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Match Reports
Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2002-2003 - Match 4

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

Saturday, August 31st, 2002
Birmingham City v Leeds United 2-1

The Blues snatched a shock victory over a sluggish Leeds side. Devlin put Birmingham ahead in the 32nd minute when Grainger played a one-two with Savage and the ball found its way to Devlin, who was unmarked, and he was able to pick the moment to score. Bowyer equalised in the 50th minute when Viduka and Smith swapped passes and put Bowyer clear to score. But David Johnson put the Blues ahead only 8 minutes afterwards when Johnson played a one two with Stern John and Johnson curled the ball behind Robinson.

Manchester City v Everton 3-1

Manchester City had no trouble in winning this match despite losing Shaun Wright-Phillips in the 27th minute. By then, Manchester City were already 2-0 ahead. Anelka struck his first goal in the 14th minute when the moody French striker fired home a 30 yard shot, courtesy of a wicked deflection. Two minutes later, Anelka headed home a cross from Steve Howey. Wright-Phillips was sent off shortly afterwards after a challenge in the penalty area on Naysmith. Unsworth duly converted the penalty. Anelka completed his hat-trick in the 85th minute when he took advantage of a Naysmith mistake to strike the ball home

Middlesbrough v Blackburn Rovers 1-0

This match appeared to be petering out to a goal-less draw when suddenly Middlesbrough woke up to snatch a winner. Both sides had missed chances earlier in the game. Job had come on as a replacement for Maccarone and had already threatened to score when a shot struck Friedel's crossbar. In the dying seconds of the game, Johansson lost the ball to Geremi and Job forced the ball home.

Sunderland v Manchester United 1-1

Manchester United have only themselves to blame for the fact they dropped two points. Giggs had given them a 7th minute lead when he fired the ball under the diving Sorensen to put the Mancunians ahead. But Sunderland battled away as they harried the dithering Mancunians. They were rewarded when Reyna slipped the ball to McAteer, who hammered the ball behind Carroll, the rookie goalkeeper. The temperature was raised when Niall Quinn replaced Flo. In the dying seconds of the game, Keane appeared to elbow McAteer. He was promptly dismissed and spurned Quinn's outstretched hand to make up over their World Cup tiffs. Ferguson predictably defended Keane, alleging McAteer had made a meal of it but appeared to be backtracking last night (Sunday) after having seen the incident on video.

Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton 2-1

As usual I am not commenting on this match except to say "TOP OF THE LEAGUE! TOP OF THE LEAGUE! TOP OF THE LEAGUE! TOP OF THE LEAGUE!"

Full report available here.

West Bromwich Albion v Fulham 1-0

The Baggies scored the only goal of the match in the 48th minute when Moore and Hughes rose to reach a corner kick but van der Sar punched the ball away. Moore quickly reacted to head the ball behind the helpless goalkeeper. Other than that, it was a poor game. The Baggies are still struggling to attune themselves to top flight football and Fulham were tired after their Inter-Toto Cup matches.

West Ham United v Charlton Athletic 0-2

The Hammers are now bottom of the table again and have to hope they can repeat last season's surge up the table. West Ham fell behind after only 4 minutes when Jensen forced the ball home after Rufus had headed on Young's long throw. Fortune struck in the 44th minute to ensure that Charlton took the points home when West Ham failed to cut out a Jensen corner and Fortune poked the ball into the net.

Sunday, September 1st, 2002

Bolton Wanderers v Aston Villa 1-0

Michael Ricketts scored the only goal of the match from the penalty spot in the 55th minute. The penalty was awarded by referee Steve Dunn after Pedersen was sent flying. Aston Villa were very disappointing and. on this form, looked destined to battle against the prospect of relegation. They lost their most inspired player, Vassell, with a hamstring strain.

Chelsea v Arsenal 1-1

Neither side looked particularly impressive and the right result occurred for those who live or work or support the team in the white half of North London! Zola put Chelsea ahead in the 33rd minute with a delightful free-kick that reminded us of the goal that Seaman conceded in the match against Brazil! Arsenal had Vieira sent off in the second half as he had already been booked once when he had sent Gronkjaer flying. Reduced to 10 men, Arsenal seized the initiative from Chelsea. Toure scored the goal that enabled Arsenal to share the points when he swapped passes with Cole before heading the ball home. Five Chelsea players and Wiltord were booked in a game that was keenly fought but did not see any mass confrontations as has happened in the past.

Monday, September 2nd, 2002

Liverpool v Newcastle United 2-2

Hamann opened the scoring in the 53rd minute when he took the ball off Solano and picked his way through a hesitant defence before prodding the ball beyond Givens' reach. Owen extended Liverpool's lead after converting a penalty in the 73rd minute after Dabizas had climbed on Hyypia's back in front of the Kop. Speed stunned Liverpool in the 80th minute when he latched on to a brilliant Dyer pass to bamboozle Dudek. Shearer then sent the Magpies' fans wild when he nodded home the 88th minute equaliser from a corner by Robert.

Thus Tottenham remain top of the Premiership for another week!!!!!

Addendum re. 03.09.02)

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2002

Manchester United v Middlesbrough 1-0

An indifferent performance somehow managed to push Manchester United into 4th place as they beat a surprisingly disappointing Middlesbrough side. Missing Roy Keane because of a hip injury that will keep him sidelined until Christmas, United were plainly out of sorts. Too many players looked jaded. It was because Ehiogu dragged van Nistleroy off the ball in the penalty area in the 29th minute. It came as a surprise that Ehiogu wasn't sent off by referee Mike Riley but he evidently concluded van Nistleroy was sure to score, which would be sufficient punishment in itself. Thereafter, Manchester United were content to play out time. Scholes, who had been withdrawn from the England squad, played until there was 10 minutes left. One wonders what the watching Sven-Goran Eriksson thought of that as Scholes was allegedly too unfit to travel to Villa Park.

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

 1 Spurs     4   3  1  0  6-3  3  10 
 2 Arsenal   4   2  2  0 10-5  5   8 
 3 Liverpool 4   2  2  0  8-4  4   8
 4 Man Utd   4   2  2  0  5-3  2   5 
 5 Leeds     4   2  0  2  7-4  3   6 
 6 Chelsea   4   1  3  0  7-6  1   6
 7 Charlton  4   2  0  2  6-5  1   6 
 8 Man City  4   2  0  2  4-5 -1   6 
 9 Blackburn 4   1  2  1  3-3  0   5 
10 M'brough  4   1  2  1  3-3  0   5 
11 S'derland 4   1  2  1  2-2  0   5 
12 Everton   4   1  2  1  5-6 -1   5 
13 Newcastle 3   1  1  1  6-3  3   4 
14 Fulham    3   1  1  1  6-4  2   4 
15 B'mingham 4   1  1  2  3-5 -2   4 
16 A. Villa  4   1  0  3  1-3 -2   3
17 Bolton    3   1  0  2  3-6 -3   3 
18 West Brom 4   1  0  3  4-9 -5   3 
19 So'pton   4   0  2  2  2-6 -4   2 
20 West Ham  3   0  1  2  2-8 -6   1

Cheers, Brian

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