RECAP: WEEKEND ENGLISH ACTION
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ANDREW VORCE - Sunday, December 13, 2009
Tim Howard claimed a point in a crazy game at Stamford Bridge as Brad Friedel and Aston Villa came away with all three points at Old Trafford.

Hull 0 - 0 Blackburn

Jozy Altidore was the first off the bench for Hull as both teams went scoreless at KC Stadium.

Hull were not without their chances, squandering an 11th minute opportunity. Craig Fagan sent Franco di Santo through with a perfectly weighted ball to send the forward one-on-one with the goalkeeper. With just one to beat, his shot let him down as Paul Robinson blocked with his left hand.

Altidore was penalized for diving in his efforts, tripping himself and claiming a penalty. Dean Marney was booked for Hull, while Nikola Kilinic and Christopher Samba were booked for the visitors.

Chelsea 3 - 3 Everton

Tim Howard was beaten three times in a back and forth match at Stamford Bridge that saw Everton's Louis Saha claim the final goal to mark the comeback.

Frank Lampard's 11th minute challenge on Steven Pienaar resulted in the first meaningful free kick of the game. Leighton Baines sent in the 40 yard free kick left footed, and Saha rose the highest to head it onto Petr Cech's near post. Cech was scrambling to get to the header which bounced back off of the post, hitting the outstretched keepers back, rolling back into the net.

Ricardo Carvalho put a hard challenge in on Saha to turn over possession in the midfield, and the defender made a surging run up the field. The Portuguese found Frank Lampard on the edge of the area, who used his first touch to pick out Didier Drogba five yards to his right. The clinical striker wasted no time, striking a left footed shot past Howard into the far top corner in the 18th.

Just five minutes later Chelsea took the lead for the first time of the match, as Nicolas Anelka capitalized on poor defending. The striker won a corner, to which the Toffees failed to clear. The ball finally fell to Analka on the left side of the goal, and without the pressure of a defender, was able to take two touches to fire past Howard into the far corner.

With half time only seconds away, Everton won a throw in near the left corner. Marouane Fellaini flicked his header on, and Aiyegbeni Yakubu out muscled Carvalho. The defender stayed on the ground, which provided the luck for Everton. Baines' shot deflected off of the prone defender, setting Yakubu up for a perfect volley past Cech's near post to bring both teams level ahead of the break.

More slack defending from Everton allowed Drogba to get his second of the day. Branislav Ivanovic was allowed the time to pick out Drogba out at the back post, and the striker did the rest, beating Pienaar to rocket home a first time volley past Howard's near post after 59 minutes.

Chelsea went three for three in assisting Everton onto the scoring block, this time Drogba being the Chelsea culprit. Another set piece for Everton was chipped into the area, and the striker was the last one back to try to strongly head away. His header bounced off the back of Saha, looping over Cech and the Chelsea defense and into the goal to end the game in the 63rd minute.

John Heitinga was the only player booked in the crazy game, as Chelsea stay top of the Premier League, while Everton sit in 15th.

Tottenham 0 - 1 Wolverhampton

Marcus Hahnemann continued in goal for Wolves as the visitors picked up a vital win at White Hart Lane.

It was truly a smash and grab job, as Kevin Doyle got the faintest of touches to head past Heurelho Gomes after a superb Nenad Milijas free kick. With a goal in the bag, Wolves parked the bus in front of the goal and defended well, with Hahnemann's late save from a Tom Huddlestone effort summing up the evening.

The victory marks Wolves' first victory on Spurs' turf since 1973, with all the cards coming to the visitors. Hahnemann and Stephen Ward were booked for time whasting, while Karl Henry, Matthew Jarvis, and Michael Mancienne also found their way into the referees book.

Burnley 1 - 1 Fulham

Clint Dempsey went 90 minutes and Eddie Johnson was left off the team sheet as Fulham gave up a one goal lead to come away even at Turf Moor.

Fulham could have been 3-0 up in the first half, with Damien Duff squandering a glorious opportunity and Brian Jensen making two strong saves. The Fulham goal finally came after 50 minutes after Chris Baird utilized a quick free kick to send Bobby Zamora running.

