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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2002-2003 - Match 5

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

Tuesday, September 10th, 2002
Arsenal v Manchester City 2-1

Arsenal were never really bothered by the Mancunians, playing the kind of football that people prefer to watch instead of the boring offside trap that George Graham constructed around his defence. It will rarely be 1-0 to the Arsenal if they continue to play with such aplomb. City had only themselves to blame for the fact they lost as their defenders were often in a mess. It was Wiltord who scored in the 26th minute following a succession of passes from Ashley Cole, Vieira, Bergkamp and Wiltord simply diverted the ball beyond Schmeichel. Anelka equalised in the 29th minute when Benarbia's angled cross found Anelka unmarked with all the time in the world to head the ball beyond Seaman. Henry restored Arsenal's lead in the 42nd minute when Wiltord and Cole swapped passes to provide Henry with a simple chance to score. In the second half, Manchester City huffed and puffed but could not find a way through Arsenal's defence.

Middlesbrough v Sunderland 3-0

Sunderland look certs for relegation on this form. They were dreadful at times. Nemeth put Middlesbrough ahead in the 17th minute when Sorensen spilled the ball at his feet. Maccarone extended their lead in the 37th minute when he nodded home Quendrue's free-kick. Surprisingly, with Sunderland pushing forward, another goal did not materialise until Nemeth scored in the 66th minute when Maccarone spotted him unmarked and provided a pass for Nemeth to score. After the match, Peter Reid was scathing about his side's performance.

Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
Aston Villa v Charlton Athletic 2-0

De la Cruz put Villa ahead in the 70th minute when Kiely was slow to react to a low shot. Moore added a second goal in the 83rd minute when he rounded Rufus and curled the ball behind Kiely. Manager Curbishley was furious with his players after the match.

Blackburn Rovers v Chelsea 2-3

Dunn scored from the penalty spot in the 18th minute after Babyaro had upended Thompson. Gronkjaer equalised in the 38th minute when Hasselbaink intercepted Short's clearance and side footed the ball to the Dane, who scored. Thompson restored Blackburn's lead in the 45th minute when he drilled the ball home from 20 yards behind an unsighted Cudicini. Zola equalised for Chelsea in the 52nd minute when he headed home a wild shot from Gronkjaer. Zola then scored the winner in the 80th minute when he sent the Blackburn defence sprawling before hammering the ball into Friedel's net.

Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 As is my normal custom, I am not commenting on this match. All I will say is that no team ever 2-0 ahead should lose 2-3!!!! The full report can be read here.

Liverpool v Birmingham City 2-2

Murphy gave Liverpool the lead in the 25th minute when he bent a free-kick around the Birmingham wall and saw the ball deflected via woodwork over the goal line. Gerrard added a second in the 40th minute when Diouf laid the ball off to the oncoming Gerrard, who scored. Owen should have had a first half hat-trick but wasted all the chances that came his way. Morrison reduced the arrears in the 61st minute when Troare made a rare mistake and the former Crystal Palace player whipped the ball home. Morrison snatched an injury time equaliser in the 90th minute when a cross from Lazarides was nodded in off the post.

Manchester United v Bolton Wanderers 0-1

Nolan scored the only goal of the game in the 76th minute when Beckham, helping his hard pressed defence, slipped at a vital moment, allowing the ball to run loose to Nolan, who made no mistake for the second year in a row. Forlan is still waiting to score a goal for Manchester United and the suspicion is that he will be waiting for a long time. I suspect that some of the players are no longer as hungry as they used to be so it might be time for Ferguson to break his current squad up and look for new faces. He has been ruthless in the past but he might not be so ruthless this time with money scarce.

Newcastle United v Leeds United 0-2

The Magpies lost this match partly because of goalkeeping heroics by Paul Robinson but also because of defensive errors, which clearly annoyed Bobby Robson on the touch line. Viduka opened the scoring in the 5th minute when Leeds sprung a poor Newcastle offside trap. Viduka had all the time in the world to beat Given in the race to the ball. Both sides had plenty of chances to score but Robinson was in commanding form. Smith's goal in the 87th minute when Newcastle were caught cold going for the equaliser and Smith drilled the ball beyond Given.

Southampton v Everton 1-0

Gordon Strachan was sent off during the game when the match officials failed to remember that two people are now allowed to coach from the touch line under new rules. Strachan said he would be seeking an apology from the referee. Pahars snatched the points for Everton when he scored from the penalty spot in the 73th minute after he had been sent flying by Weir. Earlier in the day, Everton had been told that Duncan Ferguson's career may be over because of an injury that cannot be operated on.

West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion 0-1

Roberts scored the only goal of the game in the 28th minute when he outpaced a static West Ham defence to score. West Ham had their chances but squandered them and Roberts should have had a second goal moments after scoring the decisive goal. At the end of the match, West Ham barracked their side.


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

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

Cheers, Brian

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