ANDREW VORCE - Sunday, April 12, 2009
Clint Dempsey lifted Fulham over Manchester City with a two goals away from home while the battle between Brad Friedel and Tim Howard ended all square.
Aston Villa 3 - 3 Everton
Both Brad Friedel and Tim Howard were each beaten three times by three different players durng a thrilling game that saw the hosts twice come from behind to claim a share of the points.
Friedel had to be aware early on, doing well to save from a powerful Phil Neville shot. His defense was not as sharp, however, as Leighton Baines and Jo combined to cut through their defense, and the ball ended up at the feet of Marouane Fellaini for the simplest of tap ins to open the scoring in the 19th minute.
The American keeper then was faulted for a poor attempt at a punch out as an Everton corner eventually fell to the head of Tim Cahill who made no mistake from two yards out with Friedel stranded on the six-yard line in the 23rd.
John Carew pulled one back 12 minutes before half time after three Villa players were left unmarked six yards out from goal. The Norwegian drew the entire defense to his location, and allowed the ball to be worked back in to him, where the big striker made no mistake.
Neville picked out Steven Pienaar eight minutes after the break, and Friedel was stranded in the middle of the goal, blinded by two players. Pienaar picked his spot perfectly to put Everton comfortably in the lead.
But just two minutes later Villa responded in fashion with a spectacular James Milner free kick. Tim Howard had a large wall for the shot that was 10 yards outside of the area, and the free kick was sent in with pace and curve to his near post.
Gareth Barry scored from the spot to bring Villa level for the first time of the evening as Joleon Lescott kicked Stiliyan Petrov. Barry blasted his penalty kick straight down the center as Howard dove left.
Tony Hibbert and Neville were booked on the way to shared points, as Villa prepare for the visit of Jonathan Spector's West Ham next Saturday. Everton will have until Sunday to show that they have what it takes to hang with the best as they travel to Manchester United.
Manchester City 1 - 3 Fulham
Clint Dempsey scored Fulham's first and final goals as the visitors completely outclassed the blue side of Manchester who gave up their early lead to fall at home.
Stephen Ireland started the scoring, taking the ball from nearly midfield to produce a wonder strike past the stranded Mark Schwarzer.
Five minutes into the second half Fulham leveled things up when a Bobby Zamora drew the City defense before finding Dempsey who took no chances and perfectly picked out the far bottom corner with his first touch.
Hesitant defending cost City their second goal of the evening as a poor clearance fell straight to Dickson Etuhu. The Nigerian midfielder collected the ball on the edge of the area before burying it into the upper corner.
Zamora provided for Dempsey again as the big striker took his time to hold his forward surge to pick out the American on his left who shrugged off his defender to slot in Fulham's second away win of the season.
Paul Konchesky was the only player booked as Fulham moved to eighth place, one point behind West Ham. Up next for the Cottagers is a weekend visit to Middlesbrough.
Crystal Palace 0 - 2 Cardiff City
Eddie Johnson played out the final 13 minutes as Cardiff kept their cool in a heated match in London to take all three points.
Nathanial Clyne brought down Joe Ledley, allowing Ross McCormack to slot in the opener, sending Julian Speroni the wrong way in the 22nd minute.
Both Michael Chopra and Roger Johnson were forced out of the match through injury, with Claude Davis' challenge on Johnson resulting in an overnight stay in the hospital for the defender due to a throat injury.
During halftime both coaches were sent off the field and into the stands for a heated exchange after the whistle. Cardiff kept their cool and McCormack did it all himself, rounding Davis to get an insurance gaol in the final minutes.
Both Clint Hill and Rui Fonte were booked for palace, as Jay Bothroyd and Gavin Rae picked up cards from referee Russell Booth.
Cardiff turn around and play Burnley Monday afternoon.
Reading 0 - 1 Sheffield United
Marcus Hahnemann was just before the hour mark as Sheffield United edged the top of the standings game that put them in second place in the Championship.
Hahnemann was unlucky not to save the first attempt by Kilgallon, nearly being chipped. The keeper was saved by his crossbar, only for it to fall to the feet of the lurking Brian Howard.
Howard also picked up his 10th yellow card of the season, resulting in a two match suspension.
Chris Armstrong and Michael Duberry were the only two other players booked as Reading turn their sights to Blackpool on Monday.
Sheffield Wednesday 0 - 1 Derby
Frank Simek got back onto the field after his latest injury lay off only to be defeated at the hands of Derby, who ended a five game winless streak.
Darren Potter and Marcus Todgay both hit the post for Wednesday before Rob Hulse found the goalscoring touch to put Derby ahead just before the break. Hulse headed in Gary Teale's left sided free kick from eight yards out.
James O'Connor was the only Owl booked as Stephen Bywater and Hulse picked up yellows from referee Steve Tanner.
Up next for Wednesday is Queens Park Rangers on Monday.
Watford 1 - 1 Barnsley
Jay DeMerit was unable to help keep the Tykes at bay as the relegation battlers were snipped out of all three points through Tommy Smith.
Jon Macken scored after a cross from Adam Hammill on the right side and the striker pounced before Scott Loach could do anything about it. The opener came in the 67th minute, but Smith had it equal just two minutes before the break.
Jobi McAnuff worked himself into open area and his cross found Smith in the center who made no mistake from six yards out.
Michael Misfud was the only player booked in the match.
Up next for DeMerit is a Monday date with Norwich.
Yeovil Town 2 - 0 Millwall
Yeovil Town downed 10 man Millwall as Zak Whitbread's defensive partner Alan Dunne was sent off with nearly 20 minutes to go.
Yeovil struck just before half time through Jon Obika who was picked out by Keiran Murtagh. Their second goal came four minutes after half time when Paul Warne picked out Gavin Tomlin who beat David Forde to his far post.
Murtagh, Gary Robers, and Luke Rodgers were booked for the home team while the Lions' David Martin and Marc Laird were booked. Up next for Whitbread is Peterborough on Monday.
Jonathan Spector was not involved in West Ham's 1-0 loss to Tottenham.
Mike Grella played out the final four minutes as a ninth minute Jonny Howson goal locked up all three points for Leeds as they overtook Stockport 1-0 at home.
Jemal Johnson and Ian Joyce were both not needed as Milton Keynes Dons cruised past Southend United 2-0 away from home.