JOHN KRETLOW - Monday, December 17, 2012
Eric Lichaj and Brad Guzan helped lead Aston Villa to an inspired victory over Liverpool, while Clint Dempsey's Tottenham got back to winning ways with a victory over Swansea City.
Liverpool 1-3 Aston Villa
Aston Villa dealt Liverpool their worst home loss in three years and moved closer to midtable after a recent run of good play.
Americans Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj went the distance for Villa.
The win for Villa extends their unbeaten run in all competitions to six games and puts them three points above the relegation zone.
Christian Benteke opened the scoring in the 29th minute when he rocketed a low shot from outside the box that beat a diving Pepe Reina to put Villa in the lead.
In the 40th minute Villa doubled their lead after a brilliant backheel pass from Benteke found a charging Andreas Weimann who found the back of the net from close range.
Villa stunned the Reds again in the 51st minute when Benteke made a darting run into Liverpool's area, split the defense, and fired home to give the road team the three goal lead.
Liverpool netted a consolation goal in the 87th minute off a Steven Gerrard deflection, but it was too little and too late for the home side.
The American ‘keeper was credited with seven saves in the game.
Villa takes on Chelsea next Sunday and puts their unbeaten run to the test once again.
Stoke City 1-1 Everton
Stoke City remained in the top ten in the Premier League after a hard fought draw with Everton on Saturday.
Geoff Cameron started and went the full 90 at left back for Stoke while fellow US international Tim Howard started for Everton. Maurice Edu was not in the 18 for Stoke.
With the tie, Everton misses a chance at jumping into the top three in the Premier League, while Stoke could have slipped into a Europa League position.
The Toffees opened the scoring in the 36th minute when a Steven Pienaar shot was deflected by Ryan Shawcross and into the back of the net to the dismay of the Stoke fans.
In the 52nd minute though, the Potters struck back as Shawcross sent in a long range cross that Kenwyne Jones impressively leaped and headed passed Howard for the leveler.
Stoke nearly took the lead in the 78th minute as poor Everton distribution from the back led to a Cameron Jones breakaway, but his low shot was kick saved by Howard.
The Potters take the field again next week against Tottenham, while Everton takes the road again to play West Ham United.
Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Swansea City
Tottenham moved into the top four of the Premier League after defeating Swansea on Sunday at White Hart Lane.
Clint Dempsey started and played 70 minutes for Tottenham. Brad Friedel dressed but did not feature for Tottenham.
With the victory, Spurs find themselves in fourth place and just goal differential difference between them and third place Chelsea.
The game was mostly controlled by the home team, but it was not until the final stages of the game that Spurs were able to notch.
Spurs finally struck in the 75th minute when Jan Vertonghen swept home a Kyle Walker free-kick, setting the White Hart Lane faithful to their feet.
Tottenham takes the field again next week when they take on Stoke City at home.
Millwall 1-0 Leicester City
In a matchup between two teams contending for promotion, Leicester City fell to Millwall on Saturday at the New Den in London.
Zak Whitbread went the distance in Leicester City's tough loss to Millwall in Championship action.
The Foxes are now in fifth place and just point ahead of surging Millwall.
The deadlock was broken in the 67th minute when Chris Taylor struck from close range after a cross from Andrew Keogh.
Leicester takes the field next week against first place Cardiff City.
Middlesbrough 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
American central defender Seb Hines played ninety minutes and helped Middlesbrough put pressure on the automatic promotion positions with a win over Wolverhampton this weekend.
The game looked to end in a scoreless draw, but Marvin Emnes broke the deadlock in the 89th minute from the penalty spot after Karl Henry committed a foul in the box on Scott McDonald.
McDonald then added an insurance goal in stoppage time with a right footed shot to give Boro the 2-0 win.
Boro takes the field next week against Leeds United.
Shrewsbury Town 2-1 Carlisle United
Frank Simek came back from injury to play ninety minutes in Carlisle United's loss to Shrewsbury Town.
The win for Shrewsbury puts them out of the relegation zone and keeps Carlisle to just two points above the drop zone.
John Taylor opened the scoring in the 22nd minute for Shrewsbury, but eleven minutes later Liam Noble leveled for the Cumbrians.
In the 64th minute though Paul Parry impressively volleyed home a ball from eight yards out for the win.
The Cumbrians take on Scunthorpe United next week.
Sebastian Lletget dressed but did not feature in West Ham United's scoreless draw with West Bromwich Albion.
Tim Ream did not see the field in Bolton's win over Charlton Athletic. Stuart Holden returned to training with Bolton but he is not yet fit to play with the first team.
Jonathan Spector and Lee Packwood did not feature in Birmingham City's draw with Crystal Palace.
Conor Doyle dressed but did not see the field in Derby County's win over Bristol City.
Robbie Rogers never left the bench in Stevenage's loss to Crawley Town.
Mike Grella dressed but did not feature in Scunthorpe United's win over Leyton Orient.
Jon Paul Pittman did not dress in Oxford United's draw with Morecambe