March 24, 2003

EPL REPORT WEEK 32: Man Utd kings for a day. (More inside!)

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 09:40 AM - 32 comments

Manchester United were top of the Premiership on Saturday after a 3-0 win over Fulham. Ruud Van Nistelrooy secured the points with a hattrick, including this Goal of the Week. But their joy was short-lived as defending champions Arsenal nicked a 2-1 win against Everton. Seventeen-year-old prodigy Wayne Rooney, who scored Everton's only goal, earned a call-up for England's next two Euro 2004 qualifying matches. At the other end of the table, West Ham pulled out of the relegation zone with a fine 2-0 home win over last-placed Sunderland. Sunderland are the only team in the EPL with fewer than 20 points (they have 19), while West Ham finally broke 30. West Ham are only one spot and a point out of the relegation zone and await third-from-bottom Bolton 's match against Tottenham Hotspurs today in the final match of the week. A minimum of a draw will take them above West Ham and out of the relegation zone, thanks to "superior" goal difference (-14 vs -19). In other relegation news, second-last West Brom lost 1-0 to Birmingham, who must now surely be fancying their chances for survival. As an added bonus, Birmingham's derby rivals Aston Villa are just one place and one point above them, after drawing 2-2 with Southampton. Your links?

posted by worldcup2002 at 10:03 AM on March 24, 2003

And the number of goalsthis weekend? Between Chelsea's 5-0 demolition of Man City and Newcastle's 5-1 win against Blackburn, there was a serious amount of scoring... And at the bottom end of the table, it looks like West Ham might actually make it...

posted by sauril at 11:24 AM on March 24, 2003

Thanks, sauril. Of course, we both neglected to mention my Liverpool's lumping Leeds 3-1. Goals from Owen, Murphy and Gerrard helped to ease the pain of last week's UEFA Cup quarterfinal exit. And move Liverpool up to fifth, above Everton (finally) and within two points of Chelsea and a place in the Champions League next season.

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:50 AM on March 24, 2003

That Liverpool match was terrific viewing, especially Owen's beautiful work creating the last goal. For the first 25 minutes of the second half I thought Leeds were going to find a way back in but, surprise of surprises, Traore managed to stand up for the D. Reds have a pretty good chance with who they face over the final seven to pass Chelsea, thank goodness.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:35 PM on March 24, 2003

bill! Another Liverpool fan! It's too bad you've joined us this late in the season. We could've used you in the SpoFi EPL fantasy league. Do join us next season.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:07 PM on March 24, 2003

You've already linked for our game worldcup2002, but here's the report from the local rag. Both sides were terrible apparently, but it was an absolutely vital win for the Blues and has just about doomed the Baggies to relegation, barring miracles. Talking about the Liverpool game, Murphy's goal was absolutely stunning - a superb looping drive over the keeper from the corner of the box. Definitely a candidate for goal of the season. Heskey, as usual, was utterly pants. Five Live Extra claim to be covering the Chelsea vs Arsenal FA Cup Quarter Final replay tomorrow night. You'll need to click on the Listen Live icon above the Sports Extra heading, you'll also need to have Real Player installed. Whether this will actually work I don't know, and I won't find out as I'll be down the pub watching it. :-P Talking of which, must dash as it's Bolton vs Spurs on in half an hour. Come on Spurs. :-)

posted by squealy at 01:27 PM on March 24, 2003

I'd much rather Bolton win and get closer to knocking Leeds down into the relegation zone.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:38 PM on March 24, 2003

I'm looking forward to watching the FA Cup replay. The first game was great, and the replay will be just as intense I'm sure. Arsenal will be having some defending issues, with Cygan trying to hold the fort, but I think they'll going all out after the loss to Valencia.

posted by sauril at 03:02 PM on March 24, 2003

I'm looking forward to watching the FA Cup replay. The first game was great, and the replay will be just as intense I'm sure. Arsenal will be having some defending issues, with Cygan trying to hold the fort, but I think they'll going all out after the loss to Valencia.

posted by sauril at 03:04 PM on March 24, 2003

wc2k2, only just found SpoFi yesterday! I have to say, re Reds, forget about Heskey, why is Diouf getting so much time at midfield? I'd rather see Riise there and Bebbel or Vignal in the back. To all, wish I could comment more credibly on other teams but I just don't get to watch too many other games.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:13 PM on March 24, 2003

Gutless Spurs rolled-over once again. Pathetic, truly pathetic. One hopes they'll have the decency to give up at half-time against us too.

posted by squealy at 05:58 PM on March 24, 2003

Hey, I just saw an ad on FoxSportsWorld for 90:00 Minutes Soccer Magazine ( "90:00 Minutes Soccer Magazine (90:00 Minutes) was created by Soccer Development of America (SDA) to be the premier professional soccer publication in the United States. 90:00 Minutes Soccer Magazine is dedicated to providing timely editorials and photo essays on the worlds most popular sport ..." Aside from the US, they have news about UK, German, French and Danish leagues, too, but from a US perspective. Nice to see articles there about an 18-yr-old from Roanoke who will join Arsenal in July, Brian McBride's kind words about his experience at Everton, Josh Wolff's off-season training at Blackburn (set up by Brad Friedel), and young John Welsh's return to Chelsea. Good depth of info about the future of American soccer. Good stuff.

