JOHN KRETLOW - Monday, December 31, 2012
Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj could not dig Aston Villa out of their hole in an embarrassing loss Wigan Athletic, while Tim Howard's Everton had their unbeaten run snapped by Chelsea.

Aston Villa 0 - 3 Wigan Athletic

Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj, and Aston Villa saw their struggles continue as they were soundly defeated by Wigan Athletic over the weekend.

Guzan went the distance once again, while Lichaj played 64 minutes for the Villans.

The Latics took the lead quickly as Ivan Ramis hammered a header into the back of the net off a corner kick in the third minute of the game.

In the 52nd minute Wigan doubled their lead when clever play from Arouna Kone and Emmerseon Boyce resulted in a goalscoring opportunity that Boyce buried from just inside the box.

Then just four minutes later, the Latics notched another goal as Kone received a clever through ball, rounded Guzan, and put his shot on-target.

Villa has now lost three straight games while conceding 15 goals and scoring none in that span. They are now just one point above the relegation zone, and will try to get back on track when they take on Swansea on Tuesday.

Everton 1 - 2 Chelsea

Tim Howard went the distance as Everton's loss to Chelsea at Goodison Park ended their seven-game unbeaten run.

The Toffees got on the board early as Steven Pienaar pounced on a loose ball and fired home a shot from inside the penalty area to give them the lead in the second minute.

However, in the 42nd minute Chelsea leveled the game as Ramires sent in a cross that Frank Lampard headed home.

The Blues then took the lead in the 72nd minute when heavy Chelsea pressure coupled with Everton's inability to clear the ball resulted in a close range goal for Lampard.

The loss is Everton's first in eight games. They take on Newcastle United on Wednesday.

Bolton Wanderers 3 - 1 Birmingham City

Tim Ream's Bolton came from behind to beat Jonathan Spector's Birmingham City in Championship action.

Ream went the distance for Bolton, while Spector played 59 minutes for the Blues.

Nikola Zigic opened the scoring in the 11th minute for Birmingham City, but Bolton came roaring back in the first half with goals from Marcos Alonso in the 27th minute and Lee Chung-Yong in the 33rd minute.

In the 79th minute Birmingham's Steven Caldwell handled a ball in the area and was called for a penalty that Keith Andrews subsequently buried.

Bolton ends their two game losing streak with the victory and hopes their momentum continues when they take on Leeds United on Tuesday.

The Blues have just won once in their last five games. They look to bounce back with a win against Cardiff City on Tuesday.

Carlisle United 2 - 1 Bury

Frank Simek played the full 90 minutes in Carlisle United's win over Bury in League One play.

The Cumbrians took a commanding lead early with goals from Lee Miller in the second minute and Matty Robson in the 10th minute. Steven Schumacher was able to get one back for Bury, but it was not enough as Carlisle went on to victory.

Carlisle takes on Crewe Alexandria on Tuesday and hopes to get their third straight win and improve on their 17th-place standing.


Clint Dempsey played the final 15 minutes of Tottenham's win over Sunderland. Brad Friedel dressed but did not feature.

Geoff Cameron and Maurice Edu did not dress in Stoke City's draw with Southampton.

Zak Whitbread did not play in Leicester City's win over Burnley.

Conor Doyle dressed but did not feature in Derby County's draw with Charlton Athletic.

Seb Hines did not make the game day roster in Middlesbrough's win over Blackpool.

Robbie Rogers and Stevenage's game against Notts County was suspended due to inclement weather.

Mike Grella did not feature in Scunthorpe United's loss to Tranmere Rovers.

Jon Paul Pittman did not dress in Oxford United's win over AFC Wimbledon.

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