2002–03 FA Premier League

Last updated

FA Premier League
Dates17 August 2002 – 11 May 2003
Champions Manchester United
8th Premier League title
15th English title
Relegated Sunderland
West Ham United
West Bromwich Albion
Champions League Manchester United
Newcastle United
UEFA Cup Southampton
Blackburn Rovers
Manchester City
Matches played380
Goals scored1,000 (2.63 per match)
Top goalscorer 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 run7 games [1]
Longest unbeaten run18 games [1]
Manchester United
Longest winless run20 games [1]
Longest losing run15 games [1]
Highest attendance67,721
Manchester United v Charlton Athletic (3 May 2003)
Lowest attendance14,017
Fulham v Blackburn Rovers
(7 April 2003)
Average attendance35,470

The 2002–03 FA Premier League (known as the FA Barclaycard Premiership for sponsorship reasons) was the 11th 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 the fact that defending champions Arsenal had been in the lead by eight points on 2 March. After defeating Birmingham at the start of the season, Arsenal equalled a top-flight record of fourteen straight wins but failed to extend it in their next game at West Ham United, being held to a 2–2 draw. They remained unbeaten for 30 Premier League games, 23 of which were played away, until late October, and scored in a record 55 consecutive league games, beating the previous record of 47 set by Chesterfield during the 1930-31 Third Division North season. This run ended at Old Trafford on 7 December 2002, when Manchester United won 2–0. [2] Arsenal then threw away a priceless lead against Bolton Wanderers and finally surrendered the title with a 3–2 home defeat to Leeds United in their antepenultimate game of the season, a result that also saved Leeds from relegation. Newcastle United and Chelsea were the remaining Champions League qualifiers, at the expense of Liverpool who had to settle for the UEFA Cup; they would be joined in Europe by Blackburn Rovers for a second successive season, along with Southampton who were back in Europe for the first time since 1984.

At the bottom end of the table, West Ham United, West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland were relegated to the Football League First Division; West Ham's 42 points from a 38-game season was a record for a relegated team. Promoted to replace them were 2002–03 Football League First Division champions Portsmouth, runners-up Leicester City, and play-off winner Wolverhampton Wanderers.


Twenty teams competed in the league – the top seventeen teams from the previous season and the three teams promoted from the First Division. The promoted teams were Manchester City (immediately returning after a season's absence), West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City (both teams returning to the top flight after a sixteen-year absence). This was also both West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City's first season in the Premier League. They replaced Ipswich Town (relegated after two seasons in the top flight), Derby County and Leicester City (both teams relegated after a six-year presence).

Stadiums and locations

Greater London UK location map 2.svg
Greater London Premier League football clubs
West Midlands UK location map.svg
West Midlands Premier League football clubs
Arsenal London (Highbury) Arsenal Stadium 38,419
Aston Villa Birmingham (Aston) Villa Park 42,573
Birmingham City Birmingham (Bordesley) St Andrew's 30,009
Blackburn Rovers Blackburn Ewood Park 31,367
Bolton Wanderers Bolton Reebok Stadium 28,723
Charlton Athletic London (Charlton) The Valley 27,111
Chelsea London (Fulham) Stamford Bridge 42,055
Everton Liverpool (Walton) Goodison Park 40,569
Fulham London (Fulham) Loftus Road [lower-alpha 1] 19,148
Leeds United Leeds Elland Road 40,242
Liverpool Liverpool (Anfield) Anfield 45,522
Manchester City Manchester Maine Road [lower-alpha 2] 35,150
Manchester United Old Trafford Old Trafford 68,174
Middlesbrough Middlesbrough Riverside Stadium 35,049
Newcastle United Newcastle upon Tyne St James' Park 52,387
Southampton Southampton St Mary's Stadium 32,689
Sunderland Sunderland Stadium of Light 49,000
Tottenham Hotspur London (Tottenham) White Hart Lane 36,240
West Bromwich Albion West Bromwich The Hawthorns 28,003
West Ham United London (Upton Park) Boleyn Ground 35,647
  1. Fulham temporarily relocated to Loftus Road (home stadium of Queens Park Rangers) after Craven Cottage was in need of a refurbishment.
  2. This was Manchester City's last season at Maine Road as they were scheduled to relocate to the 48,000 seater City of Manchester Stadium.

