CHAD WINGER - Monday, September 26, 2011
Brad Friedel and Robbie Findley were the only Americans to take part in victories this weekend in England while Conor Doyle returned from injury for Derby.
Manchester City 2 - 0 Everton
Tim Howard's Everton put up a valiant effort against title challenging Manchester City, but the hosts put the Toffees away in the final 20 minutes.
Everton head coach David Moyes clearly had his squad abandon any semblance of offense for the contest in an attempt to slow down the high-flying hosts, and for the first hour the tactic worked. The first true attempt on goal from either squad from Samir Nasri whose effort was saved well by the American keeper.
Roberto Mancini pushed the right buttons, though, and after bringing on controversial countryman Mario Balotelli City were up within six minutes. Sergio Aguero was the star of the play dribbling the ball across the top of the box with six defenders giving chase before the Argentine back-heeled his pass to the Italian whose blast took a slight deflection off Phil Jagielka on its way home.
Manchester finally killed off their guests in the 89th after taking advantage of a Roston Drenthe miscue. The diminutive Dutchman's horrific pass in midfield was stolen by David Silva and led to the Spaniard heading a City rush upfield which culminated with James Milner converting past a helpless Howard.
Newly signed Marcus Hahnemann was not yet ready to back up Howard on Everton's bench.
In defeat, Howard and company drop to 10th in the standings. Next up, the Blues host their hated city rival Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby.
Wigan Athletic 1 - 2 Tottenham Hotspur
Brad Friedel and Tottenham climbed up to sixth in the standings after notching their third straight win, this one over 10-man Wigan.
Catracho star Maynor Figueroa's CONCACAFesque gaffe put Spurs in the lead following his indecisive backpass. Togo international Emmanuel Adebayor stole in and set up Rafael van der Vaart, who crushed his finish past Omani Ali Al Habsi in just the third minute.
Twenty minutes later, Luka Modric lofted a perfectly-weighted corner for all-World wingback Gareth Bale to escape his marker to head home.
Ronnie Stam made a quick impact upon entering at halftime when he pilfered Benoit Assou-Ekotto's weak clearing attempt and found attempted clearance and after the ball came back to him he found Mohamed Diame, who was able to fight off a Younes Kaboul challenge and finish past Friedel.
Any thoughts of a Wigan comeback were sapped moments later, though, after Steve Gohouri was sent to the showers for a crack on Bale which earned him a second yellow.
Friedel, who was called on to make three saves, went the full 90 as always.
Next match for Tottenham is a return home to White Hart Lane to host bitter London rival Arsenal.
Birmingham City 1 - 1 Barnsley
Jonathan Spector was given the early hook, pulled off after only 56 minutes as Birmingham City looked to fight back against struggling Barnsley.
The Tykes' Jacob Butterfield gave the visitors the lead from a full 30 yards with a sweet strike that eluded American Wales international keeper Boaz Myhill just after the half hour mark
Birmingham, who lost Curtis Davies in the ninth minute due to a suspected knee injury, managed to eke out a draw when Chris Burke blasted a long-range goal in the 86th minute.
Having shared the points, Birmingham and Barnsley sit aside each other in the standings, tied on eight points apiece with the Blues having a game in hand.'
Should Spector play next in the Brummies next match, it will come on Thursday again NK Maribor in the Europa League.
Watford 0 - 1 Nottingham Forest
Robbie Findley went the first 73 minutes for Forest as the Tricky Trees ended their four-game losing streak.
Findley, who scored midweek in the League Cup against Newcastle United, put in an average shift in what turned out to be an underwhelming performance from both clubs. Indeed, the only goal of the match came following a long free-kick restart from keeper Lee Camp.
Watford failed to deal with the 80-yarder and Ishmael Miller somehow stabbed the ball past Scott Loach - with his shin - in the ensuing scrum.
Findley, who made way for Matt Derbyshire, will hope to have a bigger impact on Tuesday when Nottingham travel to Burnley.
Clint Dempsey and Fulham shared the spoils with West Bromwich Albion in a scoreless draw wholly undeserving of a recap.
Having returned to action midweek in League Cup action, Stuart Holden was held out of Bolton's 3-0 defeat at the hands of Arsenal.
Brad Guzan deputized for Shay Given in Aston Villa's 1-1 draw with QPR.
Zak Whitbread will not play when Norwich City host Sunderland on Monday.
Conor Doyle made the Derby County bench following a return from injury, but was not needed as the Rams made short thrift of Millwall 3-0.
In League One, injured Frank Simek missed another Carlisle United contest, this time a 1-0 win over Stevenage.
Mike Grella did not make the Brentford bench during the team's 2-0 victory at Oldham Athletic.
Colchester United defeated Walsall 1-0 without American Anton Peterlin leaving the visitors bench.
Crawley Town moved into a tie for third in the League Two standings after defeating Aldershot Town 1-0, but did so without using Jon-Paul Pittman.
Jemal Johnson was nowhere to be found for Southend United who trounced Rotherham United 4-0.