19 AUGUST 2002

Newcaatle (0) 4 (Lua-Lua 61, 72, Shearer 76, Solano 86)
West Ham (0) 0

A good start to the season for one of the title hopefuls as Newcastle beat West
Ham 4-0 at St James Park. The hosts had won a number of corners after half time
and in general had failed to create anything from them, however when Nol Solano
found the head of Jermaine Jenas at the near post, his flick on was ideal for
Lomana Lua-Lua, who made no mistake to side-foot firmly into the net at the far
post. The former Colchester man then added a second as ball was played wide to
Hugo Viana on the left flank and his fine near post cross was met by the head of
Lua-Lua, and although James half stopped his scorching header, he could only
help it onto the bar and in via a bounce on the goal-line. Four minutes later,
it was three for Newcastle and again Lua-Lua was involved. He held the ball up
on the edge of the area and slotted in Solano. Rather than shoot from a tight
angle, he cut the ball back for Alan Shearer who made no mistake in finding the
bottom corner. It was four when Shearer broke down the inside left channel to
fire the ball across goal and allow Solano to score with a tap in at the far

18 AUGUST 2002

Aston Villa (0) 0
Liverpool (0) 1 (Riise 47)
MISSED PEN : Owen (Liverpool) 79

A winning start for Liverpool, although it could have been better had it not
been for an excellent display from home keeper Peter Enckleman. The winning goal
came just after half time when Danny Murphy found John Arne Riise on the left
and he took advantage of a slip from Mark Delaney to fire inside the near post.
Michael Owen should have doubled the lead after Steven Gerrard was fouled in the
area by Gareth Barry, however his spot kick thudded against the legs of

Arsenal (2) 2 (Henry 9, Wiltord 23)
Birmingham (0) 0
RED CARD: Cisse (Birmingham) 74

The Champions are off to a winning start, although had it not been for poor
finishing, fine goalkeeping and last ditch defending, Birmingham could have been
absolutely demolished. Thierry Henry began proceedings when his 25 yard free
kick should have been saved, but keeper Nico Vaesen succeeded only in pushing
the ball into the bottom corner. Sylvain Wiltord doubled the lead, latching onto
a flick by Dennis Bergkamp on the half way line, beat three men and curled a
beauty into the far corner. The Gunners couldn't add to the lead though although
two late goal-line clearances by Darren Purse helped keep the score down.
Birmingham were reduced to ten man when Aliou Cisse was shown a second yellow
card for fouling Ashley Cole, although replays showed that Cole appeared to
catch the Senegalese captain's knee rather than any intent from the midfielder.

17 AUGUST 2002

Blackburn (0) 0
Sunderland (0) 0

No goals and a creditable draw for under fire Sunderland boss Peter Reid at
Blackburn. Indeed they had the better of the first half with Claudio Reyna
shaving the post with a free kick. Rovers had the better of the second half with
Damien Duff excellent and forcing a good save from Sorensen after a fine run.

Charlton (2) 2 (Konchesky 7, Rufus 33)
Chelsea (1) 3 (Zola 43, Cole 84, Lampard 90)
RED CARD : Konchesky (Charlton) 26

Chelsea came from two goals down to snatch a stoppage time victory against a ten
man Charlton team. Paul Konchesky gave the hosts an early lead, firing home
after a fine ball from Jensen, however twenty minutes later, the scorer was sent
off when he elbowed Enrique de Lucas in an aerial challenge.  Originally it made
little difference as Richard Rufus then doubled the lead, heading in at the far
post from Graham Stuart's corner, although Chelsea claimed that the referee had
blown for a foul as the ball was crossed. Just before half time, Gianfranco Zola
gave Chelsea hope after excellent work down the right by Zenden. With six
minutes left, young sub Carlton Cole levelled matters, finding the bottom corner
from the edge of the area after a mazy run. The winner came very late when Frank
Lampard's shot home after a ricochet had put him clear on goal.

Everton (1) 2 (Pembridge 39, Radzinski 80)
Tottenham (0) 2 (Etherington 63, Ferdinand 74)

Topsy-turvy encounter at Goodison with both clubs taking, and losing, the lead.
Mark Pembridge began the fun, crashing hit shot home after being found by
16-year old Wayne Rooney, however Matthew Etherington equalised, drilling his
shot in off the bar after debutant Jamie Redknapp set him up. Veteran Les
Ferdinand then gave Spurs the lead with a long range shot which another
debutant, Richard Wright, allowed to sneak under him and into the bottom corner.
Parity was restored when Thomasz Radzinski cut in from the right and fired
inside the near post.

Fulham (3) 4 (Saha (pen) 12, Legwinski 33, 79, Marlet (pen) 38)
Bolton (1) 1 (Ricketts (pen) 4)

A game of three penalties as Fulham demolished Bolton after the visitors had
taken the lead with the first goal of the Premiership season for the second
campaign in a row. Micheal Ricketts had the honour of the opening goal from the
penalty spot after Djorkaeff was fouled by Goma, however with eight minutes
Louis Saha equalised, also from the spot, after he'd been clattered by Bergsson.
Slyvain Legwinski then put Fulham ahead at the near post, courtesy of a lovely
flick by Sean Davis, after some lovely passing interplay by Fulham, and then
came another penalty as Boa Morte was fouled by Mendy, allowing Steve Marlet to
make it 3-1. Legwinski added his second and Fulham's fourth late on when he
fired into the corner from the edge of the area after Bolton failed to clear.

Leeds United (2) 3 (Barmby 15, Viduka 45, Keane 81)
Manchester City (0) 0

New Leeds boss Terry Venables got off to a winning start, although in truth 3-0
was a little flattering against a Man City side that hit the woodwork twice.
Venables' first signing, Nick Barmby, opened the scoring when his near post run
was spotted by Lee Bowyer and the former Liverpool midfielder flicked home ahead
of Carlo Nash. On half time, Mark Viduka doubled the lead, latching onto Barmby'
s through ball to slot home unerringly. With time running out and City pressing
forward, sub Robbie Keane added a delightful third, chipping in from the edge of
the box after Alan Smith had nodded on. Keane missed a sitter minutes later, but
it didn't matter ultimately.

Manchester United (0) 1 (Solskjaer 77)
West Brom (0) 0
RED CARD : McInnes (West Brom) 65

West Brom held Manchester United at Old Trafford for 80% of the game but
ultimately lost having been reduced to ten men. The dismissal came when Derek
McInnes was red carded for an awful two-footed challenge on Nicky Butt.  It was
the cue for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to grab the glory thirteen minutes from time as
he fired home from six yards after being found by Paul Scholes

Southampton (0) 0
Middlesbrough (0) 0

No goals at St Marys although Saints came close when Schwarzer saved well from
James Beattie's header in the first half. Otherwise nothing to raise the
excitement levels to a dangerous high.

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor SoccerAge UK