MATHEW WAGNER - Monday, March 24, 2014
Geoff Cameron scored on Brad Guzan when Stoke City and Aston Villa met in Premier League action, while Will Packwood and Jonathan Spector couldn't help Birmingham City's bad stretch of results.
Norwich City 2 - 0 AFC Sunderland
Jozy Alitdore and Sunderland's chances of survival took a huge hit with a loss at Norwich on Saturday.
Altidore made his first start since Feb. 22, and the 24-year-old American went the distance for the Black Cats.
Sunderland struggled in the first half, and it showed, as Norwich scored both of its goals in the first 32 minutes.
Robert Snodgrass opened up the scoring in the 20th minute following a poor clearance from Sunderland defender Wes Brown that went straight to Johan Elmander, who centered the ball to Snodgrass for him to wrong-foot the goalkeeper.
Then, in the 32nd minute, the Canaries doubled their lead. Sunderland's John O'Shea headed clear a ball from deep in the box that fell to Alexander Tettey. Tettey volleyed the clearance, and the ball rocketed into the back of the net from 30 yards away.
From there, Norwich cruised to a win, as the Black Cats failed to trouble the Norwich goal. During second-half stoppage time, insult was added to injury when Marcos Alonso handed the ball and received a second yellow card to put Sunderland down to 10 men.
With the loss, Sunderland continues to occupy the last relegation spot in 18th place, and the Black Cats next play at Liverpool on Wednesday.
FC Everton 3 - 2 Swansea City
Tim Howard and Everton continued to put pressure on a European spot with a win over Swansea City on Saturday.
Howard started and went the distance between the sticks for the Toffees, who are now in sixth place and two points behind Tottenham for fifth place.
Everton took the lead in the 20th minute after Swansea's Chico Flores felled Ross Barkley in the box on a counterattack. Everton's Leighton Baines stepped up and fired the penalty into the left-side netting to open the scoring.
Thirteen minutes later, Swansea found an equalizer. Angel Rangel sent in a low cross from the right side of the box, and Wilfred Bony pounced on it and directed it into a wide-open net. This goal seemed to energize the Swans, who forced Howard to make a few solid saves before the first half ended to keep it tied.
Early in the second half, Everton took over, as the Toffees scored two goals in a six-minute span. It started in the 53rd minute, when Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku connected on a delayed give-and-go.
Lukakau made a cross field pass to Mirallas on the right wing, and then the Belgium forward slid into Mirallas' cross to put it in the back of the net.
Then, in the 58th minute, Mirallas assisted on Barkley's goal when his corner managed to meet Barkley in the middle of the six-yard box despite there being a mass of players in the way. Once it arrived at Barkley, the English midfielder headed the ball into the net.
In the second minute of stoppage time, Ashley Williams added a consolation goal for the Swans by heading in a Pablo Hernandez corner into the top left corner of the net.
The Toffees return to action on Tuesday at Newcastle United.
Aston Villa 1 - 4 Stoke City
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City scored four unanswered goals to rout Brad Guzan and Aston Villa on Sunday to pick up their first league away win since August.
Cameron played the full 90 minutes for Stoke, while fellow American Brek Shea was an unused substitute for the Potters. Guzan went the distance in net for Villa.
It didn't take long for Aston Villa to get on the board, opening the scoring in the fifth minute. Fabian Delph cut the ball back to Christian Beneteke, who after a touch slotted it inside the left post.
That turned out that was the high point for the Villans, as Stoke roared back with two goals in a four-minute span.
Peter Crouch chested the ball to Peter Odemwingie, who held off Ryan Bertrand to score into the bottom corner. Then, in the 26th minute, Marko Arnautovic back-heeled a ball to Erik Pieters, and the Dutchman centered the ball to crouch, who directed it to the left of Guzan.
Four minutes before halftime, the Potters struck again. Arnautovic put Steven Nzonzi in a dangerous spot, and Nzonzi beat Guzan to his right.
Not much happened from that point until Cameron added another goal in the 90th minute. Arnautovic attacked along the left wing, dribbled around a double and put the ball back to the American defender, who coolly placed the ball into the back of the net.
With the win, Stoke City sits in 10th place, and the Potter return to action next Saturday against Hull. With the loss, Aston Villa sits in 11th place and plays at Manchester United next Saturday.
Birmingham City 1 - 2 FC Reading
Will Packwood, Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City gave up a late goal in a loss to Reading on Saturday in Championship action.
Packwood and Spector played the entire match for Birmingham, while Danny Williams didn't dress for Reading because of a knee problem.
Birmingham started off the match the more dangerous team, but the Blues couldn't take their chances.
In the 39th minute, Jobi McAnuff made them pay against the run of play. Royston Drenthe came in off the right wing and crossed in a ball that the Blues managed to clear. That clearance fell to McAnuff, however, and the Reading captain shooting into the low corner for a goal.
The Blues found an equalizer just four minutes later when Kaspars Gorkiss fouled Callum Reilly in the box, and Paul Caddis stepped up to convert the penalty.
In the second half, Birmingham continued to look the more dangerous side, but once again, it was McAnuff who scored the goal - this time the match winner. In the 82nd minute, he blasted a shot from a Christ Gunter cross into the net.
With the loss, Birmingham has lost four of their last five matches and are now in 20th place. The Blues travel to Millwall on Tuesday for their next match.
Doncaster Rovers 1 - 0 Sheffield Wednesday
Oguchi Onyewu and Sheffield Wednesday lost a south Yorkshire derby to Doncaster on Saturday.
Onyewu went the full 90 for the Owls, who dropped into 15th place with the loss.
Buoyed by a couple of big wins, Wednesday came out and took it to Rovers and came close to taking the lead when Leon Best fired a shot wide from close range. That proved to bite the Owls just minutes later, as Chris Brown tapped in the rebound off a Billy Sharp shot in the 32nd minute.
Despite a few dangerous shots on net, the Owls couldn't equalize, and Doncaster escaped with the three points. Wednesday returns to action on Tuesday against Brighton.
Yeovil Town 2 - 2 Bolton Wanderers
Although Tim Ream and Bolton went down to 10 men for the final 11 minutes, they managed to come back from a two-goal deficit and record a tie at Yeovil Town on Satruday.
Ream started and went the distance the Trotters.
Bolton started off the match firing, with Lukas Jutkiewicz and Alex Baptiste have two good goal-scoring opportunities, but it was Yeovil Town that managed to score first.
In the 33rd minute, Kevin Dawson sent an aerial pass to Ishmael Miller, who volleyed the ball into the goal.
The Glover doubled their lead nine minutes later when Tom Lawrence set up the goal for Dawson, who slotted it home.
Early in the second half, Jutkiewicz brought Bolton back into the match, finding some space and firing his shot into the opposite side of the net, but it seemed lost when Baptiste received a straight red card in the 80th minute for a foul in the penalty area. Goalkeeper Adam Bogan saved Miller's penalty attempt, however, keeping the Trotters in the match.
In the 83rd minute, Zak Knight headed in the equalizer, with the attempt looping over Yeovil goalkeeper Marek Stech before landing inside the net. From there, neither team could do enough to get the three points, and they settled for a tie.
The tie keeps Bolton nine points above the drop zone in 17th place, and the Trotters next play Blackpool on Tuesday.
Brad Friedel was on the bench for Tottenham's 3-2 win over Southampton on Sunday.
Zak Whitbread dressed but did not play in Derby County's 5-0 shellacking on Saturday over Nottingham Forrest, who was without Eric Lichaj because of a groin injury.
Duane Holmes was an used substitute in Huddersfield Town's 1-0 loss to Blackpool on Saturday.