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Match Reports
Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2002-2003 - Match 9

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

Saturday, October 5th, 2002
Middlesbrough v Bolton Wanderers 2-0

The Teessiders are firmly cemented into 3rd place in the table following this 2-0 win. Ehiogu put them ahead in the 23rd minute when Geremi floated a corner in from the left for Ehiogu to head home. Geremi added a second goal in the 68th minute when Boksic sprang the Bolton offside trap and sent Geremi away to score easily. Bolton had their chances to score but squandered them all, leaving manager Sam Allardyce to complain about his side's inability to force draws like they did last season.

Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion 2-1

The Baggies were the better side for much of the match and were incensed they lost to a highly controversial goal that was Newcastle's half-time equaliser. Balis had put them ahead in the 27th minute when Dabizas and Robert left it to each other to clear a ball and the Greek international fired the ball home. Newcastle looked to be toiling until the referee decided that a West Bromwich defender, had passed the ball back to his own 'keeper, ignoring a shirt pulling incident on West Brom's Hughes in the same attack. Shearer, of course, made no mistake in scoring from the free-kick in the 45th minute. But there was no argument about the gaol that Shearer scored in the 69th minute when Solano headed down a Speed cross for Shearer to score.

Southampton v Manchester City 2-0

Ormerod fired the Saints ahead after only 2 minutes in what became a battle by veteran 'keeper Schmeichel to prevent Ormerod from scoring a second successive hat-trick following one in midweek against Tranmere Rovers. From the Saints first attack, Ormerod headed home a cross that left Schmeichel speechless. Marsden was booked for a bump into Schmeichel, which infuriated Gordon Strachan on the touchline. Ormerod added a second goal in the 43rd minute when he the Mancunians had an attack broken up just before the break. The striker beat their defenders in the race for the ball and was able to score easily. But in the second half, Ormerod twisted his ankle and was replaced by Pahars, who was later sent off. Having already been booked for a foul, the referee had no option but to dismiss Pahars when he belly flopped in the penalty area near the end. City were very poor.

West Ham United v Birmingham City 1-2

John put the Blues ahead in the 2nd minute when he cut inside and beat Breen to the ball before firing it home behind 'keeper James at the near post. Cole equalised for West Ham in the 17th minute when he latched on to a lovely pass from Di Canio and steered the ball inside the far post. John scored the winner in the 43rd minute when Lazaridis crossed from the left, catching Repka in two minds, and John brought the ball under control, turned in one swift moment and belted the ball into the bottom right hand corner. Steve Bruce paid tribute to the performance of his player Aliou Cisse, who lost nine members of his family in last week's floods in Senegal.

Sunday, October 6th, 2002
Arsenal v Sunderland 3-1

Two more records were removed from the books by this victory. Arsenal have now gone 30 games without being beaten in the Premiership, overtaking Manchester United's 29. The Gunners have also won 12 consecutive matches at home, another record. Kanu's first goal in the 3rd minute arose out of a corner taken by Henry, leaving Kanu with the relatively simple chance to stab the ball home. Kanu's second goal after 9 minutes came when Cole provided the cross from which he scored. Sorensen, the Sunderland goalkeeper, was carried off just before half-time and was replaced by Myrhe. Vieira put the game beyond all possible doubt in the 45th minute when Wiltord took a free kick which Myrhe blocked only for Vieira to head home. Craddock scored a consolation goal for Sunderland in the 84th minute when the Arsenal defence failed to cut out a Kilbane cross and Craddock headed home.

This proved to be Peter Reid's last game in charge as he was sacked on Monday. His backroom staff were also sacked. Former Gooners David O'Leary and George Graham were instantly linked with the post but another former Gooner, Niall Quinn, may also be a contender if he is successful whilst acting as a caretaker coach.

Aston Villa v Leeds United 0-0

This was the sixth game out of nine Premiership fixtures that Aston Villa had failed to score a goal. Not unnaturally, their supporters are becoming restless about their apparent lack of ambition. Aston Villa dominated large spells of the game but were unable to convert the chances that came their way. Leeds were undoubtedly tired after their midweek exertions.

Blackburn Rovers v Tottenham Hotspur 1-2

Full report available here

Fulham v Charlton Athletic 1-0

This was a dull affair, enlivened only by Sava's celebrations after scoring in the 36th minute. Donning a mask, he pretended to be Zorro. His goal came when Malbranque's pacy shot was parried by Kiely and Sava forced the rebound home. Charlton look certs for relegation on this form as they have only an equally poor West Ham side beneath them.

Liverpool v Chelsea 1-0

Like another predator called Greaves, teams ignore Owen at their peril. His 90th minute strike came after he had generally been kept very quiet by a Chelsea defence that had been stung by the criticism after their defeat by Viking Stavanger. They must have felt confident they had done a good job as the seconds ticked away and Owen was still goal-less. But with the referee looking at his watch, Gerrard sent Diao away. Diao skipped past Petit and pushed the ball for Heskey to chase. The Chelsea defence hesitated, anticipating an offside decision that never came. Cudicini pushed Heskey's shot on to a post and before anyone else could react, Owen had whipped the ball into the net. Chelsea collapsed in sheer exhaustion and disbelief as Liverpool celebrated a vital win. Chances had been few but Hyypia had almost scored from a thunderbolt from a thunderous half-volley in the first half. Chelsea were the better side in the first half but didn't really function as a team until Hasselbaink was called off to be replaced by Gudjohnsen.

Monday, October 7th, 2002
Manchester United v Everton 3-0

With four minutes left, Everton must have been thinking in terms of a 0-0 draw. But Scholes struck in the 86th minute when Manchester United caught Everton hopelessly stranded and the makeshift striker fired a low shot past Wright. Worse was to follow when Weir clearly tugged Solksjaer and was dismissed. The Dutch striker van Nistlerooy converted the penalty in the 90th minute. There was still time for Scholes to add a third goal in the added time following the 90th minute when he fired home a 25-yard shot.

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

 1 Arsenal   9   7  2  0 24-9  15  23 
 2 Liverpool 9   6  3  0 19-8  11  21
 3 M'brough  9   5  2  2 13-5   8  17
 4 Man Utd   9   5  2  2 12-6   6  17 
 5 Spurs     9   5  1  3 13-13  0  16 
 6 Fulham    8   4  2  2 13-8   5  14 
 7 Chelsea   9   3  4  2 15-12  3  13
 8 Newcastle 8   4  1  3 12-9   3  13
 9 Leeds     9   4  1  4 11-9   2  13 
10 Blackburn 9   3  3  3 11-10  1  12
11 B'mingham 9   3  2  4 10-11 -1  11
12 Everton   9   3  2  4 11-14 -3  11 
13 So'pton   9   2  4  3  6-8  -2  10
14 A. Villa  9   3  1  5  6-9  -3  10
15 West Brom 9   3  0  6  7-15 -8   9
16 Man City  9   2  2  5  7-14 -7   8
17 S'derland 9   2  2  5  4-13 -9   8
18 Bolton    8   2  1  5  8-14 -6   7
19 Charlton  9   2  1  6  7-14 -7   7
20 West Ham  8   1  2  5  8-16 -8   5

Cheers, Brian

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