MATHEW WAGNER - Monday, May 12, 2014
On Championship Sunday, Tim Howard and Geoff Cameron capped off big seasons for their teams, while Brad Guzan and Aston Villa ended the season with a slump.
Hull City 0 - 2 FC Everton
Tim Howard and Everton cruised by Hull on Sunday to finish off the season with their highest point total in 27 years.
Howard started and went the distance for the Toffees, who totaled 72 points and finished the season in fifth place.
Everton didn't need very long to take a lead, scoring in the ninth minute. Romelu Lukaku and Steven Naismith combined on the edge of the 18-yard box to put James McCarthy behind the defense, and McCarthy chipped a shot that managed to get into the back of the net despite Hull goalkeeper Alan McGregor getting a hand to it.
The Toffees continued to press for another goal, but multiple players missed opportunities before halftime, leaving it a one-goal match at halftime. Just 40 seconds after the restart, though, Everton put the match to bed with a Lukaku goal. The Belgian forward shrugged off a Hull defender following a pass that put him in the area, and he eventually scored with an 11-yard strike.
That proved to be enough, and the Toffees finished off a successful season on a high note.
Tottenham Hotspur 3 - 0 Aston Villa
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa couldn't end their cold streak in the final 10 matches of the season with a rout at the hands of Tottenham on Sunday.
Guzan started and went the distance between the sticks for Villa, which lost seven of its last 10 matches to finish in 15th place. Meanwhile, American goalkeeper Brad Friedel was an unused substitute for Tottenham, which finished in sixth place and took the last Europa League spot with the win.
Tottenham dominated the early going and took a lead in the 14th minute. Paulinho picked up a Gylifi Sigurdsson pass in the box, only to have his shot stopped by Guzan, but the Brazilian collected the rebound and easily tapped it in from five yards out.
Things went from bad to worse in the 35th minute, as Tottenham doubled its lead through an own goal. Danny Rose sent in a cross from the left wing that landed at the edge of the six-yard box, where it met Nathan Baker. Under duress from Emmanuel Adebayor, Baker headed the ball into his own goal.
Tottenham put the match out of reach just three minutes later following a cleared corner. Sandro let loose a shot that drilled Gabriel Agbonlahor's arm, which led to Adebayor converting from the penalty spot.
Not much happened in the second half, as Villa couldn't muster any sort of a challenge, and the match ended in a shellacking.
West Bromwich Albion 1 - 2 Stoke City
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City needed a late goal to pick up the three points at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
Cameron played the entire 90 minutes for the Potters, who recorded their highest-ever Premier League point total with 50 points.
Stoke saw more of the ball and kept West Brom in line in the early going, and the Potters took advantage of that control in the 22nd minute by taking the lead. Stoke's Marko Arnautovic crossed into the box, and Albion defender Gareth McAuley could do nothing head it to the near post and wrong-foot goalkeeper Ben Foster to score an own goal.
While spending most of the first half attempting fruitless counterattacks, West Brom turned it around in the second half and found an equalizer in the 56th minute. Albion's Craig Dawson found some space on the right wing and cut the ball back to Stephane Sessegnon, who guided the ball into the back of the net.
Both teams traded chances after that, each having a shot clank the woodwork, but it seemed the match was destined to end in a tie. Stoke substitute Charlie Adam changed that in the 87th minute when he charged at the West Brom defense unchallenged and fired a low shot from the edge of the 18-yard box.
With the win, Stoke close the season in ninth place - its best placement since a fifth-place finish at the end of the 1974-1975 season.
Jozy Altidore played the final six minutes in Sunderland's 3-1 loss to Swansea at home on Sunday.
Zak Whitbread was an unused substitute as Derby County thrashed Brighton 4-1 in the promotion playoff. The Rams won the semifinal series on aggregate, 6-2.