ANDREW VORCE - Monday, December 13, 2010
Stuart Holden won the game for 10-man Bolton at home to Blackburn while Eric Lichaj made his first Premier League start for Aston Villa in a full weekend of English action.
Bolton 2 - 1 Blackburn
Stuart Holden's goal in the 88th minute lifted 10 man Bolton over local rivals Blackburn to see all three points stay at Reebok Stadium.
Mark Davies was sent off in the 56th minute, forcing Bolton to play for the final half an hour with just 10 men. The Wanderers stuck together and got the breakthrough in less than ten minutes through substitute Fabrice Muamba.
Blackburn failed to clear their lines after a Bolton free kick, and Muamba picked up the rebound. Shaking two defenders with a fake shot, the sub picked out the near post to slot past Paul Robinson.
Blackburn had thought they had earned a share of the spoils in the 87th minute as second half substitute Mame Biram Diouf slotted past Jussi Jaaskelainen. Jason Roberts did well to pick out the on loan Manchester United striker with a one touch pass, but Diouf did the rest. Taking a few touches forward, his final shot took a slight deflection which lifted the ball over Jaaskelainen and into the back of the net.
It all came down to Holden's tenacity as the American got the game-winning goal just a minute later. Streaking forward after a long ball was played up, the former Houston Dynamo man received the ball off of Kevin Davies' flicked header. Controlling the ball with his chest, Holden held off two defenders before volleying past Robinson for the game winner.
Gary Cahill, Zat Knight, and Sam Ricketts joined Mark Davies in the book, while Phil Jones, Ryan Nelsen, and Martin Olsson were all booked for Rovers. Up next for Bolton is an away trip to Sunderland.
West Ham United 1 - 3 Manchester City
Jonathan Spector's West Ham were unable to handle the talent of visiting Manchester City.
Yaya Toure was the difference between the two teams, especially when the midfielder linked up with Gareth Barry. The first goal came when the duo combined with David Silva, but Barry played an intelligent ball back to Toure who was quickest to react.
Spector was guarding his counterpart, but Toure saw the pass first and took his shot with his first touch, slamming a left footed shot past Robert Green in the 30th.
Spector then again was on the wrong side of the ball after his attempted turn was stomped out by Nigel de Jong who then played a ball deep into the corner. Toure twisted and turned James Tomkins all the way into the box, while his shot bounced off the post, hitting the back of Green and ricocheting into the back of the net in the 73rd.
Adam Johnson was subbed on for the temperamental Mario Balotelli who had just been booked for dissent. In the 81st minute Silva played a fantastic ball through the heart of the defense which picked out the run of Johnson. Taking a touch wide of Green, Johnson had an open net to finish from a tight angle.
West Ham got one back through James Tomkins, as his 89th minute header took a slight deflection off of Kolo Toure before whizzing past Joe Hart. Tal Ben-Haim was the only Hammer booked, while de Jong and Pablo Zabaleta joined Balotelli in the book.
Up next for West Ham is an away trip to Blackburn.
Fulham 0 - 0 Sunderland
Clint Dempsey came close for Fulham but neither team were able to find the back of the net.
Dempsey had multiple chances come dangerously close, but none of them went into the back of the net. Early on he tested Simon Mignolet with a quickly taken long range volley, but the stand in keeper was equal to the task. Dempsey also had the composure to beat his marker on the edge of the area, then picking out Mignolet's upper right corner but the keeper was able to scramble over to make the save.
Dempsey was at the heart of everything good for Fulham, but Sunderland did their job to earn a share of the spoils. Keiran Richardson was the only player booked in the match. Eddie Johnson played out the final 20 minutes for Fulham who next face Liverpool away from home.
Everton 0 - 0 Wigan
Tim Howard had little to do as Everton completely dominated their home game against Wigan, but were unable to find the finishing touch.
Marouane Fellaini had an early chance as he sent his header wide, with Jack Rodwell also having a header deflected over the goal. Steven Pienaar had the best chance with a 30 yard rocket, but Ali Al Habsi was equal to everything Everton through at him.
Phil Neville and PIenaar were both booked for Everton, while Maynor Figueroa, Steve Gohouri, Charles N'Zogbia and Hendry Thomas were all booked for Wigan. Up next for Everton is an away trip to Manchester City.
Aston Villa 2 - 1 West Brom
Brad Friedel and Eric Lichaj started as Aston Villa got a crucial win over West Brom at home.
Marc Albrighton made the first goal after winning the ball high up the field. Nutmegging his defender taking it to the byline, his cross was helped on by Ashley Young to the sliding Stewart Downing who finished unmarked at the back post 25 minutes in.
Emile Heskey got the go ahead goal in the 80th minute after Villa piled pressure forwards. A goal line scrum saw the ball pop out wide to Albrighton, who sent in an inch perfect ball for Heskey who calmly diverted his header goalwards.
Paul Scharner got West Broms consolation goal in the 89th minute off of a West Brom corner. Rising above everyone else the big defender sent a power header from 12 yards out to the far post. Villa were unable to react quick enough as the ball ended in the net before anyone could kick it out.
Jerome Thomas and Gonzalo Jara were both booked for West Brom, while Somen Tchoyi hit Friedel's crossbar early on in the game.
Carlisle United 0 - 2 Dagenham & Redbridge
Carlisle United were shellshocked by Dagenham & Redbridge in front of the home fans at Brunton Park on Saturday courtesy of two late goals by the visitors.
Frank Simek started in defense and went the distance for Carlisle. The St. Louis native also picked up a yellow card.
Compatriot Mike Grella was a second half substitute coming on for Tom Taiwo in the 69th minute.
Both teams struggled to muster any offense for the first 75 minutes but still, heading into the final ten minutes, there was a sense that the Cumbrians would find a way to claim the three points.
However that was thrown out the window eight minutes from time when Medy Elito snuck in behind the Carlisle back line and nodded home Kayleden Brown's cross.
Grella and the Carlisle forwards scrambled to get an equalizer but they got burned again in the 89th when Danny Green fired in a shot to hand the Daggers the victory.
Carlisle are now 11th with 27 points in the League One standings and travel to Yeovil on Saturday.
Marcus Hahnemann remained on the bench for Wolves who won 1-0 at home to Birmingham.
Jemal Johnson did not suit up for MK Dons who got drilled at Notts County 2-0.
Conor Doyle saw action in the final four minutes for Derby County who fell to Bristol City 2-0.