MATHEW WAGNER - Monday, April 21, 2014
Tim Howard and Everton clinched their first league sweep over Manchester United since 1969, while Oguchi Onyewu and 10-man Sheffield Wednesday sealed safety with a win.
Aston Villa 0 - 0 Southampton
Following a tumultuous week, Brad Guzan and Aston Villa picked up a huge point in a scoreless tie on Saturday.
Guzan started and went the distance in net for Villa, which is now five points above the relegation zone with three matches to go.
Coming into the match with four consecutive losses, Villa didn't leave the gates firing. In fact, the Villans failed to take a single shot in the first half and allowed Southampton to hold 71 percent of possession in the opening 45 minutes. The Saints couldn't take advantage of the one-way traffic, though, as Guzan blocked a couple of shots, including going full stretch on a Steve Davis 12-yard strike to push it wide of net in 32nd minute.
Although Villa looked much better in the second half, Southampton still had the better chances in the second half, but like in the first 45 minutes, the Saints couldn't find the back of the net. Therefore, the match ended in a tie.
With the draw, Villa dropped into 15th place, and the team travels to Swansea next Saturday in what could be an important relegation matchup.
Cardiff City 1 - 1 Stoke City
Geoff Cameron went the distance for Stoke City as the Potters drew at Cardiff on Saturday.
Cardiff looked the more dangerous team early, but it was Stoke that drew first blood in the third minute of first-half stoppage time. Cardiff's Kim Bo-Kyung felled Peter Odemwingie in the box as Odemwingie faced away from goal, and Marko Arnautovic converted the penalty to give Stoke the lead.
Early in the second half, Cardiff found the equalizer, also a penalty. Stoke's Steven Nzonzi tripped up Cardiff's Fraizer Campbell with a late challenge, and Peter Whittingham put the penalty in the back of the net in the 51st minute.
Those two goals proved to be the only ones in the match, meaning both Cardiff and Stoke split the spoils. The Potters moved to two points behind ninth-place Newcastle United, and they will face Tottenham at home next Saturday.
FC Everton 2 - 0 Manchester United
Tim Howard and Everton kept themselves right in the race for fourth place with a win over former coach David Moyes and Manchester United on Sunday.
Howard manned his usual spot between the woodwork for the Toffees, who swept United in the league for the first time since 1969.
United saw a lot of the ball, but Everton looked the more likely team to score and managed to do just that in the 28th minute. Leighton Baines converted a penalty kick when Phil Jones handed a Romelu Lukaku shot in the box.
The Toffees added another goal before halftime, this time through a counterattack. In the 43rd minute, Seamus Coleman sent in a through pass along the left side of the box to put Kevin Mirallas alone on David De Gea, and Mirallas put his shot from an acute angle into the far netting.
In the second half, Everton handled the United pressure, which looked harmless outside of a Wayne Rooney shot in the 87th minute that forced Howard to make a save on it, and the Toffees went on to pick up the three points. With the win, Everton kept its deficit to Arsenal to just one point with three matches to go, and the Toffees will go to Southampton next Saturday.
AFC Bournemouth 2 - 4 Sheffield Wednesday
Despite going down to 10 men, Oguchi Onyewu and Sheffield Wednesday scored two late goals to beat Bournemouth on Friday.
Onyewu played the full 90 minutes at center back for the Owls, who are officially safe for another season in the Championship following the win.
It didn't take long for Wednesday to take the lead, as Atdhe Nuhiu pounced on a bad pass from Bournemouth's Steve Cook and snuck a 20-yard shot inside the left post in the 16th minute.
In the 31st minute, Bournemouth found the equalizer when Lewis Grabban dribbled deep inside the right side of the 18-yard box before crossing to Marc Pugh, who slipped away from his marker and headed the ball into the back from the net from close range. The Owls answered quickly, however, scoring just three minutes later. Following a long throw from Michail Antonio, Sam Hutchinson headed home to give Wednesday the lead again.
