RECAP: WEEKEND ENGLISH ACTION
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa notched a big relegation battle win over Reading, while Geoff Cameron's Stoke City continue their struggles as they went down to Newcastle United.
Reading 1-2 Aston Villa
Brad Guzan was the difference in Aston Villa's huge victory over Reading in a Premier League relegation battle.
Guzan started and went the distance, recording three saves in the match.
The American goalkeeper was asked to come up big in the early moments of the game as Reading's Adam Le Fondre notched a header that was impressively saved by a diving Guzan.
Nevertheless, the home team was able to find the back of the net first, scoring in the 32nd minute as Villa's Nathan Baker made a mess of a low cross from Reading that he attempted to clear, instead, knocking the ball into his own goal.
But, just a minute later, Villa struck back when Andreas Weimann provided a cut back pass to Christian Benteke, who fired the ball home.
In the 45th minute, Villa struck again as Reading's inability to clear the ball ended in a rocket shot from Gabriel Agbonlahor into the goal.
The win for Villa bolsters them out of the drop zone temporarily. They take on Queens Park Rangers next week in another pivotal relegation clash.
Eric Lichaj did not make the game day roster.
Newcastle United 2-1 Stoke City
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City continued their losing skid as they went down to Newcastle United.
Cameron went the distance at midfield, while Brek Shea dressed but did not feature for the Potters.
After a scoreless first half, Stoke got on the board first as Jonathan Walters won a penalty kick and then buried it on his own in the 67th minute.
However, the home team equalized in the 73rd minute with a beautiful free kick from Yohan Cabaye. Then, in stoppage time, Papisse Cissť received a through ball and scored from close range, giving Newcastle the victory.
The Potters have now lost seven of their last nine games, but they look to bounce back next week with a win over West Bromwich Albion.
Birmingham City 3-1 Derby County
Jonathan Spector went the full 90 at midfield in Birmingham City's win over Derby County.
Derby County notched the only goal of the first half when Ben Davies notched one in the 40th minute.
However ,the Blues rebounded with a big second half as Wesley Johnson scored two goals, one in the 67th minute and another in the 92nd, while Nathan Redmond found the back of the net in the 75th.
Birmingham City is in 14th place and look for another victory when they take on Middlesbrough next.
Conor Doyle made the game day roster for the Rams, but he did not feature.
Carlisle United 2-0 Brentford
Frank Simek went the distance once again in Carlisle United's big win over Brentford in League One action.
The Cumbrians got their first goal of the game in the 23rd minute when Sean O'Hanlon found the back of the net.
Carlisle then doubled their lead in the 53rd when Mark Beck notched.
Carlisle is in 16th place and will look to build some momentum with a win against Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday.
Clint Dempsey did not make the 18 in Tottenham's loss to Liverpool, while Brad Friedel dressed but did not feature.
Tim Howard missed Everton's loss to Wigan Athletic in FA Cup action due to injury.
Seb Hines did not feature in Middlesbrough's loss to Bristol City.
Zak Whitbread did not dress in Leicester City's loss to Sheffield Wednesday.
Stuart Holden made the 18 but did not play in Bolton's win over Brighton & Hove Albion. Tim Ream did not dress.
Mike Grella never left the bench in Scunthorpe United's loss to Coventry City.
Jon Paul Pittman did not play in Oxford united's win over Torquay United.