MATHEW WAGNER - Monday, April 14, 2014
Tim Howard and Everton now control their own destiny when it comes to Champions League soccer next season, while Oguchi Onyewu and Sheffield Wednesday erased a two-goal deficit to record a point.
Crystal Palace 1 - 0 Aston Villa
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa's slump continued with a loss at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Guzan went the distance in net for Villa, which dropped to just four points above the relegation zone with the loss.
Although Aston Villa held a possession advantage of 57 to 43 percent, Aston Villa rarely created any chances, with the best chance coming in the 21st minute. Ciaran Clark headed a ball that got past Julian Speroni, but Crystal Palace's Cameron Jerome cleared it off the line.
From that point, Crystal Palace had the better chances, and the Eagles punched through in the 76th minute. Yannick Bolasie sent in a cross into the middle of the box, where Jason Puncheon outmuscled Ryan Bertrand and slotted home into the bottom corner.
Villa now sits in 14th place with five matches to go, and the Villans will host Southampton next Saturday.
Everton FC 1 - 0 AFC Sunderland
Tim Howard and Everton moved into fourth place with a win over Sunderland on Saturday.
Howard played the 90 minutes at goalkeeper for the Toffees, while Jozy Altidore didn't dress for Sunderland yet again.
Everton's seventh consecutive win was a scrappy one, as Sunderland held the Toffees in check for most of the match. The match-winning goal came not though any effort by Everton, but through a Sunderland own goal. The Black Cats' Wes Brown attempted to clear a Gerard Deulofeu cross, but the ball went into the back of the Sunderland net instead.
With the win, the Toffees control their own destiny for the last Champions League spot. Everton next faces Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
Stoke City 1 - 0 Newcastle United
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City made up some ground on ninth place Newcastle United with a win on Saturday.
After leaving last weekend's match at halftime, Cameron went the distance at right back for the Potters.
Considering Newcastle put in a lackluster effort, Erik Pieter's goal right before halftime proved to be enough for Stoke. Pieter was trying to cross the ball into the box from the left wing when the ball carried over Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul and into the top right corner of the net.
With the win, Stoke moved to three points behind Newcastle, and the Potters will have a chance to edge even closer when they travel to Cardiff next Saturday.
Bolton Wanderers 1 - 0 Barnsley FC
A goal right before halftime fired Tim Ream and Bolton past Barnsley on Saturday in Championship action.
Ream went the distance in defense for the Trotters, who have won their last three matches and are on a six-match unbeaten run.
In a match that had little action of note, Jermaine Beckford scored the lone goal in the 44th minute. Matt Mills sent a long ball that put Beckford alone on net, and Beckford dribbled around Barnsley goalkeeper Luke Steele and put the ball in the back of the net.
Bolton's lead was in danger in the 84th minute after the Trotters' Alex Baptiste felled Barnsley's Ryan McLaughlin. Chris O'Grady stepped up to penalty spot and sent his shot off the crossbar to squander the Tykes best chance.
The win put Bolton into 14th place and in relative safety. The Trotters play against Charlton next on Friday.
Sheffield Wednesday 3 - 3 Blackburn Rovers
Oguchi Onyewu and Sheffield Wednesday recovered from a two-goal deficit to tie Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
Onyewu started and went the distance for the Owls.
The goal-scoring started in the 15th minute, when Blackburn's Jordan Rhodes took advantage of a failed clearance by Sheffield Wednesday that allowed Rhodes to get around Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland and slot it home. The Owls found an equalizer 15 minutes later, as Atdhe Nuhiu headed along a corner to Lewis Buxton, who closed from close range.
Blackburn scored two goals right before halftime to retake the lead and carry the momentum heading into the break. First, in the 36th minute, Craig Conway fired a low shot from outside the box that went into the bottom left corner, and then in the 43rd minute, Michael Keane headed in a Jason Lowe cross to give Rovers a two-goal advantage.
It took a while for the Owls to respond, and it seemed Blackburn was on its way to a win until the 72nd minute, when Wednesday started the comeback. Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson failed to take care of a Michail Antonio cross, and Nuhiu guided it into the back of the net from very close range.
Then, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Nuhiu delivered again, this time to earn the Owls a point. Nuhiu launched a left-footed shot from the middle of the 18-yard box into the roof of the net.
With the draw, Sheffield Wednesday continued to hold onto 15th place in the Championship. The Owls next play at Bournemouth on Friday.
Brad Friedel was on the bench on Saturday when Tottenham came back from a three-goal deficit to tie West Bromwich Albion, 3-3.
Eric Lichaj missed Nottingham Forrest's 5-2 loss to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.
Zak Whitbread and Duane Holmes were unused substitutes for Derby County and Huddersfield Town, respectively, when Derby won on Saturday, 3-1.