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FA Premier League
Season 2002–03
Champions Manchester United
8th Premier League title
15th English title
Relegated West Ham United
West Bromwich Albion
Sunderland
Champions League Manchester United (Group stage)
Arsenal (Group stage)
Newcastle United (Third qualifying round)
Chelsea (Third qualifying round)
UEFA Cup Southampton (First round; via FA Cup)
Blackburn Rovers (First round)
Liverpool (First round; via League Cup & position)
Manchester City (First qualifying round; via Fair Play)
Goals scored 1,000
Average goals/game 2.64
Top goalscorer Netherlands Ruud van Nistelrooy (25)
Biggest home win Chelsea 5-0 Manchester City (22 March 2003)
Arsenal 6-1 Southampton (7 May 2003)
Biggest away win West Bromwich Albion 0–6 Liverpool (26 April 2003)
Highest scoring Manchester United 5-3 Newcastle United (23 November 2002)
Newcastle United 2-6 Manchester United (12 April 2003)
Longest winning run Liverpool (7)
Longest unbeaten run Manchester United (18)
Highest attendance 67,721 – Manchester United v Charlton Athletic
Lowest attendance 14,017 – Fulham v Blackburn Rovers
Average attendance 35,470

The 2002–03 FA Premier League (referred to as the 2002–03 Barclaycard Premiership, due to sponsorship rights) was the eleventh season of the Premier League, the top division in English football. The first matches were played on 17 August 2002 and the last were played on 11 May 2003. Manchester United ended the campaign as champions for the eighth time in eleven years – an achievement made all the more remarkable by virtue of defending champions Arsenal having led by eight points at the beginning of March. Although this was a season of breaking new English domestic records for the Gunners[A] and leading at all fronts come the halfway stage, they threw away a priceless lead against Bolton Wanderers and finally surrendered the title with a 3–2 home defeat to Leeds United, in the penultimate game of the season. This result all but saved Leeds from relegation, with a game to spare.

Newcastle United and Chelsea were the remaining two teams who qualified for the UEFA Champions League at the expense of Liverpool who had to settle for the UEFA Cup; they would be joined in Europe by Blackburn Rovers for their second successive season. Newly promoted sides Manchester City and Birmingham City finished in ninth and thirteenth, respectively. Sunderland broke the record for the fewest points and goals scored in a Premier League season, while West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United went with them to the First Division.

Michael Ricketts had the honour of scoring the first goal of the new season for Bolton against Fulham, inside five minutes. The first hat-trick of the season was scored by Michael Owen in the match between Liverpool and Manchester City, at Maine Road in late September.[1]Wayne Rooney, at the young age of 16, made his breakthrough at Everton, scoring an impressive goal against Arsenal, helping the Toffees to a 2-1 win.[2] However, Rooney also got his first Premiership straight red card two months later on Boxing Day, for a reckless foul on Birmingham City's Steve Vickers at St. Andrews.[3]

Contents

Promotion and relegation

Teams promoted from Nationwide Division 1

Teams relegated to Nationwide Division 1

Final league table

Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Comments
1 Manchester United 38 25 8 5 74 34 +40 83 UEFA Champions League 2003-04 Group stage
2 Arsenal 38 23 9 6 85 42 +43 78
3 Newcastle United 38 21 6 11 63 48 +15 69 UEFA Champions League 2003-04 Third qualifying round
4 Chelsea 38 19 10 9 68 38 +30 67
5 Liverpool 38 18 10 10 61 41 +20 64 UEFA Cup 2003–04 First round1
6 Blackburn Rovers 38 16 12 10 52 43 +9 60
7 Everton 38 17 8 13 48 49 −1 59
8 Southampton 38 13 13 12 43 46 −3 52 UEFA Cup 2003–04 First round2
9 Manchester City 38 15 6 17 47 54 −7 51 UEFA Cup 2003–04 Qualifying round3
10 Tottenham Hotspur 38 14 8 16 51 62 −11 50
11 Middlesbrough 38 13 10 15 48 44 +4 49
12 Charlton Athletic 38 14 7 17 45 56 −11 49
13 Birmingham City 38 13 9 16 41 49 −8 48
14 Fulham 38 13 9 16 41 50 −9 48
15 Leeds United 38 14 5 19 58 57 +1 47
16 Aston Villa 38 12 9 17 42 47 −5 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 38 10 14 14 41 51 −10 44
18 West Ham United 38 10 12 16 42 59 −17 42 Relegation to
Football League First Division 2003-04
19 West Bromwich Albion 38 6 8 24 29 65 −36 26
20 Sunderland 38 4 7 27 21 65 −44 19

