JOHN KRETLOW - Monday, April 1, 2013
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa dropped into the relegation zone as they lost to Liverpool, while Tim Howard returned to action in Everton's win over Geoff Cameron's Stoke City.

Aston Villa 1 - 2 Liverpool

Brad Guzan and Aston Villa sunk into the relegation zone with their loss to Liverpool on Sunday.

Guzan recorded five saves and went the distance, while defender Eric Lichaj made the game day roster but did not feature.

Christian Benteke opened the scoring for Villa in the 31st minute when he launched a shot from the top of the box into the back of the net after Gabriel Agbonlahor set him up with a chest pass.

Liverpool equalized in the 47th minute though as Jordan Henderson received a brilliant through ball from Phillippe Coutinho and managed to slide the ball passed Guzan.

In the 59th minute Luis Suarez was taken down in the box by Villa's Nathan Baker, causing the referee to call the penalty. Despite Guzan guessing the right way, Steven Gerrard's penalty beat the American ‘keeper and gave Liverpool the lead.

Villa nearly equalized in the 65th minute when a Benteke header was heading to goal, but Gerrard head saved the shot.

With seven games left, Villa finds themselves in the bottom three. They trail Wigan Athletic by just goal differential to get to safety.

The Villans take on Stoke City on the road next week.

Swansea City 1 - 2 Tottenham Hotspur

Brad Friedel recorded two saves and went the full 90 minutes to help Tottenham in their win over Swansea City.

Clint Dempsey did not dress for Spurs due to a reported flu virus.

Tottenham got on the board early when Gareth Bale found Jan Vertonghen for the goal in the seventh minute.

Spurs then doubled their lead in the 21st minute, as Bale got on the score sheet himself when he received a pass from Vertonghen at the top of the box and launched a left footed rocket into the back of the net.

Michu snapped a header passed Friedel in the 70th minute, but it was not enough to beat Spurs on the day.

Tottenham jumps into third place in the standings and takes on Basel this week in Europa League play, then welcome Everton next weekend in league action.

Everton 1 - 0 Stoke City

After missing several weeks with a back injury, Tim Howard was back in goal in Everton's win over Geoff Cameron's Stoke City.

The American ‘keeper went the distance and recorded three saves for the Toffees, while Cameron also played 90 minutes for Stoke. Brek Shea did not dress for the Potters.

Howard was tested early in the match, as a long Stoke throw in was headed by Robert Huth, but the former MetroStar made a diving save to his right to keep the game scoreless.

In the 28th minute Everton notched the only goal of the game, as a Howard punch sent Kevin Mirallas on a scorching counterattack into the Potters' area. He beat Cameron and then slid the ball into the back of the net.

Stoke was unable to equalize, and now find themselves in the thick of the relegation zone battle. The Potters are just four points above the bottom three with seven games left in the season.

They take on Aston Villa next week at the Britannia.

The win for Everton has them in sixth place, trailing Arsenal for a Europa League position by two points and Chelsea for a Champions League spot by four points.

The Toffees take on Tottenham next weekend.

Sheffield Wednesday 2 - 1 Barnsley

Stuart Holden made his debut for Sheffield Wednesday this weekend in their big relegation battle victory over Barnsley.

The on-loan midfielder Holden played 61 minutes for the Owls just days after joining the team.

Wednesday notched two goals in the second half, one byGary Madine in the 65th minute and the other 12 minutes later by Reda Johnson.

Jacob Mellis was able to get a goal back in the 92nd minute for Barnsley, but it was too little and too late for the road team.

The Owls are a point above the bottom three and take on Bristol City on Monday.

Carlisle United 2 - 2 Shrewsbury Town

Frank Simek went the distance in Carlisle United's draw with Shrewsbury Town.

Lee Miller notched two penalties, one in the 65th minute and the other in the 82nd minute, while Town's Matthew Richards found the back of the net in the 63rd minute and Yado Mambo scored in the 76th.

The Cumbrians have a seven point cushion above the danger zone and take on Sheffield United on Monday.


Jonathan Spector and Will Packwood were out injured, but Birmingham City still notched the victory over Crystal Palace.

Conor Doyle never left the bench in Derby County's win over Bristol City.

Seb Hines was an unused sub in Middlesbrough's loss to Wolverhampton.

Zak Whitbread dressed but did not feature in Leicester City's loss to Millwall.

Tim Ream did not feature in Bolton's loss to Charlton Athletic.

Mike Grella did not see the field in Scunthorpe United's win over Leyton Orient.

Jon Paul Pittman did not dress in Oxford United's draw with Morecambe.

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