KENYA BROWN - Monday, March 20, 2017
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City tried but failed to stop Premier League leaders Chelsea while Danny Williams and Reading took another step to solidify their playoff spot in the Championship.
Stoke City 1-2 Chelsea
A goal from Gary Cahill before the end of regulation time helped Chelsea take another step towards regaining the English Premier League crown as they fought earn all three points at the Britannia Stadium.
Geoff Cameron was in the starting lineup for Stoke and the played the entire game in the loss.
It was rather scrappy game between the two teams as Chelsea striker Diego Costa was involved in several fracases with Stoke players - Cameron would be one of them as he got into a verbal spat with the Spain international.
The Blues would open the scoring 13 minutes into the first half when a free kick from Willian caught Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant off guard and beat him at the near post.
However, the Potters would score the equalizer from the penalty spot in the 38th minute through Jon Walters after the referee had judged that Cahill pushed him down in the area.
The teamwork between the Chelsea players in the absence of their star midfield Eden Hazard proved to be the catalyst for the team down the stretch as they earned the corner kick in the 83rd minute that allowed Cahill to score the goal that got them all three points.
Stoke remain in ninth place in the standings with 36 points.
Sheffield Wednesday 0-2 Reading
Reading further secured their hold on to a place in the Championship playoffs as they secured a crucial three points at Hillsborough Stadium.
Danny Williams was in the starting lineup for the Royals in their winning effort.
However, Reading will have to thank their goalkeeper, Ali Al Habsi, from keeping the Owls from finding the back of the net as he made several key saves to keep them scoreless.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Yann Kermorgant, whose easily beat Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood.
From that point on, Reading were in a battle to hold on to their one-goal lead. Al Habsi would step up to make saves on efforts from the likes of Jordan Rhodes and Will Buckley.
With time running down, Wednesday had one last attempt to find the equalizer and sent Westwood up to help in the scoring effort. However, the attempt failed and Adrian Popa easily scored for Reading at the other end as he tapped the ball into the open net.
The win leaves Reading in fifth place in the standings with 67 points.
Brad Guzan watched from the bench in Middlesbrough's 3-1 loss to Manchester United.
Tim Ream was in the starting lineup for Fulham in their 3-1 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Despite the loss the Cottagers remain a point behind Sheffield Wednesday for the last playoff spot in the Championship.
Duane Holmes watched from the bench as Scunthorpe United suffered a 2-1 loss to Oxford United. The Iron still remain in the playoff places as they sit in fifth place in the League One standings.