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points

1Since Liverpool qualified for the UEFA Cup via the league, their place in the UEFA Cup as League Cup winners reverted to the league and was awarded to Blackburn Rovers.

2Since Arsenal qualified for the Champions League, their place in the UEFA Cup as FA Cup winners went to Southampton, who were the FA Cup runners-up.

3Manchester City qualified for the UEFA Cup as Fair Play winners.

Results

Home \ Away1 ARS AST BIR BLA BOL CHA CHE EVE FUL LEE LIV MNC MNU MID NEW SOT SUN TOT WBA WHU
Arsenal 3–0 2–0 1–2 2–1 2–0 3–2 2–1 2–1 2–3 1–1 2–1 2–2 2–0 1–0 6–1 3–2 3–0 5–2 3–1
Aston Villa 1–1 0–2 3–0 2–0 2–0 2–1 3–2 3–1 0–0 0–1 1–0 0–1 3–0 0–1 0–1 1–0 0–1 2–1 4–1
Birmingham City 0–4 3–0 0–1 3–1 1–1 1–3 1–1 2–1 1–0 2–1 0–2 0–1 3–0 0–2 3–2 2–0 0–1 2–1 4–1
Blackburn Rovers 2–0 0–0 1–1 0–0 1–0 2–3 0–1 2–1 1–0 2–2 1–0 1–0 1–0 5–2 1–0 0–0 1–2 1–1 2–2
Bolton Wanderers 2–2 1–0 4–2 1–1 1–2 1–1 1–2 2–0 0–3 2–3 2–0 1–1 2–1 4–3 1–1 1–1 1–0 1–1 1–0
Charlton Athletic 0–3 3–0 0–2 3–1 1–1 2–3 2–1 0–1 1–6 2–0 2–2 1–3 1–0 0–2 2–1 1–1 0–1 1–0 4–2
Chelsea 1–1 2–0 3–0 1–2 1–0 4–1 4–1 1–1 3–2 2–1 5–0 2–2 1–0 3–0 0–0 3–0 1–1 2–0 2–3
Everton 2–1 2–1 1–1 2–1 0–0 1–0 1–3 2–0 2–0 1–2 2–2 1–2 2–1 2–1 2–1 2–1 2–2 1–0 0–0
Fulham 0–1 2–1 0–1 0–4 4–1 1–0 0–0 2–0 1–0 3–2 0–1 1–1 1–0 1–2 2–2 1–0 3–2 3–0 0–1
Leeds United 1–4 3–1 2–0 2–3 2–4 1–2 2–0 0–1 2–0 0–1 3–0 1–0 2–3 0–3 1–1 0–1 2–2 0–0 1–0
Liverpool 2–2 1–1 2–2 1–1 2–0 2–1 1–0 0–0 2–0 3–1 1–2 1–2 1–1 2–2 3–0 0–0 2–1 2–0 2–0
Manchester City 1–5 3–1 1–0 2–2 2–0 0–1 0–3 3–1 4–1 2–1 0–3 3–1 0–0 1–0 0–1 3–0 2–3 1–2 0–1
Manchester United 2–0 1–1 2–0 3–1 0–1 4–1 2–1 3–0 3–0 2–1 4–0 1–1 1–0 5–3 2–1 2–1 1–0 1–0 3–0
Middlesbrough 0–2 2–5 1–0 1–0 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–2 2–2 1–0 3–1 3–1 1–0 2–2 3–0 5–1 3–0 2–2
Newcastle United 1–1 1–1 1–0 5–1 1–0 2–1 2–1 2–1 2–0 0–2 1–0 2–0 2–6 2–0 2–1 2–0 2–1 2–1 4–0
Southampton 3–2 2–2 2–0 1–1 0–0 0–0 1–1 1–0 4–2 3–2 0–1 2–0 0–2 0–0 1–1 2–1 1–0 1–0 1–1
Sunderland 0–4 1–0 0–1 0–0 0–2 1–3 1–2 0–1 0–3 1–2 2–1 0–3 1–1 1–3 0–1 0–1 2–0 1–2 0–1
Tottenham Hotspur 1–1 1–0 2–1 0–4 3–1 2–2 0–0 4–3 1–1 2–0 2–3 0–2 0–2 0–3 0–1 2–1 4–1 3–1 3–2
West Bromwich Albion 1–2 0–0 1–1 0–2 1–1 0–1 0–2 1–2 1–0 1–3 0–6 1–2 1–3 1–0 2–2 1–0 2–2 2–3 1–2
West Ham United 2–2 2–2 1–2 2–1 1–1 0–2 1–0 0–1 1–1 3–4 0–3 0–0 1–1 1–0 2–2 0–1 2–0 2–0 0–1

