THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Man Utd lead from the front as Man City go the other way with Coventry and Bradford

PL RESULTS 13010113 January ~ Manchester United led the table from the beginning of September and finished ten points clear of runners-up Arsenal (whom they beat 6-1 at Old Trafford in February). The title would have been won by a bigger margin had United not lost their last three matches; two of their three other defeats were to Liverpool. 

Teddy Sheringham was United's top scorer with 15 of their 79 league goals and he got the first at Bradford, who had held United for 72 minutes. Ryan Giggs and substitute Luke Chadwick added to the score. Chadwick got 13 England Under-21 caps but spent most of his United career out on loan, making his first-team debut with feeder club Antwerp in 1999. 

After their victory at West Ham with goals from Stanislav Varga and Don Hutchison, Peter Reid's Sunderland won only one of their next 12 matches. That solitary win, 4-2 at Chelsea, was the only game in the run in which the previously prolific Kevin Phillips scored. Phillips had won the European Golden Boot award for his 30 goals in 1999-2000; he was Sunderland’s top scorer again this season with a more modest total of 14.

Robbie Keane, signed on loan from Inter in December, scored twice for Leeds in their thrashing of Manchester City with the other goals from Eirik Bakke and Lee Bowyer. Keane completed a £12 million move before the end of a season in which Leeds finished fourth and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League. Prior to their tie with Rafa Benítez's Valencia, the Leeds players shaved their heads to boost team spirit but to little effect – they lost 3-0 on aggregate.

Third-placed Liverpool won the UEFA Cup with a 5-4 defeat of Alaves. They also took both domestic cups, beating Arsenal 2-1 in the FA Cup final through two late goals from Michael Owen and winning a penalty shootout against Birmingham in the League Cup. 

John Terry, who had just turned 21, scored his first league goal for Chelsea in their 1-1 draw at Highbury. His team-mate Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was the Premier League's top marksman with 23, four ahead of Marcus Stewart of newly promoted Ipswich. They finished fifth but went down the following year. 

Bradford City were in the bottom three for most of the season and finished adrift on 26 points. Manchester City and Coventry took the other two relegation places. For Coventry, it was the end of an unbroken run of 34 years at the top level. John Hartson played in their last 12 games after signing from Wimbledon and finished as joint top scorer with six goals alongside Mustapha Hadji and Craig Bellamy.

PL TABLE 130101Results & table from Statto.com

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