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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2002-2003 - Match 8

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

Saturday, September 28th, 2002
Birmingham City v Newcastle United 0-2

Solano put Newcastle ahead in the 34th minute when Speed played a ball out of defence. Shearer and Robert swapped passes until the ball came to Solano some 25 yards out from goal. He let fly at the ball and Vaessen could do nothing to stop the ball flying into the net. Birmingham tried to fight back but Savage received his fourth caution and Purse his fifth so Birmingham will shortly be forced to shuffle their pack. Amoebi grabbed the winner in the 90th minute when he played a one-two with Shearer, who had a good game. Shearer could quite easily be identified with a huge roll of plaster wrapped round his head to protect the injury he picked up in Moscow.

Bolton Wanderers v Southampton 1-1

Gordon Strachan was furious with his players for tossing away victory. Bridge had put the Saints ahead in the 82nd minute when Bridge shrugged off a challenge by Campo and thumped the ball into the net. But just as Strachan thought the points were his, Djorkaeff was on hand to sweep home a cross from Whitlow in the 90th minute.

Charlton Athletic v Manchester United 1-3

There was rarely any doubt who the ultimate winners would be even though Charlton led 1-0 at half-time. Jensen put the Addicks ahead in the 43rd minute when Robinson sent Jensen away and the Dane unleashed an inch-perfect shot. But Scholes, making his first post-operation appearance only 18 days afterwards, equalised in the 54th minute when Giggs picked a hole in the Charlton defence and his pass found Scholes unmarked in front of their goal. Giggs put United ahead in the 83rd minute when Gary Neville took a quick throw-in, tossing the ball to van Nistlerooy. The Dutchman's pass found Giggs unmarked and the Welsh international only had to tap the ball home. The Mancunians completed the rout when van Nistlerooy rounded off their afternoon's work in the 90th minute when he headed home a cross from Giggs.

Chelsea v West Ham United 2-3

Claudio Rainieri publicly criticised his players after the match, saying they had not fought hard enough. Hasselbaink had scored from a penalty in the 21st minute after Minto had tugged back Huth's shirt. But Defoe equalised in the 40th minute when slack marking by Chelsea's defenders enabled him to poke home Cudicini's parry. Di Canio then put the Hammers ahead in the 48th minute when he collected a throw-in, raced 10 yards with the ball, which he then flicked up in the air and then volleyed the ball with his left foot behind a bemused Cudicini. Zola (who had replaced Zenden) equalised for Chelsea in the 74th minute when he scored from a magnificent 25-yard free-kick. But West Ham refused to throw in the towel and Di Canio scored the winner in the 84th minute when Melchiot and Gallas collided with each other and the Italian player pounced on the loose ball before anyone else could react to win the points for the Hammers.

Everton v Fulham 2-0

The Toffees could have had a much bigger margin of victory but for some poor shooting as Radzinski twice hit the woodwork in the second half. As it was, Everton easily won this match once they had ridden the early Fulham storm. Campbell put the Blues ahead early in the injury time added to the opening 45 minutes. Wome had conceded a free-kick for flattening Carsley and was booked. From the free-kick, Campbell forcefully headed the ball home. From the kick-off, with the referee looking at his watch, Radzinski's precise pass put Gravesen clear to score.

Leeds United v Arsenal 1-4

Venables admitted after the game that he had got his tactics wrong. A very silky Arsenal side performed all of the skills one associates Tottenham's property as they ground Leeds into the pitch on Saturday. Kanu put Arsenal ahead in the 9th minute when Cole caught Kelly in possession and slipped the ball to Toure, who turned Radebe. Toure slipped the ball to Kanu for the latter to side-foot home. Toure added a second for Arsenal in the 20th minute when Henry took a corner and Toure forced the ball home. Henry extended Arsenal's lead in the 47th minute when Wiltord and Kanu swapped passes and set up Henry, who slipped the ball beyond Robinson almost mordantly. Kewell reduced the arrears in the 84th minute but the cheers from the Leeds fans had barely died away before Kanu struck in the 86th minute after substitute Pennant had centred the ball for Kanu to rifle home. The work rate for Arsenal remained high all afternoon and should be used to indicate just how far Tottenham have fallen down on this aspect of their play.

Manchester City v Liverpool 0-3

There was never any doubt of the outcome of this match once Liverpool went ahead. Manchester City worked hard but were simply out of their depth. Liverpool gained a corner which Murphy took. City's defenders tried to clear the ball in a goalmouth tangle in which the ball ping-ponged between players before Owen latched on to the ball in the 4th minute to fire the ball behind Schmeichel. Owen fired Liverpool further ahead in the 64th minute when Distin played Owen onside as Gerrard played the ball forward and as the City defenders frantically tried to retrieve the situation, Owen fired the ball home. Manchester City threw everyone forward including Schmeichel for corner kicks but they could not score. But Owen had the last word in the 89th minute when Gerrard put another long pass forward for Owen to latch on to as Schmeichel frantically tried to get back to his goal from yet another corner.

Sunderland v Aston Villa 1-0

Bellion threw a lifeline to Peter Reid when he scored the only goal of the game in the 70th minute. Villa had been unambitious and were trying to achieve a 0-0 draw by playing an offside trap. Arca sent the Frenchman away and Enckleman could do nothing to retrieve the situation. Villa were very poor.

Tottenham Hotspur v Middlesbrough 0-3

As is my usual custom, I am NOT commenting on this match except to say that I hope all at White Hart Lane have studied in depth how Arsenal beat Leeds United! *THAT* is how football should be played, on the ground, keep it simple and *NO* hoofing and hoping! The full report can be read here, if you really must!

Monday, September 30th, 2002
West Bromwich Albion v Blackburn Rovers 0-2

Duff, who had been absent injured with a damaged thigh muscle, returned to the Blackburn side to help steer them to an important victory. It lifts them into the top half of the table. West Bromwich had only themselves to blame for the penalty, which was awarded when Duff's shirt was tugged by a defender. Yorke joyfully scored from the penalty in the 72nd minute before limping off with a recurrence of a hamstring strain. Duff added insult to injury by scoring in the 76th minute when he took advantage of the Baggies' desire to get back on terms by turning their defence with a dip of his shoulders to score.

	

      FA Barclaycard Premiership  
 
  

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

 1 Arsenal   8   6  2  0 21-8  13  20 
 2 Liverpool 8   5  3  0 18-8  10  18
 3 M'brough  8   4  2  2 11-5   6  14
 4 Man Utd   8   4  2  2  9-6   3  14  
 5 Chelsea   8   3  4  1 15-11  4  13
 6 Spurs     8   4  1  3 11-12 -1  13 
 7 Leeds     8   4  0  4 11-9   2  12 
 8 Blackburn 8   3  3  2 10-8   2  12
 9 Fulham    7   3  2  2 12-8   4  11 
10 Everton   8   3  2  3 11-11  0  11 
11 Newcastle 7   3  1  3 10-8   2  10 
12 A. Villa  8   3  0  5  6-9  -3   9
13 West Brom 8   3  0  5  6-13 -7   9
14 B'mingham 8   2  2  4  8-10 -2   8 
15 Man City  8   2  2  4  7-12 -5   8
16 S'derland 8   2  2  4  3-10 -7   8
17 Bolton    7   2  1  4  8-12 -4   7
18 So'pton   8   1  4  3  4-8  -4   7 
19 Charlton  8   2  1  5  7-13 -6   7
20 West Ham  7   1  2  4  7-14 -6   5

Cheers, Brian

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