ANDREW VORCE - Sunday, April 11, 2010
Brad Friedel and Jozy Altidore went from good starts to calamitous endings, as Jay DeMerit and Jon-Paul Pittman were the winners in England this weekend.
Aston Villa 0 - 3 Chelsea
Brad Friedel and Aston Villa will feel hard done by the final scoreline as Chelsea showed their strength to get to the FA Cup finals.
Villa were denied a stonewall penalty kick when Gabriel Agbonlahor was brought down by Jon Obi Mikel in the box, with Howard Webb in prime position. Wave after wave of Villa attacks amounted to nothing when Chelsea finally broke through.
The Villans failed to clear their lines, and John Terry had a sight at goal from the edge of the area. Chelsea's key man Didier Drogba was left unmarked on the six yard box, and diverted the goalwards shot to the other side of the net across the face of Friedel in the 68th.
Michael Ballack gift wrapped Flourent Malouda's goal to give Chelsea all they needed to go forward, picking up his head and sending in a perfect cross. Malouda went screaming into the box, before smashing his volley past Friedel from six yards out with two minutes left.
As if that wasn't enough, Chelsea added a third in added time when they broke to score on their second counter attack of the game. Frank Lampard made a surging run from his own box to pick up a square ball into his path, finishing after a little cut back.
Terry, Mikel, and Deco were all booked in the match. Aston Villa next face is a vital game on Wednesday against Everton at home.
Hull 1 - 4 Burnley
All signs had it Jozy Altidore's way for Hull City, but Burnley showed true grit to pump out a resounding victory in the relegation six pointer.
Hull started out flying, with Altidore being released down the right flank and chipped a cross to the back post. In the second minute Hull had drawn first blood, with Kevin Kilbane heading in at the back post.
The writing looked to be on the wall as Altidore continued to be a menace, with Bryan Jensen looking absolutely out of sorts in goal.
It was Burnley's goal just before half time that struck life back into the visitors. Martin Patterson showed a great first touch to turn goalwards before smashing home quickly to give Hull's back line no chance at reacting in the 35th minute.
Hull's game began to slide after the break, with Burnley winning a penalty kick in the 64th minute. Sonko and George Boateng went clattering in on Michael Duff and Graham Alexander stepped up to burry the penalty.
David Nugent gift wrapped Graham Alexander's second of the night, going on a tear through the midfield, a solo run that went from inside his own half and into the Hull penalty area.
Steven Mouyokolo, beaten on the run, recovered only enough to haul down his opponent in the box for Alexander to sink his second penalty kick of the night with 20 to play.
It went from bad to worse in the last kick of the game, with Burnley earning a free kick from the left flank in the attacking third. Wade Elliot needed little time, sending in a magical curling free kick that sunk into the top right corner for the last kick of the game.
Altidore, Nick Barmby, George Boateng, Craig Fagan, and Bernard Mendy were booked for Hull, while Tyrone Mears was booked for Burnley. Hull next face a must win match away to Birmingham.
West Ham 1 - 0 Sunderland
Jonathan Spector and West Ham took a huge step towards staying in the Premier League with a positive home victory over Sunderland.
Ilan initially won the the free kick 10 yards into his own half on the right flank, which allowed the Hammers to get deep into the attacking third for Manuel Da Costa to smack it forward. Carlton Cole's header was directed goalward, but Ilan got the final touch to tuck it into the net in the 51st.
Spector was booked for West Ham, while Fraizer Campbell, Lee Cattermole, and Craig Gordon were booked for Sunderland. Up next for the Hammers is a very difficult Monday game from Liverpool.
Wolverhampton 0 - 0 Stoke
Marcus Hahnemann and Wolverhampton battled to a goalless draw while both teams were safe to pick up a point.
Hahnemann had little to do, but put himself in all of the right places to assure his squad that he had anything covered. With chances few and far between Thomas Sorensen only had to smother one shot from Kevin Doyle.
No cards were issued in the harmless game, with Wolves next facing Fulham on Saturday at Craven Cottage.
Watford 1 - 0 Plymouth
Jay DeMerit and Watford got a massive three points after beating Kenny Cooper's Plymouth Argyle, with the American Pilgrim only playing the dying seconds.
The play was one way and five minutes into the second half Watford grabbed the winner through Heidar Helguson. John Eustace challenged David Stockdale from a Ian Cowie cross, and Helguson was on hand to tap in from close range.
Liam Henderson was booked for Watford, while Jamie Mackie picked up the only booking for Plymouth. Watford next face Leicester away, while Plymouth face newly promoted Newcastle at home.
Exeter 0 - 0 Leyton Orient
Eric Lichaj was a 90 minute man for Leyton, doing his defensive duty to preserve the shutout for his team.
Neither team wanted to let up a goal, resulting in a complete defensive battle. Stuart Fleetwood hit the topside of the crossbar with a header for Exeter, while Scott McGleish sent his header over after John Spicer corner for Orient.
Scott Golbourne and Steve Tully were booked for Exeter, with no players being booked for Orient. Lichaj and company are four points clear of the relegation zone, but will need to be on their top game when League leaders Norwich come to town.
Wycombe 2 - 0 Hartlepool
Jon-Paul Pittman lasted 80 minutes for Wycombe, but got the game winning goal in a massive three points at home to Hartlepool.
Pittman showed his skill in the 66th minute as Lewis Montrose continued to pull the strings from midfield. A deep cross from the midfielder found Pittman inside the area, and the front man controlled it off his chest before striking home a solid volley to win the game.
Substitute Matt Phillips added an insurance goal two minutes from time, going on a solo run to goal. Ben Clark was the last defender to stand in his way, before Phillips found space to smash low and hard past Scott Finders.
John Mousinho was booked for Wycombe, the only booking in the game. The Wanderers are still six points form safety, and will look to pick up more points against Tranmere on Tuesday.
Northampton 0 - 1 Notts County
Seb Harris played the final 20 minutes for Northampton but Notts County held on for all three points.
Northampton were unlucky to not get a point from the match, after dominating possession and having Luke Guttridge's shot cleared off the line. Harris had a chance late in the game, but his effort went just wide.
Craig Hinton was the culprit in Northampton's loss, with Ben Davies capatalizing on the mistake to grab the game winner just two minutes into the second half. Steve Guinan and Kevin Thornton were booked for Northampton, Davies, Mike Edwards, Ricky Ravenhill, and Craig Westcarr being booked for County.
Up next for Northampton, a away trip to Rotherham on Tuesday.
Clint Dempsey's Fulham forced Liverpool into a goalless draw at Anfield.
Frank Simek's Sheffield Wednesday teetered closer to relegation with a 1-0 loss to Middlesbrough.
Devann Yao's Ipswich fell 3-0 at Nottingham Forest.
Mike Grella stayed on the bench in Leeds' vital 2-0 win over Southend United.
Zak Whitbread did not make the bench in Norwich's 1-1 draw at home to Milton Keynes Dons.
Jemal Johnson's Stockport were beaten 3-1 at home, condemning them to relegation into League Two.