Source: Barclays Premier League
1The home team is listed in the left-hand column.
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
For coming matches, an a indicates there is an article about the match.

Early events

Following England's exit from the 2002 FIFA World Cup at the hands of Brazil, the big talking point at the start of the season was the signing of centre-back, Rio Ferdinand from Leeds United to Manchester United, in a deal worth £29.1 million, which would rise to an excess of £30 million, due to agent fees.[4] It made him the most expensive defender in the world, as well as becoming Britain's most expensive player for the second time in two years.

Arsenal strengthened their double winning side, requiring the services of Swedish goalkeeper, Rami Shaaban, following the departure of Richard Wright to Everton. The only other signing Arsène Wenger brought in was Brazilian star Gilberto Silva, for a price of £4.5 million. The deal proved valuable as Gilberto scored the winner in the newly named FA Community Shield, against Liverpool after coming on the second half.[5]

Liverpool were one of the few sides who spent big during summer. Out went Jari Litmanen, Nick Barmby, Jamie Redknapp and ex-Arsenal star Nicolas Anelka, who was snubbed by the management board. Anelka eventually went to newly-promoted, Manchester City, in a deal worth £13 million.[6] Gérard Houllier's preferred striker was Senegalese star El Hadji Diouf who cost £10 million, which at the time was the club's record signing. French international winger, Bruno Cheyrou was also acquired by Houllier, for £4.5 million.

Leeds United suffered a manager crisis during the summer transfer period. David O'Leary was controversially sacked as manager, after failing to win a trophy in his four year spell.[7] Despite reaching the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup semi-finals, O'Leary was given more than £100 million in transfer funds to produce a winning squad. He was replaced by former England boss, Terry Venables on a two year deal.[8]

Monthly awards

Month Manager Player
August England Glenn Hoddle (Tottenham Hotspur)[9] France Sylvain Wiltord (Arsenal)[10]
September France Arsène Wenger (Arsenal)[11] France Thierry Henry (Arsenal)[11]
October France Gérard Houllier (Liverpool)[12] Italy Gianfranco Zola (Chelsea)[12]
November Scotland David Moyes (Everton)[13] England James Beattie (Southampton)[14]
December Scotland Gordon Strachan (Southampton)[15] England Alan Shearer (Newcastle United)[16]
January England Sir Bobby Robson (Newcastle United)[17] England Paul Scholes (Manchester United)[18]
February England Alan Curbishley (Charlton Athletic)[19] France Robert Pires (Arsenal)[20]
March England Glenn Roeder (West Ham United)[21] England Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)[22]
April Scotland Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)[23] Netherlands Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United)[23]

Annual awards

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PFA Players' Player of the Year

The PFA Players' Player of the Year award for 2003 was won by Thierry Henry of Arsenal.[24] This was the Frenchman's first award of the season and he beat off competition from the previous winner Ruud van Nistelrooy.

