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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2003-2004 - Match 16

Unfortunately, Brian Judson is no longer able to provide his Premiership reviews. I shall try and maintain the service, and in the coming days, at least put up the results for the recent blank weeks, so that you can monitor the progress of the greatest league in the world!

Saturday 13th December, 2003
Man Utd 3 1 Man City

Paul Scholes made a dramatic return for the home side, scoring two headed goals, as Kevin Keegan lost a League Derby match for the first time in his managerial career. The first goal came as early as the 7th minute, as Scholes rose to meet a Gary neville cross. This feat was to be repeated in the 73rd minute, but Van Nistelrooy had already put Man Utd two up before half time in typical fashion. Shaun Wright-Phillips did give the away support some hope when he nut-megged Scholes before hitting a low shot past Howard, but Scholes was to have the last laugh. This win put Man Utd on top for one day, before Arsenal took over on Sunday.

Chelsea 1 2 Bolton

The surprise result of the day, if not the season so far, meant that Chelsea surrendered top spot to Manchester United, and elevated Bolton manager Sam Allardyce to God-like status in the eyes of the travelling support. Of course, despite a 12 match unbeaten run, qualification fo the Champions League knock-out stages, and a League Cup quarter-final to look forward to, the Chelsea fans are already baying for Ranieri's head. It was John Terry with his head in his hands in the last minute, as he put into his own net from substitute Pedersen's low cross, to give Bolton a historic win. Crespo had given the home a 22nd minute lead, which had been levelled by a powerful N'Gotty header. Bolton are in the top half, and are crowing - justifiably!

Leicester 0 2 Birmingham

It is a mystery to many fans that Mike Riley will be our representative at Euro 2004. He certainly riled those home fans in the Walkers Stadium this Saturday, as he sent off Matt Elliott for elbowing David Dunn, although my view on the challenge is that it was made legitimately, but unfortunately with a leading elbow. Within two minutes Morrison put the visitors into the lead. Ian Walker was sent off after an hour, as he instinctively dived to the ground to retrieve a ball that bounced back off Ben Thatcher. Unfortunately for Walker, he was outside the area, and technically, had to go for deliberate handball. Birmingham took advantage again through Forsell header, to bring a miserable run of 5 games without a win to an end. Micky Adams was shown a red card for his vigorous questionning of the referee's decisions to complete a miserable day for Leicester.

Liverpool 1 2 S'hampton

Another set of fans to dominate the phone-ins were from the red half of Liverpool, who lost at home for the fourth time in the Premiership. Whilst they are of course missing key players such as Owen, Kewell, and Henchoz, to name but three, it is unprecedented in the modern age to see the Scousers submit to what they once would have perceived as fodder. Brett Ormerod fulfilled a dream by scoring here after just 72 seconds, racing away with a long ball, which caught out the Liverpool defence, before slotting home beneath Kirkland. The visitors made it 2-0 in the 64th minute as centre-back Michael Svensson headed home a Dodd corner. Heskey got one back with 15 minutes to go, but the fight-back by the Reds was too little, too late, as Saints overtook them in the top half of the table.

M'brough 0 0 Charlton

Middlesbrough kept their 7th consecutive Premiership clean sheet to hold their position in mid-table, but there was little to excite the fans, except for an incident where Danny Mills allegedly stamped on Di Canio, unseen by novice Premiership referee Howard Webb. Charlton keeper Dean Kiely made a couple of good saves. One from a Maccarone volley, the other from a harshly awarded free kick, taken by Mendieta in the closing stages. Spurs must try to pierce the impenetrable barrier marshalled by Southgate and Riggott in this week's Carling Cup quarter-final.

Newcastle 4 0 Tottenham

Read the full report here.