That scoreline held until the 57th minute when Yann Kermorgant headed in an Ian Harte corner to equalize once again for Bournemouth, and things looked even better for the Cherries when Hutchinson picked up his second yellow card of the game in the 63rd minute for a late tackle on Kermorgant.
While normally going down a man hurts a team, Wednesday bounced back and managed to take the three points thanks to two goals after the 85th minute. In the 86th minute, an Antonio shot rebounded off the crossbar and fell to Leon Best, who created some space and placed his low shot inside the right post.
Then, in second-half stoppage time, Best got behind the defense on the right wing on a counter, and he crossed to Chris Maguire, who beat Bournemouth goalkeeper Lee Camp to the ball to tap it home.
With the tie, Wednesday will hold onto 14th place for another week, and the Owls return to action quickly, playing Charlton on Monday.
Charlton Athletic 0 - 0 Bolton Wanderers
Tim Ream and Bolton held on for a goalless tie at Charlton on Friday.
Ream went the distance for Bolton, which has totaled 55 points with three matches left in the Championship season.
Considering Bolton had nothing to play for and Charlton needed the points, it showed in the performance, as the Addicks seemed more likely to score all match long. Still, it took until the 63rd minute for Charlton to have a shot on net, while Diego Poyet cleared a headed effort from Bolton's Matt Miller off the line early in the second half to give the Trotters their best chance of the match.
With the tie, Bolton held onto 14th place, and the Trotters will square off with Leicester City on Tuesday.
Wigan Athletic 3 - 0 FC Reading
Danny Williams and Reading dropped out of a promotion-playoff position with a loss at Wigan on Friday.
Still struggling with a knee injury, Williams went 55 minutes in central midfield for the Royals, and he picked up his seventh yellow card in the season in the 22nd minute.
Jordi Gomez opened the scoring for the home team in the 30th minute, sitting in a pocket between four Reading players and striking a 23-yard strike into the top left corner of the net.
Then, Martyn Waghorn doubled the lead for the Latics 12 minutes later. Callum McManaman dribbled through the Reading midfield and let a shot fly that Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy blocked, but the rebound went to Waghorn. Waghorn volleyed the ball into the top right corner of the net.
After the halftime break, Wigan showed it wasn't done scoring, adding a third goal in the 51st minute. The Latics hit on a counter, and McManaman ended up with the ball in the 18-yard box. Standing toward the left side of the net, McManaman took a couple of dribbles to his right before beating McCarthy to the right.
That was all Wigan needed to record the three points. With the loss, Reading dropped into seventh place, one point behind Brighton in the final promotion-playoff position, and the Royals will try to get back into the picture Tuesday against Middlesbrough.
Nottingham Forest 1 - 0 Birmingham City
Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City never recovered from an early goal in a loss to Nottingham Forrest on Saturday.
Spector went the distance for the Blues, while Will Packwood was an unused substitute. Eric Lichaj missed the match for Nottingham as he continues to recover from a hernia.
Nottingham Forest needed just two minutes to opening the scoring, as Jamie Paterson jumped on a bad pass in the Birmingham backline and sent a through pass to Matt Derbyshire. Alone on net, Derbyshire slotted a shot to the left of a charging Darren Randolph to score the match's lone goal.
Birmingham City had a couple of chances to equalize in the second half, including a Paul Robinson header in the 81st minute that Forest goalkeeper Karl Darlow blocked, but the Blues couldn't find the back of the net. With the loss, Birmingham's cushion above the relegation zone shrank to just one point, and the Blues will attempt to increase that cushion Monday against Blackburn.
American goalkeeper Brad Friedel was an unused substitute for Tottenham on Saturday in a 3-1 win over Fulham.
Jozy Altidore came on in the 66th minute for Sunderland and won the penalty that led to the match-winning goal in the Black Cats' 2-1 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Duane Holmes dressed but didn't come off the bench for Huddersfield Town on Friday in a 1-1 tie against Brighton.
Zak Whitbread made the 18 for Derby County but didn't feature in the goats' 2-0 Doncaster on Friday