The shortlist for the PFA Players' Player of the Year award, in alphabetical order, was as follows:

Player Team
England James Beattie Southampton
France Thierry Henry Arsenal
Netherlands Ruud van Nistelrooy Manchester United
England Paul Scholes Manchester United
England Alan Shearer Newcastle United
Italy Gianfranco Zola Chelsea

PFA Young Player of the Year

The PFA Young Player of the Year award was won by Jermaine Jenas of Newcastle United.[25] Wayne Rooney was voted runner-up, and John O'Shea finished third in one of his first full seasons as a United player.

The shortlist for the award was as follows:

Player Team
Wales Craig Bellamy Newcastle United
England Jermain Defoe West Ham United
England Jermaine Jenas Newcastle United
Republic of Ireland John O'Shea Manchester United
England Scott Parker Charlton Athletic
England Wayne Rooney Everton

PFA Team of the Year

Goalkeeper: Brad Friedel (Blackburn Rovers)
Defence: Stephen Carr (Tottenham Hotspur), Sol Campbell (Arsenal), William Gallas (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Arsenal)
Midfield: Patrick Vieira (Arsenal), Paul Scholes (Manchester United), Kieron Dyer (Newcastle United), Robert Pires (Arsenal)
Attack: Thierry Henry (Arsenal), Alan Shearer (Newcastle United)

Barclaycard Manager of the Year

The award was won by Sir Alex Ferguson[26] for winning his eighth title and regaining the league after a superb second half to the season, involving an 18 match unbeaten run.

Barclaycard Player of the Year

The award was given to Ruud van Nistelrooy,[27] whose form, creativity and goals all helped Manchester United regain the league from Arsenal.

Barclaycard Golden Boot

This award was also won by Ruud van Nistelrooy who scored 25 goals in 38 league matches and 44 in all competitions. He also equalled his record of eight goals in eight successive matches at the beginning of the season, a milestone he had reached the previous season. Van Nistelrooy finished one goal ahead of Arsenal's Thierry Henry while James Beattie managed 23 league goals for Southampton. Since the reduction of the number of games from 42 to 38 in 1996, only Kevin Phillips had scored more Premiership goals in one season – 30 for Sunderland in the 1999-2000 season.

Barclaycard Golden Gloves

The award was given to Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, who proved vital in their quest for UEFA Champions League football. He kept twelve clean sheets – the most in the season – and only conceded 35 goals. Viewers of ITV's On the Ball voted Cudicini ahead of Southampton keeper Antti Niemi and Blackburn Rovers' Brad Friedel.[28]

Goal of the Season

The annual award was won by a wonder goal from Thierry Henry against Tottenham Hotspur, on 16 November 2002, voted by viewers of ITV's The Premiership.

Henry - chance for a break out, Wiltord to his right, Bergkamp to his left...they'll do well to catch up with Thierry Henry though...he's drifted away from Carr - HENRY! What a fabulous solo goal by Thierry Henry. A long distance goal followed by a long distance celebration...and Arsenal are back in the goalscoring business, after their midweek blank. Henry's been short of a goal or two just recently...but look at the confidence as he breaks from inside his own half, shrugging off Etherington, stepping away from Carr and from King...and picking his spot - he had options...but he had eyes for only one thing - the back of Kasey Keller's net. Thierry Henry moves into double figures for the season.

