RECAP: WEEKEND ENGLISH ACTION
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ANDREW VORCE - Sunday, March 14, 2010
Marcus Hahnemann was the only winning Yank in England as Clint Dempsey made his Premier League return at the same time that Landon Donovan was playing his last for the season.

Birmingham 2 - 2 Everton

Tim Howard may have suited up with Landon Donovan for their last time together in Everton colors as Everton failed to hold their first half lead away to Birmingham in Donovan's supposed final match with the Toffees.

Victor Anichebe got the scoring started for Everton in the 19th minute with a left footed rocket. Just three minutes later Anichebe's partner up front Yakubu Aiyegbeni had Everton firmly in the driver's seat. Steven Pienaar whipped in a cross from the flank and Aiyegbeni rose the highest to nod home his advantage.

Cameron Jerome completed the flurry of goals, getting one back for Birmingham. After a tame cross in, Jerome put a bit of skill on display for the home fans, a no-look volley that trickled into the far post.

The game was level just seven minutes into the second half when Criag Gardner made something out of nothing. A free kick on the edge of Birmingham's 18 traveled the length of the field, and Gardner showed grit to get to the ball first before smashing home an 18 yard shot to earn a share of the spoils.

Donovan could do little in the 23 minutes he was given at the end, but will return to Los Angeles an accomplished Everton player. Lee Bowyer saw yellow for Birmingham, while Aiyegbeni was booked for Everton. Up next for the Toffee's, a weekend match at home to Bolton.

Stoke 0 - 0 Aston Villa

Brad Friedel was able to keep a clean sheet while Brad Guzan watched on as Aston Villa failed to pick up points at Britannia Stadium with Stoke playing host.

Ricardo Fuller could have broken he deadlock after being brought on in the 50th minute. The big number 10 danced around the Villa back line but couldn't get his shot on target with Friedel looming in front of him.

James Milner had a chance for Villa, curling a free kick in the dying minutes that missed by a hair. Villa did however pick up all of the yellow cards, with Carlos Cuellar, Richard Dunne, Milner, and Stephen Warnock all being booked. Up next for the Villans, a trip to Wigan on Tuesday.

Chelsea 4 - 1 West Ham

Jonathan Spector was a 90 minute man in a one-sided match that saw Didier Drogba seal the victory in an all-London affair.

Alex got the scoring started in the 16th minute with a solid header. West Ham failed to deal with Chelsea's corner, and no one marked the run of the surging defender who smashed home his header.

Scott Parker pulled level, pulling up with a stunning half volley that left third string Ross Turnbull completely stranded. With 30 minutes gone, Parker controlled an attacking throw in towards space before smashing home the equalizer.

Drogba got the game winning goal, however, bringing Chelsea back into the drivers seat with almost an hour played. Flourant Malouda picked out the Ivorian front man with a nice cross, with Drogba scoring from close range.

Malouda then added his own tally to put Chelsea well on their way to victory with a strong left footed shot that beat Robert Green low. Green did well to keep Frank Lampard's 90th minute attempt out, but Drogba was on hand to tap in the rebound.

Mido was the only player booked in the match, with the Hammers traveling to North London to take on Arsenal on Saturday.

Burnley 1 - 2 Wolverhampton

Marcus Hahnemann was beaten once in the Wolverhampton net as Wolves showed their predatory instinct to slay Burnley.

Tyrone Mears attempted a back pass to his keeper with his head, but Matty Jarvis was already lurking and the Wolves man skipped into space before slotting past Brian Jensen.

Just two minutes after the restart, Burnley gifted Wolves an even larger lead when Clarke Carlisle deflected Adlene Guedioura's shot into his own net. Burnley did get a consolation goal with 12 minutes left, nodding past Hahnemann but it was too little too late.

Jensen was booked for Burnley, while Christophe Berra, Guedioura, Andrew Keogh, and Michael Mancienne were booked for Wolves. Up next for Hahnemann and company, a trip to Villa Park on Saturday.

