12 JANUARY 2003

Birmingham (0) 0
Arsenal (2) 4 (Henry 6, 70, Pires 29, Lauren 67)

Champions Arsenal maintained their five point lead at the top of the table with
a crushing win at Birmingham. In a game delayed by 25 minutes due to a
floodlight failure, the Gunners wasted no time when the game got underway and
were ahead after six minutes when Thierry Henry latched onto a Dennis
Bergkamp pass to round Nico Vaesen and slot home. Fellow Frenchman Robert
Pires then doubled the lead, lashing in from the edge of the area after an error
by Michael Johnson. The margin was doubled again with two more goals in
three minutes in the second half, firstly when Lauren looped in a header from
a Bergkamp cross and then Henry netted his second after good work from Pires
and Sylvain Wiltord.

Spurs (1) 4 (Poyet 13, Keane 50, 68, 83)
Everton (1) 3 (McBride 10, Watson 58, Radzinski 74)

Robbie Keane netted a second half hat trick as Spurs beat Everton in a pulsating
seven goal thriller at White Hart Lane. Everton began brightly and took the lead
through debutant Brian McBride, the American international latching onto a
through ball from Scot Gemmill to slot past compatriot Kasey Keller. The lead
lasted just three minutes as the visitors only half cleared a corner, the ball
was nodded back into the area by Simon Davies and helped on and into the
corner via the head of Gus Poyet. Early in the second half, Keane struck his first
as he latched onto a through ball, rounded Espen Baardsen and slotted coolly
into the net, however within eight minutes, Everton levelled matters when Steffan
Iversen made a hash of clearing a corner, allowing Steve Watson to sweep the
ball home. Keane then made it 3-2, firing into the bottom corner from long range
after collecting a pass from Darren Anderton, before the visitors equalised
again, Li Tie and Gemmill combining to allow Tomasz Radzinski to score inside
the near post. Either side could have won it, but Spurs took their chance when
Alan Stubbs misjudged a header from Gary Doherty and allowed Keane to sneak
in, beat a defender and clip the ball over the keeper.

11 JANUARY 2003

Bolton (0) 0
Fulham (0) 0

Goalless at the Reebok as the two clubs immediately outside of the relegation
zone met. Fulham will feel hard done by as Facundo Sava had a goal ruled out for
a marginal offside decision, however Bolton created the better chances and were
unlucky when Ricardo Gardner broke clear only for his weak effort to be cleared
off the line by Sylvain Legwinski.

Chelsea (3) 4 (Hasselbaink (pen) 3, Gallas 11, Gudjohnsen 34, Le Saux 54)
Charlton (1) 1 (Euell (pen) 42)

Chelsea kept the pressure on the top two clubs with a comprehensive win over
Charlton on a pitch which resembled the beach at Weston-Super-Mare. The hosts
were two up early on after Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink calmly converted a penalty
after he'd been pushed at the far post by Chris Powell, and then Jesper
Gronkjaer's cross was deflected into the path of William Gallas who fired a shot
across goal and into the corner. Gronkjaer was also the provider for the third,
his cross dispatched by Eidur Gudjohnsen. Charlton pulled one back from the spot
after Marcel Desailly pulled the shirt of Kevin Lisbie, Jason Euell converting,
however early in the second half, Graeme Le Saux speculative long range effort
was fumbled by Dean Kiely, the ball bobbling apologetically over the line.

Liverpool (1) 1 (Owen 38)
Aston Villa (0) 1 (Dublin (pen) 49)

Eleven league games without a win for Liverpool now after they lost the lead at
home to Aston Villa. Michael Owen netted his first league goal in two months,
crashing the ball home after El Hadji Diouf's cross was chested into his path by
Olaf Mellberg, however early in the second half, Gareth Barry was tripped in the
area by Sami Hyypia, leaving Dion Dublin to slot home from the spot.

Man City (1) 2 (Goater 29, Jensen 50)
Leeds (0) 1 (Kewell 90)

A goal of the season contender saw Manchester City condemn Leeds to their first
defeat in a month at Maine Road. Shaun Goater opened proceedings, firing into
the corner having been sent clear by Eyal Berkovic, however it was the second
goal which caught the eye. Nik Anelka did well down the right and hammering in
a cross towards Niclas Jensen on the far edge of the area. The Dane caught it
perfectly, first time on the volley, and it tore past Paul Robinson into the far
corner. Harry Kewell pulled a late goal back, shooting home after Jonathon
Woodgate had set him up, but it was too little, too late.

Middlesbrough (0) 2 (Whelan 73, Maccarone (pen) 82)
Southampton (1) 2 (Beattie 40, 60)

Middlesbrough maintained their unbeaten home record after coming from two
down to draw against Southampton. The visitors took the lead when James
Beattie continued his superb scoring run with a fine volley from Chris Marsden's
cross, and he doubled his match tally after latching onto a poor pass from Tony
Vidmar and belting a shot home from 25 yards. Not to be outdone, Noel Whelan
pulled one back with a long range dipping volley after Massimo Maccarone gave
him the chance, and the scores were levelled when Paul Telfer was adjudged to
have tripped Luke Wilkshire in the area, leaving Maccarone to equalise from the
penalty spot.

Sunderland (0) 0
Blackburn (0) 0

No goals at the Stadium of Light, although both clubs had good chances.
Blackburn began the better and came close when Andy Cole's close range header
was somehow kept out by Thomas Sorensen. The home side finished on a high
though and were desperately unlucky when Jody Craddock prodded an effort
against the foot of the post.

West Brom (1) 1 (Koumas 6)
Man United (2) 3 (Van Nistelrooy 8, Scholes 23, Solskjaer 55)

Manchester United remain on the tails of Arsenal after coming from behind to win
at West Brom. As they did against the Gunners on Boxing Day, West Brom took an
early lead when Jason Koumas collected a wayward pass from Rio Ferdinand,
ran at the away defence and then drilled a shot into the bottom corner from the
edge of the area. United took less than a minute to equalise when David
Beckham's cross was converted at close range by Ruud van Nistelrooy and
normal service was resumed when Paul Scholes volleyed United ahead at the
near post from Roy Keane's cross. Ole Gunner Solskjaer added a third after the
break, controlling a Gary Neville cross before volleying into the roof of the net.

West Ham (2) 2 (Cole 14, Defoe 45)
Newcastle (1) 2 (Bellamy 9, Jenas 81)

Lee Bowyer's West Ham debut took the headlines at Upton Park as both clubs
came from behind to earn a point. Newcastle took the lead when Craig Bellamy
turned and shot home after good work from Shola Ameobi and Jermaine Jenas,
however within five minutes the Hammers were level when Joe Cole latched
onto a weak header by Stephen Caudwell, beat a defender and drilled into
the corner. On the stroke of half time, Steve Lomas cross for Jermaine Defoe,
who turned his man brilliantly before shooting across Shay Given and into the
far corner, however in a game of fine goals, the best was yet to come.
Lomana Lua-Lua's cross was only half cleared and Jenas chested the ball
into the air and unleashed a wonderful volley into the top corner.

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