17 41
19 West Brom 37 6 7 24 27-63 -36 25 R
20 S'derland 37 4 7 26 21-61 -40 19 R