Hull 1 - 2 Arsenal

Jozy Altidore went 82 minutes against Arsenal but the 10 man Tigers were undone in the 90th minute by Nicklas Bendtner.

Andrei Arshavin got the goal scoring started in the 14th minute proving his worth after beating two defenders on the run. Muscling his way through, the little Russian blasted a shot from 12 yards out before any Hull player could close him down.

Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink set Hull's comeback, even though the striker looked to be offsides. Getting free in the area, Sol Campbell only recovered to bring the Dutch forward down, and Jimmy Bullard stepped up to slot in the penalty kick.

Hull made their job nearly impossible when George Boateng received his marching orders on the stroke of half time. The Hull captain was booked for a scuffle with Bendtner just minutes before, but then was sent off after a dangerous challenge on Bacary Sagna.

With six minutes of stoppage time added on, the visitors took all three points in the 92nd minute. Denilson's original shot from 30 yards out was parried straight back into the path of Bendtner who finished with his first touch.

Andy Dawson joined Boateng in the book, with Bentner and Campbell being booked in their clashes throughout the game. Hull next face Portsmouth next Saturday.

Manchester United 3 - 0 Fulham

Clint Dempsey played 82 minutes for Fulham in his Premier League return after going 30 minutes in Turin in Fulham's Europa League clash against Juventus.

And Dempsey came the closest for Fulham in the early stages after a sloppy giveaway from Gary Neville. The ball fell to Dempsey in the midfield, and the American let rip from 25 yards out, narrowly missing the upper corner.

Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov were making life very difficult for the Fulham back line though, with Mark Schwarzer forced into save after save.

The deadlock was broken 30 seconds into the second half, however, as Rooney took over. Berbatov nodded into Rooney's path, who picked out Luis Nani on the left wing.

The Portuguese international played his part well, slotting Rooney straight across onto the penalty mark who side footed home.

Berbatov continued to prove his worth with attempt after attempt, and set up Rooney for his second of the night. With a defender on either side of him, the Belgian international carelessly slipped the ball around them in a sprint to the end line, before squaring it back for Rooney to side foot home to the left corner in the 84th.

Berbatov finally got his own goal after so much hard work, with Park Ji-Sung providing the cross. With tight marking, the front man was forced into a diving header from close range to nod the ball pass the helpless Schwarzer.

Antonio Valencia and Danny Murphy were the only two booked in the match, with United cruising into first place in the Premier League. Up next for Dempsey is a Thursday clash with Juventus at Craven Cottage.

Watford 0 - 1 Peterborough

Jay DeMerit and Watford will have an eye behind them as they fell to bottom of the ranks versus Peterborough United.

Just six minutes into the second half Posh got the lead they had been looking for, when Hornets goalkeeper Scott Loach was caught stranded.

The keeper came well off his line to try to clear a through ball, but it fell to Liam Dickson who side footed his chip from 35 yards out to claim all three points.

Heidar Helguson and Henri Lansbury were booked for Watford who have 39 points with 34 games played. DeMerit and company will look to make amends when Devann Yao's Ipswich come to Vicarage Road Stadium.

Notes:

Stuart Holden did not suit up in Bolton's 4-0 demolition of Wigan.

Kenny Cooper stayed on the bench in Plymouths 1-1 away draw at Coventry.

Frank Simek rode the pine in Sheffield Wednesday's goalless draw at The Liberty Stadium against Swansea.

Devann Yao did not suit up for Ipswich in their 1-0 home win over Scunthorpe.

Mike Grella was out injured when Leeds United fell 1-0 away to Southampton.

Norwich continued their League One dominance without the help of injured Zak Whitbread, in a 3-1 comeback victory at Huddersfield.

Jemal Johnson is out injured as Stockport drew 0-0 at home to Gillingham.

Jon-Paul Pittman was a 90th minute sub in Wycombe's 2-2 away draw at Oldham.

Southend drew 0-0 at home to Exeter with Ian Joyce not making the bench.

Seb Harris remained on the bench as Northampton won 2-0 at home to Darlington.
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