RECAP: WEEKEND ENGLISH ACTION
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JOHN KRETLOW - Monday, February 25, 2013
Brek Shea made his long awaited debut in Stoke City's loss to Fulham, while Brad Guzan's Aston Villa gave up a late goal to go down to Arsenal on the road.

Fulham 1-0 Stoke City

Brek Shea made his debut in Stoke City's loss to Fulham at Craven Cottage.

He came on in the 24th minute after Matthew Etherington left with an injury, while Geoff Cameron played 51 minutes for the Potters.

The only goal of the game came in first half stoppage time, as Dimitar Berbatov smashed an impressive volley into the back of the net after Stoke's Robert Huth clearance found the Bulgarian instead.

The Potters nearly equalized in the 56th minute, as Shea's cross was handled by Fulham's Ashkan Dejagah in the box and the Cottager was called for a penalty. Jonathan Walters ensuing penalty kick was saved by ‘keeper Mark Schwarzer.

Stoke was never able to level the game, as Fulham went on to grab the win. The Potters stay in 10th place in the standings and play West Ham United next week at home.

Arsenal 2-1 Aston Villa

Brad Guzan and Aston Villa gave up a late goal that put Arsenal on top this weekend.

Guzan went the distance and was credited with five saves, while Eric Lichaj dressed but did not feature for the Villains.

Santi Cazorla opened the scoring in the sixth minute for Arsenal, as his shot curled passed Guzan to the delight of the home fans.

Villa equalized in the 68th minute with a goal from Andreas Weimann, but in the 85th minute Cazorla completed his brace as he scored off of a Nacho Monreal pass.

Villa continues to hover over the relegation zone by just a point, but they look to separate themselves from the drop zone some more with a big win over Manchester City next week at home.

Norwich City 2-1 Everton

Tim Howard and Everton went down to Norwich City in dramatic fashion, leaving the Toffees now five points from Arsenal for fifth place in the standings.

Everton dominated a huge portion of the match this weekend, and early on were rewarded with a goal by Leon Osman via a header in the 39th minute.

However, the Canaries roared back in the final minutes as former Kansas City standout Kei Kamara notched off of a corner in the 84th minute and Grant Holt headed into the back of the net in the 94th minute to give Norwich the pivotal win at home.

Everton take the field on Tuesday against Oldham Athletic for an FA Cup replay, then take on Reading on Saturday for a crucial league match.

Peterborough United 0-2 Birmingham City

Jonathan Spector helped Birmingham City notch a victory over lowly Peterborough United in Championship action.

Spector went the distance for the second week in a row after coming back from injury for the Blues.

Birmingham City opened the scoring in the 34th minute with a goal from Nikola Zigic, and then doubled their lead with ten minutes left in the game when Chris Burke found the back of the net.

The Blues look to build some momentum with another win next week against Hull City on the road.

Carlisle United 1-1 Milton Keynes Dons

Frank Simek went the full ninety minutes in Carlisle United's draw with Milton Keynes Dons.

MK Dons opened the scoring in the 36th minute with a goal from Adam Chicksen, but with just five minutes left in regulation the Cumbrians leveled the game as Mark Beck notched in the 85th minute.

Carlisle has a nine point cushion above the drop zone, but they will try and separate themselves some more with a win against Walsall on Tuesday.

Notes

Conor Doyle dressed but did not feature in Derby County's loss to Watford.

Zak Whitbread made the game day roster in Leicester City's scoreless draw against Blackpool, but he did not leave the bench for the Foxes.

Stuart Holden and Tim Ream did not dress in Bolton's big win over Hull City.

Seb Hines did not feature in Middlesbrough's loss to Millwall.

Mike Grella never left the bench in Scunthorpe United's loss to Hartlepool United.

Jon Paul Pittman did not dress in Oxford United's draw with York City in League Two action.

Brad Friedel was an unused sub for Tottenham in their 3-2 win over West Ham on Monday. Clint Dempsey sat out with a minor calf injury.
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A big question for U.S. fans heading into the World Cup is surely on Jozy Altidore and just what is plaguing the young striker at Sunderland.
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