Clive Tyldesley on Thierry Henry's solo goal when commentating the North London derby for The Premiership on ITV1.[29]

The French striker picked up the ball from his side of the pitch and ran almost 30 yards (27 m), twisting and turning the Spurs defence to unleash a thunderous shot. In celebration, he ran the distance of the whole pitch and skidded in front of the Spurs faithful. The goal proved important as it helped them regain their position at the top of the Premiership from Liverpool.

Notable changes

Managers

Team Outgoing manager Manner of departure Date of vacancy Replaced by Date of appointment Position in table
Sunderland England Peter Reid Sacked 7 October 2002[30] England Howard Wilkinson 10 October 2002[31] 17th
Leeds United England Terry Venables Sacked 21 March 2003[32] England Peter Reid 21 March 2003[33] 15th
Fulham France Jean Tigana Sacked 17 April 2003[34] Wales Chris Coleman 15 May 2003[35] 15th
West Ham United England Glenn Roeder Temporary[D] 17 April 2003 England Trevor Brooking 11 May 2003 18th

Sponsors

Team Kit maker Shirt sponsor Notes
Arsenal Nike O2 O2 takes over from SEGA Dreamcast as sponsors, which would be worth in the region of £6–10 million.[36] New home and blue away kit, including the newly designed club crest. The previous metallic gold shirt of last season would become the third kit.[E]
Aston Villa Diadora Rover Rover takes over from NTL: as shirt sponsors in a multi million pound sponsorship deal, effective from the start of this season and lasting until 2004[37]. As a result, the home and away kit will feature the Rover and MG brands respectively rather than having MG Rover Group on both.
Birmingham City le coq sportif Phones 4U New away kit.
Blackburn Rovers Kappa AMD Processors New away kit.
Bolton Wanderers Reebok Reebok New yellow away kit.
Charlton Athletic le coq sportif all:sports New home and away kit.
Chelsea Umbro Fly Emirates Home shirt from 2001/02. New black and blue away kit.
Everton Puma Kejian Kejian replaces One2One as shirt sponsors. New home and away kit.
Fulham adidas Betfair.com Betfair becomes official shirt sponsors[38], replacing Pizza Hut. Adidas will remain as shirt suppliers, until the end of the season.
Leeds United Nike Strongbow New home and blue/yellow away kit.
Liverpool Reebok Carlsberg The Merseyside club launched a new home design with the club crest tweaked and a gray and black away shirt. The away kit from the previous season will become third choice and the European jersey will remain the same. Reebok incidentally signed a new contract with the club which lasted until 2006.
Manchester City le coq sportif First Advice New home and away.
Manchester United Nike Vodafone After much hype surrounding the deal, sports manufacturers Nike replace Umbro in a multi-million pound sponsorship deal.[39] New home, away and third kit launched, using the current Nike template.
Middlesbrough Errea Dial-a-Phone New home and away kit.
Newcastle United adidas Ntl: New away kit. Home kit from previous season.
Southampton Friends Provident New away kit.
Sunderland Nike Reg Vardy New home and away kit.
Tottenham Hotspur Kappa Thomson New away kit. New Home Shirt.
West Bromwich Albion West Bromwich Building Society New home and away kit.
West Ham United Fila Dr. Martens New away kit.

Stadia

Team Stadium Capacity
Manchester United Old Trafford 68,174
Newcastle United St James' Park 52,387
Sunderland Stadium of Light 48,707
Liverpool Anfield 45,522
Aston Villa Villa Park 42,573
Chelsea Stamford Bridge 42,055
Everton Goodison Park 40,569
Leeds United Elland Road 40,242
Arsenal Highbury 38,419
Tottenham Hotspur White Hart Lane 36,240
West Ham United Boleyn Ground 35,647
Manchester City[B] Maine Road 35,150
Middlesbrough Riverside Stadium 35,049
Southampton St Mary's Stadium 32,689
Blackburn Rovers Ewood Park 31,367
Birmingham City St Andrews Stadium 30,009
Charlton Athletic The Valley 27,111
Bolton Wanderers Reebok Stadium 28,723
West Bromwich Albion The Hawthorns 28,003
Fulham[C] Loftus Road 19,148

Records and statistics

Liverpool had the longest winning run in the league – 7, which started on 14 September 2002 against Bolton Wanderers and ended on 9 November against Middlesbrough.

