ANDREW VORCE - Monday, May 2, 2011
Jermaine Jones and Blackburn got a vital win over Bolton while Jonathan Spector's West Ham were unable to get a result over Manchester City away from home in a full weekend of English action.
West Brom 2 - 1 Aston Villa
Michael Bradley watched from the bench as Brad Friedel was beaten twice as 10 men West Brom battled back to win at home over Aston Villa.
Villa got off to a flying start when Stewart Downing's left footed cross was acrobatically put into his own net by Abdoulaye Miete. The goal came in the fourth minute but West Brom continued to fight.
Peter Odemwingie got West Brom back into the game in the 60th minute as Aston Villa failed to clear their lines. Friedel had little chance as the ball bounced around in the box before the Nigerian front man lifted it over the keeper and into the back of the net.
Just two minutes later Paul Scharner was shown his second yellow card of the day, forcing the defender off. West Brom refused to lie down however and got the game winner with just six minutes to play. Simon Cox played a brilliant ball in to Youssouf Malumbu who quickly spun off his defender and his shot was deflected up and over Friedel for the game winner.
Gabriel Tamas joined Mulumbu and Scharner in the book for West Brom who sit 11th overall. Villa will look to get all three points at home against Wigan on Saturday. Brad Guzan was not named to the bench.
Wigan 1 - 1 Everton
Tim Howard was unable to keep Wigan at bay but Everton were able to battle back for a point.
Howard could have gave a penalty away after pushing up on Charles N'Zogbia who was free inside the area. Instead the midfielder kept his cool before turning and firing a left footed blast that Howard was unable to save in the 21st minute.
N'Zogbia nearly caused his team a goal as he took down Leon Osman in the area. Mikel Arteta stepped up to take the penalty and on loan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi guessed right making an athletic diving save to deny the Spaniard's attempt.
Howard came up big with two saves on Victor Moses who had looks on goal from two different positions. Howard's first save was a point blank reaction save but hte second came when Emmerson Boyce found Moses unmarked inside the 18 with Howard making a strong one handed save.
Hugo Rodallega gifted Everton the equalizer as he handled Leighton Baines' corner kick. Baines stepped up to take the penalty as Arteta had been subbed out, and gave Al Habsi absolutely no chance to save his spot kick in the 74th minute.
Maynor Figueroa and Mohamed Diame were booked for Wigan while Tony Hibbert and Jack Rodwell were booked for Everton. Everton next face Manchester City at home.
Blackburn 1 - 0 Bolton
Jermaine Jones and Blackburn Rovers got a crucial win over Stuart Holden's Bolton Wanderers at Ewood Park.
The goal came in the 20th minute as Michel Salgado intercepted Rodrigo's slack pass in the midfield before slipping it wide to Martin Olsson. Already having an earlier chance, Olsson surged forward before toe poking it past Adam Bogdan for the game winner.
Kevin Davies was booked for Bolton who next face Sunderland, while Phil and Jermaine Jones were both booked for Blackburn. Rovers next face West Ham at home.
Manchester City 2 - 1 West Ham
Jonathan Spector started for West Ham against as Manchester City eventually won out at home.
City got the opening goal in the 11th minute after conceding a corner kick. Nigel de Jong was the eventual winner after the half cleared corner kick as the Dutchman's rocket of a shot went through a forest of players past the blind sided Robert Green.
Just four mintues later City had another as the West Ham back line fell prey to the brilliance of David Silva. The front man lifted a clever pass over the back four and Pablo Zabaleta did the rest, bringing the ball down with his chest before side footing home. Lars Jacobsen tried his best to keep the ball out but his clearance only helped it into the net.
Robbie Keane could have gotten the Hammers ahead after being sent in one on one with Joe Hart but the City goalkeeper did his job to thwart the aging front man. The Hammers did eventually get one back after a succession of corner kicks through the industry of Demba Ba. After winning the ball in the middle of the penalty area, Ba made sure he got the finishing touch after muscling out his defender in the 33rd minute.
City front man Mario Balotelli could have had two as he hit the bar in the second half as well as having a goal cleared off of the line. A third chance bobbled off of his foot as City were unable to add a third. Gareth Barry and Adam Johnson joined Zabaleta in the book.
Danny Gabbidon was the only Hammer booked, And the West Ham faithful will look for a win at fellow strugglers Blackburn Rovers.
Leeds United 1-0 Burnley
Eric Lichaj and Leeds United took down Burnley, keeping their faint playoff hopes alive going into the final game of the season.
Lichaj started and went the distance for United.
Ross McCormack scored in the 33rd minute of the game after he beat Burnley's offiside trap and beat goalie Brian Jensen.
Burnley is not officially out of contention for a playoff spot going into the final game of the season. Leeds will need a Nottingham Forest loss next week for any chance at the playoffs.
Lichaj, Neil Kilkenny, Bradley Johnson, and Richar Naylor were all booked for Leeds. Michael Duff, Jay Rodriguez, Chris McCann, and Andre Bikey all received yellow cards for Burnley.
Leeds will play Championship winners Queens Park Rangers next week while Burnley will finish off their season against Cardiff.
Carlisle United 0-3 Dagenham & Redbridge
Frank Simek and Carlisle United went down to Dagenham & Redbridge in League One play.
Simek started and went the distance for the Cumbrians.
The action started fast in this game as Carlisle's Lubomir Michalik took down John Akinde in the box, giving Dag & Red the early penalty chance. Danny Green's shot though was saved by goalie Adam Collin, but the ensuing rebound was shot home by Jon Nurse.
In the 29th minute, the Daggers doubled their lead after Nurse scored off of another rebound, this time from an Akinde shot.
Dagenham sealed the deal in the 84th minute when Akinde found Green who shot past Collin, ensuring the victory.
Daggers now go into the final game of the season just one point from safety. A win and a Walsall loss will give them a ticket to another League One season.
Nurse received a yellow card for the Daggers, while Green was booked twice for them and was sent off in the 87th minute. Matty Robson was the only booking for Carlisle.
The Cumbrians end their season against Yeovil while Dagenham plays Peterborough in a crucial game.
Marcus Hahnemann's Wolverhampton were only able to draw against 10 men Birmingham.
Clint Dempsey was rested for Fulham who won 3-0 away at Sunderland.
Robbie Findley did not feature as Nottingham Forest took down Scunthorpe.
Conor Doyle played the final 12 minutes in Derby's loss to Bristol City.
Eddie Johnson did not feature in Preston's loss to Ipswich Town.
Jon-Paul Pittman was injured and did not feature in Wycombe's win over Bury.