Personnel and kits

TeamManagerCaptainKit manufacturerShirt sponsor
Arsenal Flag of France.svg Arsène Wenger Flag of France.svg Patrick Vieira Nike O2
Aston Villa Flag of England.svg Graham Taylor Flag of Ireland.svg Steve Staunton Diadora Rover Company
Birmingham City Flag of England.svg Steve Bruce Flag of Ireland.svg Jeff Kenna Le Coq Sportif Phones4U
Blackburn Rovers Flag of Scotland.svg Graeme Souness Flag of England.svg Garry Flitcroft Kappa AMD Processors
Bolton Wanderers Flag of England.svg Sam Allardyce Flag of Iceland.svg Guðni Bergsson Reebok Reebok
Charlton Athletic Flag of England.svg Alan Curbishley Flag of England.svg Graham Stuart Le Coq Sportif All Sport
Chelsea Flag of Italy (2003-2006).svg Claudio Ranieri Flag of France.svg Marcel Desailly Umbro Fly Emirates
Everton Flag of Scotland.svg David Moyes Flag of Scotland.svg David Weir Puma Kejian
Fulham Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Chris Coleman Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Andy Melville Adidas Betfair
Leeds United Flag of England.svg Peter Reid Flag of Scotland.svg Dominic Matteo Nike Strongbow
Liverpool Flag of France.svg Gérard Houllier Flag of Finland.svg Sami Hyypiä Reebok Carlsberg
Manchester City Flag of England.svg Kevin Keegan Flag of Algeria.svg Ali Benarbia Le Coq SportifFirst Advice
Manchester United Flag of Scotland.svg Sir Alex Ferguson Flag of Ireland.svg Roy Keane Nike Vodafone
Middlesbrough Flag of England.svg Steve McClaren Flag of England.svg Gareth Southgate Erreà Dial-a-Phone
Newcastle United Flag of England.svg Sir Bobby Robson Flag of England.svg Alan Shearer Adidas NTL
Southampton Flag of Scotland.svg Gordon Strachan Flag of England.svg Jason Dodd Saints Friends Provident
Sunderland Flag of Ireland.svg Mick McCarthy Flag of England.svg Michael Gray NikeReg Vardy
Tottenham Hotspur Flag of England.svg Glenn Hoddle Flag of England.svg Teddy Sheringham Kappa Thomson
West Bromwich Albion Flag of England.svg Gary Megson Flag of England.svg Sean Gregan The Baggies (by club) West Bromwich Building Society
West Ham United Flag of England.svg Trevor Brooking (caretaker) Flag of England.svg Joe Cole Fila Dr. Martens

Managerial changes

TeamOutgoing managerManner of departureDate of vacancyPosition in tableIncoming managerDate of appointment
Leeds United Flag of Ireland.svg David O'Leary Sacked27 June 2002Pre-season Flag of England.svg Terry Venables 8 July 2002
Sunderland Flag of England.svg Peter Reid 7 October 2002 [3] 17th Flag of England.svg Howard Wilkinson 10 October 2002 [4]
Flag of England.svg Howard Wilkinson 10 March 2003 [5] 20th Flag of Ireland.svg Mick McCarthy 12 March 2003 [6]
Leeds United Flag of England.svg Terry Venables 21 March 2003 [7] 15th Flag of England.svg Peter Reid 21 March 2003 [8]
Fulham Flag of France.svg Jean Tigana 17 April 2003 [9] 15th Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Chris Coleman (caretaker)17 April 2003
West Ham United Flag of England.svg Glenn Roeder Illness22 April 2003 [10] 18th Flag of England.svg Trevor Brooking (caretaker)25 April 2003

League table

PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification or relegation
1 Manchester United (C)3825857434+4083Qualification for the Champions League group stage
2 Arsenal 3823968542+4378
3 Newcastle United 38216116348+1569Qualification for the Champions League third qualifying round
4 Chelsea 38191096838+3067
5 Liverpool 381810106141+2064Qualification for the UEFA Cup first round [lower-alpha 1]
6 Blackburn Rovers 381612105243+960
7 Everton 38178134849159
8 Southampton 381313124346352Qualification for the UEFA Cup first round [lower-alpha 2]
9 Manchester City 38156174754751Qualification for the UEFA Cup qualifying round [lower-alpha 3]
10 Tottenham Hotspur 381481651621150
11 Middlesbrough 381310154844+449
12 Charlton Athletic 381471745561149
13 Birmingham City 38139164149848
14 Fulham 38139164150948
15 Leeds United 38145195857+147
16 Aston Villa 38129174247545
17 Bolton Wanderers 3810141441511044
18 West Ham United (R)3810121642591742Relegation to Football League First Division
19 West Bromwich Albion (R)38682429653626
20 Sunderland (R)38472721654419
Source: Premier League
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated
  1. Since 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 as the highest-placed team not already qualified for European competitions.
  2. Since 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.
  3. Manchester City qualified as the highest-ranked team not already qualified for European competitions of Premiership Fair Play League by The Football Association, the top association among UEFA Fair Play ranking winners.