P'tsmouth 1 2 Everton

By the time the week-end was over, Portsmouth had slumped into the bottom three, after such a good start to the season. Harry Redknapp made no bones about the fact that his side faces a relegation battle, but so do most of the teams in the bottom half of the Premiership. The main talking point of this game was the "sending off that wasn't", as Wayne Rooney started to walk off the pitch anticipating Uriah Rennie's red card for a push on Steve Stone. To the dismay of most people present it was only yellow, and Rooney was reprieved! The young striker had already given Everton a first half lead before the break, after Roberts had scored an early goal for Pompey, that was equalised by Carsley.

Sunday 14th December, 2003 A. Villa 3 2 Wolves

Villa manager David O'Leary was said to be fuming despite this welcome win over near-neighbours Wolves, who look likely to occupy the dreaded bottom place this Christmas. Over the 90 minutes, Wolves had more possession and more shots on target than the hosts, but Villa went two up through Angel's goals in the 21st and 24th minutes. Angel lost possession ten minutes later and Cameron raced away to provide a chance for Alex Rae to score his sixth goal of the season, four of which have been in the league. It was not enough though, as Barry restored the two goal lead shortly after the interval. Mark Kennedy gave Wolves a fighting chance with ten minutes left, being sent awy by Miller, slotting the ball under Villa keeper, Postma.

Arsenal 1 0 Blackburn

Denis Bergkamp's 11th minute goal was enough to put the Gooners back on top of the table, as Toure set him up with a good pass into the area and the Dutchman stabbed the ball home. World footballer of the year contender, Thierry Henry was not at his very best in this game, as a number of chances went begging for the home side. Rumours that Chelsea have bid some 40 million for the services of the French striker have been denied, and allegedly turned down anyway by Arsenal. Babbel did have the ball in the net for Blackburn, but referee Andy D'Urso ruled that he had unfairly challenged Toure to reach the ball. Zinedine Zidane took the World Footballer title, with Henry and Ronaldo of Real Madrid behind him.

Leeds 3 2 Fulham

For the non-partisan viewer of this game, particularly in the second half, this was a cracker, but the Leeds support must have experienced all the emotions possible, whilst the weak away following must have thought their side had done enough to secure a share of the points. Michael Duberry was the unlikely scorer of the first goal, 4 minutes before the break, and he didn't know much about it, as the ball bounced in off his knees, after Van Der Sar parried Harte's free kick. Caretaker manager, Eddie Gray had shown faith in a predominantly British side, but it was the Australian, Mark Viduka who scored a curling shot to increase the lead after 46 minutes. Leeds were still celebrating when Louis Saha truned Matteo, and put a long low shot beneath Robinson. Worse was to come in the 86th minute, as Saha did it again, with a left foot shot that was close to Robinson, who got a touch, but could not stop a goal. In a tense finale, Dominic Matteo popped up to head home another Harte free kick to give Leeds the points that puts them in touch with the pack of teams above them.

	
      FA Barclaycard Premiership  

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

 1 Arsenal   16 11  5  0 30-11  19  38
 2 Man Utd   16 12  1  3 32-10  22  37
 3 Chelsea   16 11  3  2 30-12  18  36
 4 Fulham    16  7  4  5 28-22   6  25 
 5 Newcastle 16  6  6  4 25-20   5  24
 6 So'pton   16  6  5  5 15-12   3  23
 7 Charlton  16  6  5  5 22-20   2  23
 8 B'mingham 16  6  5  5 14-18  -4  23
 9 Liverpool 16  6  4  6 23-18   5  22
10 Bolton    16  5  6  5 16-22  -6  21
11 M'brough  16  5  5  6 12-15  -3  20
12 Man City  16  5  4  7 23-22   1  19
13 Spurs     16  5  3  8 18-24  -6  18 
14 Blackburn 16  5  2  9 23-25  -2  17
15 Everton   16  4  5  7 17-20  -3  17 
16 A. Villa  16  4  5  7 14-23  -9  17
17 L'cester  16  4  4  8 23-25  -2  16
18 P'tsmouth 16  4  4  8 18-22  -4  16 
19 Leeds     16  4  3  9 16-36 -20  15
20 Wolves    16  2  5  9 13-35 -22  11

This week last year

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