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Match Reports
Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2002-2003 - Match 7

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

Saturday, September 21st, 2002
Arsenal v Bolton Wanderers 2-1

The Champions had plenty of chances but took only two of them. In the 13th minute, Bergsson yanked Ljungberg back by his shirt in the penalty area and Henry missed the subsequent penalty. Henry put Arsenal ahead in the 25th minute when Ljungberg provided the pass from which Henry lost his marker and scored. Seaman then had a re-run of NAYIM FROM THE HALF WAY LINE when Farrelly, aiming for a centre, saw the ball curl into the Arsenal keeper's goal in the 47th minute. (ITV even showed the NAYIM goal for comparison!). Campo was sent off for a second bookable offence but Arsenal continued to be rattled until Kanu found space in the 90th minute t force the ball home in a huge melee in the Bolton penalty area. Their victory was the 46th consecutive game in which they had scored and equalised Chesterfield's 73 year old record.

Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion 2-0

Michael Owen remains out of sorts and missed a penalty. The Reds may be unbeaten but they looked unconvincing at times. Baros put them ahead in the 56th minute when Gerrard put through a quick pass from which Baros scored. They had plenty of chances to score but did not increase their lead until Riise scored in the 90th minute when Owen collected Murphy's cross and played the ball back to Riise. The defender slammed the ball behind substitute goalkeeper Murphy. First choice keeper Hoult had been dismissed in the first half for upending Owen that led to Owen's missed penalty.

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur 1-0

Full report available here.

Middlesbrough v Birmingham City 1-0

Queudrue scored the only goal of the game in the 29th minute when he scored from a free-kick. The Teessiders should have gone on to score a few more goals but lacked the guile to do so. Birmingham had their chances to score but did not take them. Neither manager was satisfied with his team's performance.

Newcastle United v Sunderland 2-0

The Sunderland fans were demanding the head of manager Peter Reid after Sunderland failed to show any passion or resistance against the Magpies. There can rarely have been such a lack of fight by one side in a fixture of this kind. Bellamy put the Magpies ahead in less than 2 minutes when he beat the Sunderland offside trap and beat Sorensen to the ball. A heavily bandaged, due to injuries sustained in Europe in Russia, Shearer extended the Magpies' lead in the 39th minute when he struck a beautiful low drive throw a forest of legs into Sorensen's net. After the match, Peter Reid publicly disowned his side's poor performance but he is expected to be sacked at some point this week.

Southampton v Charlton Athletic 0-0

The Saints looked clueless at times much to manager Gordon Strachan's fury. They rarely put Charlton under any pressure. It has to be said that Charlton were equally punchless. Southampton had replaced the hapless Paul Jones in goal with Niemi, their £2M import. He improved their defence but had little to do.

West Ham United v Manchester City 0-0

Neither side looked like scoring but Kevin Keegan was happy to secure one point from a sterile game. This match represents West Ham's worst ever start to a season and that includes seasons in which they were relegated. Kanouté was well marked by Distin and never allowed the sort of space in which he revels. Manager Glenn Roeder has huge problems as Joe Cole dropped broad hints he would seek a move away from Upton Park if things do not improve.

Sunday, September 22nd, 2002
Aston Villa v Everton 3-2

Hendrie put Villa in front in the 7th minute when he lobbed the ball from outside the area into the Everton goal as Wright frantically tried to catch it. Hendrie then struck again early in the second half when De la Cruz provided the cross for Barry to head forward to an unmarked Hendrie in the 48th minute. Villa fans were still celebrating when Radzinski struck in the 51st minute after Gravesen had back-heeled the ball to him Campbell equalised in the 66th minute when Gravesen took a corner and the former Arsenal striker headed the ball home. Graham Taylor appeared on the touchline clearly annoyed with his team and sent on Dublin and Moore in place of Crouch and Vassall. The play swung from end to end with both managers exhorting their charges until Dublin was allowed to squeeze a ball through a packed penalty area in the 85th minute, much to Taylor's visible relief.

Blackburn Rovers v Leeds United 1-0

Flitcroft scored the only goal of the game in the 24th minute. Thompson was a veritable busy little bee on the wing for Blackburn but it was Gillespie on the other wing who created the goal by beating Harte to the ball and leaving him in his wake.Flitcroft's shot was partly deflected by Woodgate. Referee Graham Poll allowed the game to flow and stood for no nonsense from theatrical displays of belly flopping by Tugay. Leeds should have equalised when Berg inadvertently handled the ball in his area. Justice was done when Smith took a sloppy kick allowing Friedel to save easily.

Monday, September 23rd, 2002
Fulham v Chelsea 0-0

Claudio Rainieri's 100th League match saw a jaded and disjointed Chelsea side lucky to scrape a draw against a hard-running and hard-working Fulham side. Only four English players were on view as Chelsea gave a debut to Huth, a German teenager. Neither van der Sar nor Cudicini were greatly troubled as Hasselbaink continued to struggle in front of goal. Zola was the only Chelsea player who looked like scoring but he was surprisingly substituted by Gudjohnsen. Marlet and Malbranque were Fulham's liveliest players. This draw represents Fulham's best start to a top flight season.

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

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

Cheers, Brian

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