The frontman shrugged off Steven Caldwell, and took his time to rocket a shot off the back post and past Jensen for the opener. It took just 10 minutes for Burnley to find the equalizer, as Fulham failed to clear their lines. A Fulham header drifted to Wade Elliot at the far post, who side footed his volley past Mark Schwarzer to the far post.

Paul Konchesky and Jonathan Greening picked up the only yellow cards in the game as Fulham take up ninth in the Premier League.

Manchester United 0 - 1 Aston Villa

Brad Friedel was in goal as Aston Villa reassured their claims to a top four placement as Gabriel Agbonlahor's lone goal was enough to beat a patched up Manchester United.

Agbonlahor dished the ball wide to Ashley Young and the winger allowed the front man the time to make his goalwards run. No one picked up the run of Agbonlahor, and Young sent in a perfect cross that the Englishman headed home from close range.

Villa held out for the rest of the game, with Wayne Rooney hitting the crossbar and the Villa defense clearing a Nemanja Vidic header off the line. Rooney and Luke Young were the only players booked in the match as Villa occupy fourth place.

Watford 0 - 1 Derby

Jay DeMerit continued in the heart of the Watford defense as two former Premier League clubs did battle in the Coca-Cola Championship.

Chris Porter came off the bench to give Derby their first away win of the season, as Derby hadn't won away since April. The Hornets were looking for their fifth straight home victory, but a 77th minute goal from the super sub ended either statistic.

Adrian Mariappa fouled Porter, allowing the visitors a free kick. The substitute slipped his marker and was able to head past Loach to bring all three points back to Derby.

Tom Cleverley, John Eustace, Jon harley, Heidar Helguson, and Mariappa were all booked for the Hornets, while Paul Connolly and Dean Moxey were booked for Derby.

Lincoln City 1 - 3 Rochdale

Eric Lichaj was a 90 minute man as Lincoln City fell at home to League leaders Rochdale.

The home team got off to an ideal start, with Chris Herd hitting the opener after just 23 minutes played. Lichaj made a surging run from midfield to set up Herd for his first goal for the club.

Chris O'Grady cancelled out the earlier goal in the 36th, however, with Scott Wiseman beating Nathan Baker down the wing. Wiseman sited the box, and picked out O'Grady who rocketed in a first time shot.

On the stroke of halftime, Craig Dawson gave Rochdale the lifeline they needed heading into the locker rooms. Tom Kennedy took the last corner of the first half, and the big defender rose above the rest to head in the go ahead goal.

Joe Thompson rounded out the three points for Rochdale, as the City defense fell asleep. Chris Dagnall was allowed space to pick out Joe Thompson for a tap in at the back post.

Herd, Cian Hughton, and Lichaj were the only players booked in the game.

Notes:

Jonathan Spector was on the bench as 10 man West Ham fell 1-0 to Birmingham.

Jemal Johnson was left off the team sheet as Milton Keynes Dons won 2-1 at Leyton Orient.

Mike Grella was left on the bench as Leeds and Brentford went scoreless.

Frank Simek was left off the team sheet as Sheffield Wednesday fell 3-0 to Leicester.

Zak Whitbread is out injured as Millwall beat Walsall 2-1.

Ian Joyce was on the bench as Southend United beat Hartlepool 3-2.

Jon-Paul Pittmann saw the final mintes in Wycombe's 1-0 loss to Carlisle.

Seb Harris was on the bench as Northampton drew wiith 10 man Port Vale 1-1.
Bobeto
Monday December 14, 2009 10:38 am
Jozy is getting into the habit of falling very easy. For a guy his size I would like to see him fight off a defender not just drop with contact. I still don't know if he will be ready to start for the Nats.

I think Dempsey should be our 2nd striker along side Casey. If BB gives Jones a shot and don't be surprised to see a Beasley back in the squad, I think the midfield will be a bit crowded. Great to see DeMerit back in the lineup.
cheetahyz
Monday December 14, 2009 12:43 am
"Altidore was penalized for diving in his efforts, tripping himself and claiming a penalty." Not sure if that's what really happened. From the replay I saw, looked like the opposing player knocked JA and the momentum resulted in the trip up.
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