JOHN KRETLOW - Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Clint Dempsey found the back of the net in Fulham's draw with Chelsea, while Brad Guzan recorded his first Premier League clean sheet against Stoke City.
Chelsea 1-1 Fulham
Clint Dempsey and Fulham came from behind to earn a draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Dempsey started and went the distance for Fulham, while also scoring the Cottagers lone goal in the second half.
After a quiet first half devoid of goals, Chelsea opened the scoring in the 47th minute. An Ashley Cole cross could not be controlled by Fernando Torres, but the ball found Juan Mata, who shot home from just outside of the box.
Just nine minutes later though, Fulham was level after Bryan Ruiz sent in a cross that Dempsey knocked in passed Chelsea ‘keeper Petr Cech.
Chelsea has tied their last three games and now trails the top of the standings by eleven points.
The Cottagers are five points above the relegation zone and will feel satisfied with the point away.
Jose Bosingwa received a yellow card for Chelsea, while Dempsey was booked for Fulham.
Chelsea takes on Aston Villa this Saturday, while Fulham travels to play Norwich City.
Norwich City 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur
In a battle of Americans, Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur were victorious over Zak Whitbread and Norwich City.
Both Whitbread and Friedel started and went the distance for their respective teams.
Spurs dominated the game and were unlucky to not score in the first half. Gareth Bale though knocked home an Emmanuel Adebayor pass in the 55th minute.
12 minutes later, Bale made an impressive 45 yard run and then shot passed Norwich ‘keeper John Ruddy.
Spurs are just seven points from the Premier League leaders and have a game in hand.
Norwich are in eleventh place in the standings and seven points from the relegation zone.
Whitbread received a yellow card for Norwich, while, William Gallas was booked for Spurs.
The Canaries host Fulham next, while Spurs travel to play Swansea City.
Stoke City 0-0 Aston Villa
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa earned an away game draw against Stoke City on Boxing Day.
Guzan started and went the distance for Aston Villa. The American ‘keeper recorded his first Premier League clean sheet.
An even match throughout, Marc Wilson nearly was the hero for Stoke when his header, off of a Matthew Etherington corner, hit the post and almost crossed the line.
Stoke are in 8th place in the standings and just eight points form a Europa League spot.
Villa are in 12th place and six points form the relegation zone. They have only won one game in their last seven.
Robert Huth, Dean Whitehead, and Rory Delap were booked for Stoke.
Stoke host Wigan Athletic on Saturday, while Villa travel to London to play Chelsea.
Sunderland 1-1 Everton
Tim Howard and Everton tied Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Howard started and went the distance for Everton.
In the 26th minute, Stephane Sessegnon made an impressive individual run and dropped the ball off to Jack Colback who shot home from 15 yards out.
Early in the second half, Leon Osman made a run into the box and was closed in by Dunderland's Wes Brown and Lee Cattermole. Osman tripped on his own after attempting a shot, but the referee saw differently and called a penalty. Leighton Baines shot passed Kieran Westwood to give Everton the equalizer.
John Heitinga was booked for the Toffees.
Everton is 10th in the standings while Sunderland find themselves just four points form the relegation zone.
Sunderland welcome Manchester City on Sunday, while Everton travel to play West Bromwich Albion.
Birmingham City 1-1 West Ham United
Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City were held to a draw against Daniel Potts and West Ham United.
Both Spector and Potts started and went the distance.
Carlton Cole opened the scoring for West Ham after Frédéric Piquionne found him and he shot home in the 4th minute.
David Murphy equalized for Birmingham in the 81st minute.
West Ham are just three points from first place Southampton in the standings, while Birmingham are in 15th place with two games in hand from the majority of the league.
Kevin Nolan, Julien Faubert, George McCartney, and Mark Noble were booked for West Ham.
Birmingham host Blackpool next week while West Ham travel to play Derby County.
Preston North End 3-3 Carlisle United
Frank Simek and Carlisle United tied Preston North End in League One action.
Simek started and went the distance in Carlisle's tie.
Lee Miller and Bernard Zoko scored in the first half for Carlisle, while James Berrett found the back of the net in the second half.
Iain Hum and Paul Parry scored for Preston North End in the first half, while Jamie Douglas shot home late to earn a draw.
Carlisle is just one point from a playoff position, while Preston North End find themselves in 10th place and four points from the playoffs.
David Gray was booked for Preston, while Berrett, Simek, and Lubomir Michalik received yellows for Carlisle.
North End host Sheffield Wednesday next week while Carlisle play Huddersfield Town.
Walsall 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday
Anton Peterlin and Walsall took down Sheffield Wednesday in Boxing Day League One action.
Peterlin started and went the distance for Walsall.
Ryan Lowe opened the scoring in the 60th minute for Wednesday.
Claude Gnakpa and Emmanuele Smith scored to tie and take the lead in stoppage time to give Walsall the exciting victory.
Lee Beevers and Gnapka were booked for Walsall, while Ben Marshall received a yellow for Wednesday.
Walsall host Rochdale on Saturday, while Wednesday travel to play Preston North End.
Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers went down to Wolverhampton.
Conor Doyle did not feature in Derby County's win over Leeds United.
Cody Cropper did not make the game day roster in Ipswich Town's draw against Leicester City.
Robbie Findley was an unused sub in Nottingham Forest's loss to Peterborough United.
Mike Grella played the final 15 minutes in Brentford's draw with AFC Bournemouth.
John Paul Pittman did not feature in Crawley Town's loss to Gillingham.
Jemal Johnson and Southend United's game versus Aldershot Town was suspended.