16 DECEMBER 2002

Bolton (0) 0
Leeds (2) 3 (Mills 11, Fowler 15, Wilcox 75)
MISSED PEN: Djorkaeff (Bolton) 25

Leeds eased their relegation concerns with a comfortable win over fellow
strugglers Bolton at the Reebok. Bolton began well but were caught by two very
different Leeds strikes within a four minute spell. The unlikely breaker of the
deadlock was right-back Danny Mills who drove forward, played a one-two with
Harry Kewell and cracked an unstoppable drive in off the crossbar from 25 yards.
The lead was doubled courtesy of some very poor defending from the hosts as
Bruno N'Gotty somehow allowed a poor Ian Harte cross to sail over him and clip
against the bar. Kewell was first to the rebound but his header was saved, only
for Robbie Fowler to tap in the loose ball. Bolton then blew a golden chance to
halve the deficit when Youri Djorkaeff's penalty was brilliantly tipped onto the
post by Paul Robinson, Leeds feeling that justice was done as Harte appeared to
fall on the ball and handle it under pressure from the Frenchman. Bolton had the
better of the second half possession and almost pulled one back when Stig
Tofting shaved the bar with an effort, however with time ebbing away, Leeds
clinched the points when Jason Wilcox cut inside from the left and found the top
corner superbly from long range.

15 DECEMBER 2002

Spurs (1) 1 (Ziege 11)
Arsenal (1) 1 (Pires (pen) 45)

Arsenal move a point clear at the top of the table after coming from behind to
salvage a point in the North London derby. Spurs took an early lead through
Christian Ziege for the second week in a row as the German curled home a
superb 30-yard free kick, however the Gunners levelled matters on half time
when Robert Pires converted a penalty after Thierry Henry had been unended
by the out-rushing home keeper Kasey Keller.

Fulham (0) 0
Birmingham (1) 1 (Kirovski 7)
RED CARD: Purse (Birmingham) 70

Birmingham eased their relegation fears with a fine win at Fulham, despite being
reduced to ten men. American debutant Jovan Kirovski netted the winner early
on, curling an effort into the corner after a one-two with Clinton Morrison.
Birmingham held on despite the dismissal of Darren Purse for a high tackle on
Luis Boa Morte, his second bookable offence.

Sunderland (1) 2 (McCann 36, Proctor 86)
Liverpool (0) 1 (Baros 68)
MISSED PEN: McCann (Sunderland) 61

Pure drama at the Stadium of Light as Sunderland helped their cause at the
bottom whilst putting a severe dent in Liverpool's title aspirations. Gavin
McCann opened the scoring when he played a one-two with Tore Andre Flo
before clipping the ball delightfully over Chris Kirkland from a tight angle, and he
should have doubled the lead from the penalty spot after Jamie Carragher was
judged to have handled, replays showing that the ball struck him in the face,
however his kick was well saved. Milan Baros levelled shortly afterwards for the
visitors, collecting a through ball from Carragher before slotting in, however
with time running out, Michael Proctor snatched a vital winner for the goal-shy
Mackems, finding the bottom corner after his own mis-kick seemed to wrong-foot
the Liverpool defence.

14 DECEMBER 2002

Aston Villa (1) 2 (Vassell 16, Hitzelsperger 90)
West Brom (1) 1 (Koumas 29)
RED CARD: Staunton (Villa) 71

A late strike from Thomas Hitzelsperger decided the Birmingham derby after
Aston Villa played the final twenty minutes with ten men. The hosts took the
lead when Darius Vassell slotted in after Hitzelsperger's free kick was blocked,
however West Brom levelled matters when Jason Koumas found the net from
20 yards. The advantage seemed to be with the visitors after Steve Staunton
was sent off for an elbow into the chest of Danny Dichio, however with
stoppage time approaching, Hitzelsperger unleashed a dipping effort from long
range which gave Russell Hoult no chance.

Charlton (0) 2 (Euell (pen) 51, Jensen 63)
Man City (0) 2 (Foe 73, 87)

A terrific second half at the Valley in which Charlton took, and then lost, a
two goal lead against Man City. Jason Euell put the Addicks ahead with a penalty
after Kevin Horlock had fouled Kevin Lisbie, and the lead was doubled when Claus
Jensen shot home from the edge of the area after Lisbie had set him up. Enter
Marc Vivien Foe who took his tally to three goals in two games with a brace in
the final seventeen minutes. His first came when converted Ali Benarbia's
deflected cross at the far post and he equalised when he slotted in Eyal
Berkovic's off target shot.

Everton (2) 2 (Carsley 12, Rooney 25)
Blackburn (1) 1 (Cole 6)
RED CARD: Neill (Blackburn) 77

Wayne Rooney grabbed the winner as Everton beat Blackburn to move ahead of
Liverpool, at least for 24 hours. It began badly for the hosts when Andy Cole
put Rovers ahead, nodding home David Thompson's cross as Richard Wright
came off his line, however within six minutes, Lee Carsley netted against his
former club, a simple tap in after Rooney had hit the post. 17-year old Rooney
then scored the winner when he headed on Wright's long kick, beat the defence
for pace and fired past Brad Friedel. Blackburn's misery was complete when
Lucas Neill was sent off for a foul on Tony Hibbert, his second bookable offence.

Middlesbrough (1) 1 (Geremi 32)
Chelsea (1) 1 (Terry 42)

Chelsea lost the chance to go top after failing to win at the Riverside against
Middlesbrough. Indeed they had to come from behind after Geremi put the hosts
ahead with a fine free kick, curled in from 25 yards. John Terry earned a point
for the away side just before half time when he stabbed the ball in at the far
post after Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's corner wasn't cleared.

Southampton (0) 1 (Marsden 52)
Newcastle (0) 1 (Bellamy 50)

Honours even also at St Mary's as Southampton and Newcastle shared the spoils
in a pulsating encounter. Craig Bellamy put the visitors ahead just after half
time, curling a delightful shot past Paul Jones from the edge of the area,
however within two minutes Chris Marsden levelled things up, sliding in at the
far post to convert a cross from Fabrice Fernandes.

Manchester United (2) 3 (Solskjaer 15, Veron 17, Schemmel (og) 61)
West Ham (0) 0

Man United go level on points with Arsenal after a comfortable victory over
bottom club West Ham. The game was effectively over after seventeen minutes
when the hosts scored twice in three minutes. Firstly, Gary Neville broke free
down the right and although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's near post header was on
target, it clipped off the outstretched arm of Thomas Repka to wrong-foot
David James in the Hammers goal. No such luck about the second goal though
as Juan Veron curled a superb 25-yard free kick over the wall and into the far
corner. The third was almost a replica of the opener as Neville again found
space to cross and although Ruud van Nistelrooy missed his kick at the near
post, Sebastian Schemmel could not get out of the way and diverted the ball
into his own net.

Gary Dowden - Joint Admin Topica Premier-L list
Leeds United and Scotland and proud of it