ANDREW VORCE - Thursday, November 11, 2010
Stuart Holden was unable to get past Tim Howard as Bolton battled against Everton, while Brad Friedel and Aston Villa just managed a win against Blackpool in a full midweek of English action.
Everton 1 - 1 Bolton
Tim Howard had a goal line clearance from Stuart Holden's second half header as Bolton conceded late to allow Everton a share of the spoils.
The game was open and end-to-end but it was the away team who broke the deadlock with just over 10 minutes to go.
Holden started the attack after winning a tackle in Bolton's half before releasing Matthew Taylor. With the field open in front of him, he took his space before sending in a superb ball that missed Howard and bounced off Ivan Klasnic and into the back of the net.
Matters went from bad to worse for Everton with four minutes left to go when Maroune Fellaini was shown straight red for retaliation.
As Everton piled pressure forward, Chung-Yong Lee made the grave mistake of trying to keep the ball in play deep into stoppage time, after being pressured by Leighton Baines.
Baines eventually won the ball before picking out former Leeds United striker Jermaine Beckford on the edge of the area. Outmuscling his defender, Beckford took a few touches to steady himself before curling around Jussi Jaaskelainen for the game tying goal.
Gretar Rafn Steinsson was also booked in the Fellaini play, while Zat Knight picked up the only other yellow card. Everton next face Arsenal at home while Bolton will face a tough challenge at Wolves.
Wolverhampton 0 - 2 Arsenal
Marcus Hahnemann did his best to keep Wolverhampton in the game but two goals from Marouane Chamakh sealed the deal for Arsenal.
It took Arsenal just 37 seconds to get on the score sheet as Arsenal were ready to show their improvements since their weekend defeat to Newcastle. Alex Song delivered an inch perfect ball and Chamakh did the rest, leaving Hahnemann no chance with a downward header just inside the near post for the game winner.
Hahnemann made a couple of clutch saves just after, which allowed Wolves the impetus to attack. Both teams could have had more goals had it not been for their respective goalkeepers, the woodwork, and fine goal line clearances.
The game was wrapped up in the very last minute as Wolves piled players forward searching for the equalizer, Chamakh was released by Cesc Fabregas and his one on one with the American keeper ended with the ball in the back of the net.
Richard Stearman was booked for Wolves, while Denilson and Fabregas were booked for Arsenal. Up next for Wolves is another home test, this time against Everton.
Chelsea 1 - 0 Fulham
Clint Dempsey tried his best to get Fulham back on level ground with their West London neighbors, but a first half goal proved sufficient for the reigning EPL champions.
Fulham will feel slightly aggreived at the manner of which the goal was conceded, after Didier Drogba hit the floor inside the Fulham penalty area. Laying still, the play continued around him, and as attention was diverted to Drogba, a ball was whipped in to Michael Essien for a superb header.
Essien was later sent off for a two footed challenge on Dempsey, who was the first into the challenge. Dempsey had a long range dipping shot pushed over the bar by Petr Cech, but nothing would be enough as neither team could find the net again.
Essien scored on the half hour mark and was already sitting on a yellow card before being booked. Ashley Cole was the only other player booked on the day. Up next for Fulham is an away trip to Newcastle.
Aston Villa 3 - 2 Blackpool
Brad Friedel was rescued by the attacking impetus of his Aston Villa colleagues as they edged Blackpool at home.
Villa got off on the right foot with Stewart Downing showing some creativity to open the scoring. Receiving the ball on the top of the 18, Downing quickly put the ball back on to his right and his shot, which took a minor deflection, soared into the back of the net in the 28th minute.
Former Villa man Martin Harewood got Blackpool back on level terms just before the half, being sent through into space. With Friedel still to beat, Harewood wasted no time slotting a perfect ball past the American and off the back post and in.
Nathan Delfonso had a goal called back as play neared the hour mark as he was adjudged to have climbed over his defender to nod home a point blank goal. But just before the hour mark passed, Ashley Young found himself in a bit of space, and was able to release Delfonso whose run was perfect and his finish was clinical.
Blackpool continued to fight and it looked as if they would leave Villa Park with a point after DJ Campbell's solo effort in the 87th minute. Filled with fire, the second half substitute grounded out his chance from sheer determination, but his shot looped up off a Villa defender and over Friedel.
It came down to the death of the game as Villa's last corner kick resulted in the game winning goal. Chris Basham was the player responsible for guarding the post, but he had moved in two yards and James Collins' bullet header went straight into that space.
Ciaran Clark and Stephen Warnock were both booked for Villa, while Basham, Jason Euell, and Dekel Keinan were all booked for Blackpool. Eric Lichaj was a 93rd minute sub for Villa who next face a home test against Manchester United.
Carlisle United 3-1 Crewe Alexandra
Both Mike Grella and Frank Simek featured in Carlisle United's Johnstone's Paint Trophy win over Crewe Alexandria.
Simek started the game and went the full ninety minutes, while Grella began the game as well but was subbed out in the 66th minute by Bernard Zoko.
In the 14th minute, Matty Robson's free-kick for the Cumbrians was attempted to be cleared by Crewe forward Clayton Donaldson, though unfortunately for him the ball went in his own net.
Grella got into the action in the second half with a shot from 12 yards out that hit the crossbar, nearly doubling Carlisle's lead.
It was the 73rd minute though that finally saw Carlisle score their second goal of the game when James Berrett's corner was headed in by Peter Murphy.
Crewe got on the scoreboard in the 75th minute when Donaldson knocked home a ball set up to him by Byron Moore.
With only five minutes left in the game, the Cumbrians' Murphy headed his second goal of the game to cement their lead.
Carlisle's Tom Taiwo and Crewe's Adam Dugdale were the only bookings of the game.
The Cumbrians next take on Southampton on Saturday while Crewe travel to Gillingham.
Jonathan Spector was on the bench as West Ham drew 2-2 against West Brom.
Anton Peterlin was left off the game-day roster as Plymouth lost Exeter City in Johnstone's Paint Trophy action.