United hit heights as Spurs suffer sinking feeling

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The Independent Football

Manchester United are champions. Tottenham collect the wooden spoon. It could be a forecast for the end of the season. It is already a fact in the final Premiership table of 2003.

United won 91 points in 36 League games last year to head the calendar-year table by 11 points from Arsenal. Spurs amassed fewer points, 36, than any other top flight team. They won only 10 games in the whole year, home and away. They lost the same number at White Hart Lane alone. No other non-relegated side lost more than seven home games.

The table for 2003 underlines the degree to which the top three sides have moved clear of the rest, with a 31-point gap between Manchester United and fourth-placed Newcastle. But even within the top three, the leaders had a comfortable margin over Arsenal, who in turn had a nine-point advantage over Chelsea, who themselves were nine points clear of Newcastle.

Tottenham's terrible year was almost matched by Leeds, who also won a mere 10 games in the year. Newcastle's fourth place owes more to good end-of-season form from 2002-03 than any consistency this term, as does Liverpool's fifth place.

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