29 DECEMBER 2002

Newcastle (1) 2 (Speed 17, Shearer 58)
Spurs (0) 1 (Dabizas (og) 73)

Newcastle kept in touch with the leading pack with a hard fought victory over an
impressive looking Spurs side. Gary Speed opened the scoring, lashing a shot low
into the net after a Laurent Robert throw was only half cleared. The lead was
doubled in the second half when Craig Bellamy's far post cross was nodded in by
Alan Shearer, however the hosts endured a nervy end to the game after Nikos
Dabizas netted one of the best own goals of this, or any other, season. His
diving header from a Teddy Sheringham cross tore past his own keeper and
thumped into the back of the net.

Arsenal (0) 1 (Henry (pen) 80)
Liverpool (0) 1 (Murphy (pen) 70)

A tale of two penalties at Highbury as Arsenal extend their lead at the top to
five points after a 1-1 draw with Liverpool. The visitors took the lead when
Steven Gerrard's fine pass sent Milan Baros clear and as the Czech striker burst
into the area, he was clattered by Sol Campbell for a clear spot kick, converted
well into the top corner by Danny Murphy. The Gunners battled back and were
level after Francis Jeffers went down in the area after being held by John Arne
Riise, although in truth contact was minimal. Thierry Henry sent Chris Kirkland
the wrong way from the spot. Gilberto almost won it in stoppage time, but side
footed wide after Ashley Cole gave him a golden opportunity.

I'd like to wish everyone a happy new year. Hopefully 2003 will bring everything
you desire.

28 DECEMBER 2002

Aston Villa (1) 1 (Dublin 11)
Middlesbrough (0) 0
RED CARD: Wilson (Middlesbrough) 26

Villa eased their relegation concerns with a narrow win over Middlesbrough,
whose away form continues to be light years away from their Riverside results.
The only goal came early when Dion Dublin looped an effort in at the near post
from Juan Pablo Angel's cross, although the final touch may have come off Boro
midfielder Mark Wilson. It was a bad day all round for Wilson who was red carded
later in the half for an innocuous tug of J.Lloyd Samuel's shirt, his second
bookable offence.

Blackburn (1) 2 (Duff 4, Cole 78)
West Ham (1) 2 (Taylor (og) 24, Defoe 86)

Bottom club West Ham twice came from behind at Blackburn to earn a valuable
point. Damien Duff gave the hosts an early lead, his long range effort creeping
through the hands of England keeper David James, however the Hammers levelled
matters when Steve Lomas struck an effort from the edge of the box which was
diverted over his own keeper by Martin Taylor. Andy Cole restored the home side'
s lead when a pass from Tugay sent him clear and he rounded James before
slotting in from a tight angle, but yet again the Londoners battled back and
gained a point when Ian Pearce headed a John Moncur cross across goal for
Jermaine Defoe to prod home.

Charlton (1) 1 (Lisbie 6)
West Brom (0) 0

Charlton's ended a run of draws with a slender win against struggling West Brom.
Kevin Lisbie netted the only goal, heading home a corner by Claus Jensen,
however the visitors will feel that they deserved at least a point from the

Everton (0) 0
Bolton (0) 0

No goals at Goodison as Everton dominated against relegation threatened Bolton
but couldn't put the ball into the net. Wayne Rooney came closest for the home
side, crashing a shot against the bar, however in a rare attack at the other
end, Jay-Jay Okocha did similar for Bolton.

Fulham (0) 0
Man City (0) 1 (Anelka 84)

Fulham's dismal run continues after a late Nik Anelka goal gave Man City all
three points at Loftus Road. The Frenchman, who earlier missed a sitter from
close range, fired across goal into the bottom corner after being sent clear by
Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Leeds (2) 2 (Woodgate 30, Milner 45)
Chelsea (0) 0

Chelsea's twelve game unbeaten run came to an abrupt end at Elland Road as
Leeds made it three wins in four games. Jonathon Woodgate was the unlikely
first goalscorer as he powerfully headed a Jason Wilcox cross into the top corner
for his first goal in over two years. James Milner added the second just ten
minutes after replacing the injured Harry Kewell. The 16-year old collected
a touch from Eirik Bakke on the edge of the area, skipped past Marcel Desailly
and then curled a beauty into the far corner for his second goal in three days.

Man United (1) 2 (Forlan 37, Beckham 73)
Birmingham (0) 0

Normal service resumed for Man United as they shrugged off back-to-back
defeats to see off Birmingham at Old Trafford. United missed a number of
chances throughout but took the lead when Diego Forlan smashed home a
David Beckham header after Mikael Silvestre had crossed from the left.
Beckham added the second with a glorious 25-yard chip after Juan Veron's
volleyed through ball sent the England captain clear.

Southampton (0) 2 (Beattie 73, Tessem 90)
Sunderland (0) 1 (Flo 77)

Southampton left it late - very late - to see off struggling Sunderland as Jo
Tessem netted a winner in the final seconds of stoppage time. Earlier, James
Beattie gave the hosts the lead, heading home a Chris Marsden cross, however
Tore Andre Flo equalised when he did similar from a Kevin Kilbane corner.
Tessem then struck late when he scrambled in a long throw from Rory Delap,
although a defender on the line almost managed to clear the effort away.

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