Champions League places: Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle United.
UEFA Cup places: Leeds United, Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers (League Cup), Fulham (Intertoto Cup), Ipswich Town (Fair Play Draw)
Promoted (from 2000/01): Fulham, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers
Relegated: Leicester City, Derby County, Ipswich Town
Leading Scorer: Thierry Henry (Arsenal) 24 goals
Premier League Table 2001 – 2002
|7||West Ham United||38||15||8||15||48||57||-9||53|
2001/02 Season Review
Having finished as runners-up to Manchester United in the three previous seasons, this was Arsenal’s year – and what a year. The first Barclaycard-sponsored Premier League season was the most closely-fought campaign in history.
Mounting speculation over who would replace Alex Ferguson at the end of the season seemed to distract the Manchester United side as they won only six of their opening 15 matches. However, they beat Tottenham 5-3 in one of the most dramatic Premier League matches. Losing 3-0 at half-time, United looked dead and buried. But a second-half onslaught fired them to a remarkable victory.
Clubs On The Move
With United failing to ninth place, new challengers for the crown emerged. Liverpool sold legend Robbie Fowler to Leeds for £ 11 million and was further rocked when manager Gerard Houllier suffered a heart attack during their 1-1 draw with Leeds. But, with newly crowned European Player of the Year Michael Owen scoring freely, they were top for the first time in three years.
Newcastle United was confirmed as unlikely title contenders in December. A surprise 3-1 victory at Highbury was swiftly followed by a stunning 4-3 win over Leeds (who at one point had been leading 3-1).
Manchester United staged a remarkable comeback in the new year, and a nine-match winning run saw them storm back up the table. Welcome news that Alex Ferguson was to continue as Manager seemed to spur them to victory.
Sol Campbell Move
But Arsenal – who had snatched defender Sol Campbell from deadly rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the beginning of the season – was unbeatable. An astonishing run of 13 straight wins propelled them to the top of the 2001/02 Premier League table.
And victory was made even sweeter when they clinched it with a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford in the season’s penultimate match. Arsene Wenger crowed: “We wanted to show a shift in power in the Premier League. We have done it, and we deserve it.”
At the other end of the table, all three promoted sides stayed up for the first time in the Premier League. However, Ipswich was relegated just a year after qualifying for the UEFA Cup and seeing George Burley take the Manager of the Year prize.
Their fate seemed sealed with just one win from the opening 18 matches. But a run of six victories in seven games lifted them to 12th place on the 2001/02 Premier League table and possible safety. However, the second loss of form, culminating in a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool on the last day of the season, sent the Tractor Boys down.
Leicester City got off to a terrible start and never really recovered. A four-month winless run sealed their fate, and they were relegated on 6th April after a 1-0 home defeat to Manchester United. Derby County was the other relegated team – seven defeats in their last eight matches, consigning them to the drop.
Arsenal won the FA Cup days before taking the title to complete their ‘double’ and top off a remarkable season. The Gunners became the first Premier League side to score in every league fixture and not lose an away match all season.
2001/02 Cup Results
2001/02 FA Cup Winners: Arsenal [Final – Arsenal 2 v 0 Chelsea]
2001/02 League Cup Winners: Blackburn Rovers [Final – Blackburn Rovers 2 v 1 Tottenham Hotspur]
2001/02 Champions League Winners: Real Madrid [Final – Real Madrid 2 v 1 Bayer Leverkusen]
2001/02 UEFA Cup Winners: Feyenoord [Final – Feyenoord 3 v 2 Borussia Dortmund]
2001/02 Managerial Changes
Aston Villa: John Gregory out, Graham Taylor in
Derby County: Jim Smith out, Colin Todd in, Colin Todd out, John Gregory in
Everton: Walter Smith out, David Moyes in
Leicester City: Peter Taylor out, David Bassett in, David Bassett out, Micky Adams in
Liverpool: Gerard Houllier out (sick leave), Phil Thompson in (temp)
Middlesbrough: Bryan Robson and Terry Venables out, Steve McLaren in
Southampton: Stuart Gray out, Gordon Strachan in
2001/2002 Premier League Player of the Month Awards
The following soccer players received the award for their achievements in the Premier League Player of the Month 2000/2001 season.
August 2001: Luis Saha (Fulham)
September 2001: Juan Sebastián Verón (Manchester United)
October 2001: Rio Ferdinand (Leeds United)
November 2001: Danny Murphy (Liverpool)
December 2001: Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United)
January 2002: Marcus Bent (Ipswich Town)
February 2002: Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United)
March 2002: Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal)
April 2002: Freddie Ljungberg (Arsenal)