posted by worldcup2002 at 06:07 PM on March 24, 2003

Well I was at West Ham on Saturday and have to say that Sunderland were dreadful - I wouldn't judge WH's chances of survival based on that game. After last night it looks like Sunderland and West Brom are out of it, and the scrap to avoid being 3rd bottom is now a four horse race with Brum and dirty Leeds being dragged into it - quite a turn around! I now look forward to being Sunderland being relegated before Newcastle have the chance to do it to us three games from the end.....

posted by Brettski at 04:59 AM on March 25, 2003

Great link there Worldcup, especially regarding Aresenal signing the guy from Roanoke (which used to be my neck of the woods).

posted by trox at 08:32 AM on March 25, 2003

Hey Brettski, can you educate an ignorant Canadian on the term "makem" I keep hearing bandied about by Newcastle supporters to refer to Sunderlanders?

posted by sauril at 08:47 AM on March 25, 2003

In Brettski's absence, I'll have a crack at it.

posted by squealy at 09:20 AM on March 25, 2003

Thanks squealy

posted by sauril at 10:21 AM on March 25, 2003

Anyone aware of a US available network that will show England-Turkey next week? FSW doesn't seem to show the schedule that far out but this should be a pretty serious matchup.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:04 AM on March 25, 2003

It's on pay-per-view in Canada and the States. According to, England vs Turkey April 2 at 2pm ET/11am PT LIVE on DirecTV and iNDemand PPV: US$19.95 I usually go to a pub to watch these. There are 2 or three near where I live.

posted by sauril at 11:20 AM on March 25, 2003

Hey, Englishmen, Welsh, etc.! Can someone point me to the complete list of EPL derby rivalries (and potential renewed match-ups come the new season)? Since my geographical knowledge of England is pretty poor, I don't necessarily know where the teams are all located. I know about obvious ones like the London rivalries of Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea (and Leeds). Man U v Man City. Liverpool v Everton. Or, of course, Birmingham v Villa. But there are less well-known ones like Brum or Villa and West Brom. Or Sunderland v Newcastle. I guess maybe a map would help. (Hey, does anyone have a map of where all the clubs are located?) I'm just curious, you see.

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:28 AM on March 25, 2003

Next season there'll be a new one - Portsmouth v Southampton. Oh, and Leeds v Sheffield is another possible, assuming Sheffield are promoted.

posted by BigCalm at 12:22 PM on March 25, 2003

Not sure, but maybe this guide to football grounds and their locations might help?

posted by BigCalm at 01:03 PM on March 25, 2003

worldcup2002, present for you. Add Boro into the Newcastle, Sunderland equation. Also, Blackburn v Bolton and all the North West clubs pretty much hate each other I think. Also, the very heated relationship between Leeds and Man Utd.

posted by squealy at 01:10 PM on March 25, 2003

Sauril, thanks but $20? Not for this unemployed fanboy! Maybe Britannia Arms over in Cupertino will have it on.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:47 PM on March 25, 2003

Guardian coverage of FA Cup Replay for those at work: Arsenal 2 Chelsea 0 after 39 min.

posted by pfuller at 02:30 PM on March 25, 2003

bill: It'll probably cost $10 to get in. I asked a bar owner just a couple weeks ago and they say that's what the satellite companies charge them, $10 a head, so they're only covering the cost of the game to let you you in, and then making money on the drinks. (bring your own water. heh.)

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:38 PM on March 25, 2003

Thanks Calmy and squealy. squealy's was especially brilliant, I must say! Everyone should check it out!

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:40 PM on March 25, 2003

Wow, Arsenal looks like Arsenal again (thank goodness).

posted by trox at 03:00 PM on March 25, 2003

Great game, although if Chelsea could finish worth a damn, they would have won. Some comments: -wtf is up with Zenden? I remember watching him with Barcelona, he was amazing. Now he sucks. -Why on earth did Rainieri take Petit off? He was outstanding! I realize they wanted more of an attacking option, but he had more shots on goal than Hasselbaink! -Speaking of good ole JF. Boy did he ever stink up the field... -Arsenal are back. And I have a serious hate-on for Jeffers...

posted by sauril at 05:56 PM on March 25, 2003

*****Drunk match report**** Really enjoyed the game. First twenty minutes were terribly scrappy. Pete the Arsenal fan, predicted his team would lose. Then John Terry celebrated his England call-up by placing a lovely deflection past his own keeper. A few minutes later, JFH totally failed to track Paddy Viera, choosing instead to aim a couple of pathetic kicks at his ankles and then give up. Result - nice finish from Wiltord - which was the last thing anyone expected. Second half Chelsea came out like an express train, but one that had no idea of it's destination. Cygan's sending off was laughable, thanks to JFH for the clown show. Terry showed he knows at least where that goal is again (can we take it to Liechtenstein with us?). Lauren, took advantage of laughable defending to seal the win for Arsenal. And, I'm all presents tonight, here's one for BigClam.

posted by squealy at 07:27 PM on March 25, 2003

Gotta agree with most of that, squealy. I'd be yelling at JFH for giving up myself and for Zenden's "laughable defending".

posted by sauril at 11:51 PM on March 25, 2003

Wow, now Bolton manager Sam Allardyce is talking smack to Leeds: "We're on a bit of a roll now having lost just once in six matches, as are West Ham and Birmingham. It is Leeds who look vulnerable."

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:27 PM on March 26, 2003

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