Arsenal 3–12–01–22–12–0 3–2 2–12–12–31–12–12–22–01–06–13–1 3–0 5–23–1
Aston Villa 1–1 0–2 3–02–02–02–13–23–10–00–11–00–11–00–10–11–00–12–14–1
Birmingham City 0–4 3–0 0–13–11–11–31–10–02–12–10–20–13–00–23–22–01–11–02–2
Blackburn Rovers 2–00–01–10–01–02–30–12–11–02–21–01–01–05–21–00–01–21–12–2
Bolton Wanderers 2–21–04–21–11–21–11–20–00–32–32–01–12–14–31–11–11–01–11–0
Charlton Athletic 0–33–00–23–11–12–32–10–11–62–02–21–31–00–22–11–10–11–04–2
Chelsea 1–1 2–03–01–21–04–14–1 1–1 3–2 2–15–02–21–03–00–03–01–12–02–3
Everton 2–12–11–12–10–01–01–32–02–0 1–2 2–21–22–12–12–12–12–21–00–0
Fulham 0–12–10–10–44–11–0 0–0 2–01–03–20–11–11–02–12–21–03–23–00–1
Leeds United 1–43–12–02–32–41–2 2–0 0–12–00–13–0 1–0 2–30–31–10–12–20–01–0
Liverpool 2–21–12–21–12–02–11–0 0–0 2–03–11–2 1–2 1–12–23–00–02–12–02–0
Manchester City 1–53–11–02–22–00–10–33–14–12–10–3 3–1 0–01–00–13–02–31–20–1
Manchester United 2–01–12–03–10–14–12–13–03–02–1 4–0 1–1 1–05–32–12–11–01–03–0
Middlesbrough 0–22–51–01–02–01–11–11–12–22–21–03–13–1 1–0 2–2 3–0 5–13–02–2
Newcastle United 1–11–11–05–11–02–12–12–12–00–21–02–02–6 2–0 2–1 2–0 2–12–14–0
Southampton 3–22–22–01–10–00–01–11–04–23–20–12–00–20–01–12–11–01–01–1
Sunderland 0–41–00–10–00–21–31–20–10–31–22–10–31–1 1–3 0–1 0–12–01–20–1
Tottenham Hotspur 1–1 1–02–10–43–12–20–04–31–12–02–30–20–20–30–12–14–13–13–2
West Bromwich Albion 1–20–01–10–21–10–10–21–21–01–30–61–21–31–02–21–02–22–31–2
West Ham United 2–22–21–22–11–10–21–00–11–13–40–30–01–11–02–20–12–02–00–1
Source: FA Premier League
Legend: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.


Season statistics

Top scorers

RankPlayerClubGoals [11]
1 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Ruud van Nistelrooy Manchester United25
2 Flag of France.svg Thierry Henry Arsenal24
3 Flag of England.svg James Beattie Southampton23
4 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Mark Viduka Leeds United20
5 Flag of England.svg Michael Owen Liverpool19
6 Flag of England.svg Alan Shearer Newcastle United17
7 Flag of France.svg Nicolas Anelka Manchester City15
8 Flag of Italy.svg Gianfranco Zola Chelsea14
Flag of France.svg Robert Pires Arsenal14
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Harry Kewell Leeds United14
Flag of England.svg Paul Scholes Manchester United14


