BRIAN SCIARETTA - Wednesday, February 1, 2012
The phenomenal start to 2012 continued for Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, the two best American players, in a full midweek set of games in England.
Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Wigan Athletic
Tottenham Hotspur maintained a firm grip on third place in the English Premier League in a push for a spot in next year's Champions League with a convincing win over Wigan.
Brad Friedel was in goal, as usual, for Tottenham and he played the entire game.
Gareth Bale opened the scoring for Tottenhem in the 29th minute when he took a long pass over the defense into the box from Luka Modric and after one touch, fired it past Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi for a 1-0 lead.
Modric doubled the lead for Tottenham in the 34th minute when he collected the ball at the top of the box off a deflection from Wigan's Jordi Gomez and beat Ali Al Habsi from 20 yards for a 2-0 lead.
In the 64th minute Bale put the game out of reach when he beat Al Habsi from the right side from just inside the box.
In the 81st minute, Wigan's James McArthur pulled one back for Wigan but it proved to be too little too late for the visitors.
Tottenham now have a firm grip on third place with 49 points through 23 games. They lead fourth place Chelsea by seven points and trail second place Manchester United by five points.
Tottenham return to action on Monday when they head north to Anfield to take on Liverpool.
Everton 1-0 Manchester City
Everton pulled off a stunning upset on Tuesday with a 1-0 victory over Premier League leaders Manchester City at Goodison Park.
Both Tim Howard and Landon Donovan started and played the full 90 for Everton.
After a scoreless first half, Everton moved ahead when Landon Donovan collected the ball just inside the box. He then made a short pass to Darron Gibson who unleashed an unstoppable shot from 17 yards past City keeper Joe Hart for a 1-0 lead.
With the win, Everton now sit in 10th place in the Premier League and are only one point away from eighth place Sunderland.
Everton visit Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
Fulham 1-1 West Bromwich
Clint Dempsey netted yet another goal for Fulham but the London club will surely be disappointed to walk away from Wednesday's game with only one point.
Dempsey went the distance for Fulham.
After a scoreless first half, Dempsey put Fulham ahead in the 69th minute when he took a clever short pass from Ruiz through the West Brom defense and fired it home from 12 yards for a 1-0 lead
The lead lasted until the 82nd minute when West Brom's James Morrison hit a pass with his first touch that sent Somen Tchoyi past the Fulham defense on the right side. Tchoyi then sent a low shot past David Stockdale to even the score at 1-1.
Fulham now sit in 13th place and will return to action on Saturday with a visit to league leaders Manchester City.
Leeds 1-4 Birmingham City
Leeds United grabbed an early lead but they were unable to overcome a career day from Birmingham City's Serbian forward Nicola Zigic en route to a blowout loss.
Jonathan Spector started and went the distance for Birmingham City. The Illinois native earned a yellow card in the 36th minute.
Robbie Rogers did not dress for Leeds United.
Leeds United gave the Elland Road crowd reason to celebrate in the 19th minute when he scored from 20 yards past Boaz Myhill for a 1-0 lead.
The lead lasted until the 31st minute when Zigic headed home a pass from Wade Elliot to even the score at 1-1.
In the 61st minute, Birmingham City moved ahead when Chris Burke moved down the right side and laid the ball off for Zigic who fired the ball into the top of the net for a 2-1 lead.
Three minutes later in the 64th minute, Zigic completed his hat-trick when he headed home a Morgaro Gomis cross from the right side for a 3-1 lead.
Zigic scored his fourth goal of the game came in the 68th minute when he finished off a corner kick for a 4-1 lead. For Zigic, it was his eighth goal of the season.
Birmingham City now sit in fourth place in the Championship and will host Southampton on Saturday.
Both Eric Lichaj and Brad Guzan were on the bench for Aston Villa in their 2-2 home draw against Queens park Rangers
Tim Ream is still waiting for his visa and did not dress for Bolton in their scoreless draw against Arsenal.
Conor Doyle did not dress for Derby in their 3-2 loss to Barnsley
Robbie Findley was not in the 18 for Nottingham Forest in their 2-0 loss to Burnley
George John and Danny Potts did not take part in West Ham's 5-1 loss to Ipswich. Cody Cropper is still injured and did not dress for Ipswich.