Manchester United hold the record for the longest unbeaten run – 18, starting against Birmingham and lasting throughout the entire season.

Arsenal hold the record for the most goals scored in the season – 83, while Manchester United conceded the least amount of goals – 34, four better than Chelsea. Arsenal also broke the record for the most away games without defeat, goals scored in consecutive games and equalled Manchester United's unbeaten record. However, the Gunners failed to set a new all-time English football record of 15 consecutive victories after drawing to West Ham United in August 2002.

Birmingham City were given the most yellow cards in the season, while Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur were given the most red cards. Manchester United were the most disciplined side with only one red card and 45 yellow cards.

The most goals in one match were between Manchester United and Newcastle, which involved eight goals. The biggest home win was between Chelsea's 5-0 win against Manchester City, while the biggest away win was Liverpool's 6–0 victory over West Bromwich Albion.

Sunderland ended the season relegated with the fewest points, while West Ham United became the first team to be relegated with more than 40 points. Sunderland also had the longest losing run of 15 games.

The highest attendance in the season was 67,721 who watched Manchester United against Charlton at Old Trafford, while the lowest attendance was between Fulham and Blackburn Rovers at Loftus Road; 14,017 watched the match. The average attendance of the season was 35,470.

Top scorers

Rank Scorer Club Goals[40]
1 Netherlands Ruud van Nistelrooy Manchester United 25
2 France Thierry Henry Arsenal 24
3 England James Beattie Southampton 23
4 Australia Mark Viduka Leeds United 20
5 England Michael Owen Liverpool 19
6 England Alan Shearer Newcastle United 17
7 France Nicolas Anelka Manchester City 15
8 Italy Gianfranco Zola Chelsea 14
France Robert Pires Arsenal 14
Australia Harry Kewell Leeds United 14
England Paul Scholes Manchester United 14

Top assistants

Rank Assistant Club Assists[41]
1 France Thierry Henry Arsenal 23
2 Wales Ryan Giggs Manchester United 13
3 England David Beckham Manchester United 9
4 Netherlands Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal 8
Israel Eyal Berkovic Manchester City 8
Cameroon Geremi Middlesbrough 8
England Steven Gerrard Liverpool 8
Norway Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United 8

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See also

Footnotes

A. ^ After defeating Birmingham at the start of the season, Arsenal equalled a top-flight record of fourteen straight wins but in their next game at West Ham United failed to extend it, being held to a 2-2 draw. They remained unbeaten for 30 Premiership games, (23 of which were played away) until late October and Arsène Wenger's all conquering Gunners scored in 55 consecutive league games up until the visit to Old Trafford.
^ This was the last season Manchester City played in Maine Road. They would move to the redeveloped 48,000 seater City of Manchester Stadium. Highlights of the season was the last ever Manchester derby, which was won emphatically by City. However, Manchester City did lose their last game at the stadium to Southampton.
^ Fulham temporarily relocated to Loftus Road after Craven Cottage was in need of a refurbishment. They were on course to move back in August 2004.
^ West Ham United manager Glenn Roeder was forced to take sick leave in mid-April after being diagnosed with a brain tumour during a Premier League match against Middlesbrough at Upton Park. Former Hammers legend Sir Trevor Brooking took temporary charge for the remaining three matches. Despite Brooking's efforts, the Hammers failed to beat the drop after drawing against Birmingham on the final day of the season.
^ Note that the shirt would only be worn twice - away to West Bromwich Albion on Boxing Day and a FA Cup semi-final tie to Sheffield United.

References

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