Michael Owen LiverpoolManchester City 3–0 28 September 2002
James Beattie SouthamptonFulham 4–2 27 October 2002
Ruud van Nistelrooy Manchester UnitedNewcastle United 5–3 23 November 2002
Robbie Keane Tottenham HotspurEverton 4–3 12 January 2003
Thierry Henry ArsenalWest Ham United 3–1 27 January 2003
Ruud van Nistelrooy Manchester UnitedFulham 3–0 22 March 2003
Mark Viduka Leeds UnitedCharlton Athletic 6–1 5 April 2003
Paul Scholes Manchester UnitedNewcastle United 6–2 12 April 2003
Michael Owen 4LiverpoolWest Bromwich Albion 6–0 26 April 2003
Ruud van Nistelrooy Manchester UnitedCharlton Athletic 4–1 3 May 2003
Jermaine Pennant ArsenalSouthampton
7 May 2003
Robert Pires
Freddie Ljungberg ArsenalSunderland 4–0 11 May 2003


Clean sheets



Monthly awards

Month Manager of the Month Player of the Month
August Glenn Hoddle [16] Tottenham Hotspur Sylvain Wiltord [17] Arsenal
September Arsène Wenger [18] Arsenal Thierry Henry [18] Arsenal
October Gérard Houllier [19] Liverpool Gianfranco Zola [19] Chelsea
November David Moyes [20] Everton James Beattie [21] Southampton
December Gordon Strachan [22] Southampton Alan Shearer [23] Newcastle United
January Sir Bobby Robson [24] Newcastle United Paul Scholes [25] Manchester United
February Alan Curbishley [26] Charlton Athletic Robert Pires [27] Arsenal
March Glenn Roeder [28] West Ham United Steven Gerrard [29] Liverpool
April Sir Alex Ferguson [30] Manchester United Ruud van Nistelrooy [30] Manchester United

Annual awards

PFA Players' Player of the Year

The PFA Players' Player of the Year award for 2003 was won by Thierry Henry of Arsenal. [31] 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:

James Beattie Southampton
Thierry Henry Arsenal
Ruud van Nistelrooy Manchester United
Paul Scholes Manchester United
Alan Shearer Newcastle United
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. [32] 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:

Craig Bellamy Newcastle United
Jermain Defoe West Ham United
Jermaine Jenas Newcastle United
John O'Shea Manchester United
Scott Parker Charlton Athletic
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)

Premier League Manager of the Year

The Premier League Manager of the Year award was won by Sir Alex Ferguson [33] for winning his eighth title and regaining the league after a superb second half to the season, involving an 18-match unbeaten run.

Premier League Player of the Year

The Premier League Player of the Year award was given to Ruud van Nistelrooy, [34] whose form, creativity and goals all helped Manchester United regain the league from Arsenal.

Premier League Golden Boot

The Premier League Golden Boot 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.

Premier League Golden Gloves

The Premier League Golden Gloves 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. [35]

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. [36]

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.

Premier League Fair Play Award

The Premier League Fair Play Award was won by Manchester United. [37]

Respect toward
Respect toward
Behaviour of
team officials
1 Manchester United 383323252232262061312328.008.63
2 Newcastle United 383253182172182001278319.508.41
3 Chelsea 383143062132212001254313.508.25
4 Liverpool 383243012242251801254313.508.25
5 Manchester City 383102882242311941247311.758.20
6 Arsenal 383153192142121801240310.008.16
7 Middlesbrough 383182902242291731234308.508.12
8 Blackburn Rovers 383072922192221781218304.508.01
9 Aston Villa 383042832122182011218304.508.01
10 Everton 383042932172141851213303.257.98
11 Sunderland 383142552202261961211302.757.97
12 Fulham 383042842032112031205301.257.93
13 Leeds United 383042902062101941204301.007.92
14 West Bromwich Albion 383162732192141811203300.757.91
15 Southampton 383232822212201541200300.007.89
16 Tottenham Hotspur 383092912152071741196299.007.87
17 West Ham United 382982812112121911193298.257.85
18 Charlton Athletic 383162702102141771187296.757.81
19 Bolton Wanderers 382992792182171611174293.507.72
20 Birmingham City 382952712012131791159289.757.63

See also

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  33. "Van Nistelrooy does awards double". 4TheGame. 14 May 2003. Archived from the original on 27 April 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2009.
  34. "Cudicini scoops golden gloves award". 4TheGame. 16 May 2003. Archived from the original on 27 April 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2009.
  35. via Arsenal's Season Review 2002–03 & airings of The Premiership on 16 & 17 Nov, 7 Dec 2002 and penultimate broadcasting for the season.
  36. "Barclaycard Premiership 2002/2003 Fair Play League" (PDF). FA Premier League. 16 May 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2003. Retrieved 22 March 2012.