JOHN KRETLOW - Sunday, May 5, 2013
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa notched a last gasp victory over Norwich City to give their chances of safety a big boost, while Clint Dempsey's Tottenham were victorious over Southampton.
Norwich City 1-2 Aston Villa
Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj, and Aston Villa notched a dramatic victory over Norwich City that could go far in keeping them out of relegation this season.
Guzan went the distance and recorded one save, while Lichaj came on in the 27th minute to finish the game.
After a scoreless first half, Villa got on the board first in the 55th minute when Gabriel Agbonlahor raced his way into the final third and blasted a low shot from just outside the box to beat a diving Mark Bunn.
However, the Canaries leveled the game in the 74th minute when Joseph Bennett took down Robert Snodgrass in the box, rewarding Norwich City the penalty kick. Grant Holt stepped up and buried the ensuing kick to the delight of the crowd at Carrow Road.
In the 89th minute Villa secured their three points when Ashley Westwood sent a brilliant through ball to Agbonlahor who slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Villa is now five points above the relegation zone with two games left in the season. They take on Chelsea at home next week in a crucial clash.
Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Southampton
Clint Dempsey played 72 minutes in Tottenham's win over Southampton this weekend.
The win keeps Spurs in the hunt for a top four finish and a Champions League spot for next season.
Southampton played the better of the two in the opening half, culminating in close opportunity in the 36th minute when Rickie Lambert rocketed a low free kick to goal only to have Spurs' ‘keeper Hugo Lloris to make a brilliant diving save.
Spurs however got the winner in the 86th minute when Gareth Bale cut into the center of the field and blasted a shot from outside the box to beat Southampton goalie Artur Boruc.
Tottenham are in fifth place and trail Arsenal by two points for the fourth spot and Chelsea by three points for the third position. Spurs have three games left in the season and take on Chelsea on Wednesday in a pivotal London derby.
Liverpool 0-0 Everton
Tim Howard and Everton's 14-year winless drought at Anfield continues as they drew with Liverpool in another edition of the Merseyside derby.
The American ‘keeper went the distance and recorded three saves on the day.
The Toffees came close in the 16th minute when a Leighton Baines free kick found Marouane Fellaini who volleyed the ball just wide of Pepe Reina's goal.
In the 48th minute Liverpool nearly found the back of the net when Philippe Coutinho sent in a perfect through ball to Daniel Sturridge. The forward tried to round Howard, but the American did well to push Sturridge to an awkward angle and then save the off balance shot.
A controversial moment in the 56th minute happened when the Toffees' Sylvain Distin headed home a corner kick, however the referee disallowed the goal because of an apparent foul by Everton's Victor Anichebe.
The game ended as a scoreless draw, almost ensuring that Everton will finish the season ahead of Liverpool for the second season in a row.
With two games left though, Everton's chances of a top four finish were dashed. The Toffees shot at a Europa League spot are also slim, as they trail Tottenham by five points.
Everton will play their last game at Goodison Park this season next week against West Ham United.
Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Blackpool
Tim Ream and Bolton drew with Blackpool and missed the promotion playoffs by just goal differential.
Ream started and played 91 minutes, while Stuart Holden dressed but did not feature.
It was a valiant effort nonetheless for the Trotters, as Chris Eagles notched two goals in first half stoppage time, tying the game after Blackpool had gotten the lead on goals from Matthew Phillips and Ludovic Sylvestre.
Because of Leicester City's dramatic victory, Bolton draw was no enough to get them into the playoffs.
Geoff Cameron's Stoke City takes on Sunderland on Monday.
Zak Whitbread did not dress in Leicester City's win over Nottingham Forest, which clinches them a spot in the promotion playoffs.
Seb Hines did not make the game day roster in Middlesbrough's loss to Sheffield Wednesday.
Conor Doyle did not dress in Derby County's win over Millwall.
Jonathan Spector and Will Packwood did not feature in Birmingham City's draw with Blackburn.