JOHN KRETLOW - Sunday, October 7, 2012
Brad Friedel's consecutive start streak ended in Clint Dempsey and Tottenham's win over Brad Guzan's Aston Villa, while Tim Howard and Everton rescued a point in their game against Wigan.
Liverpool 0-0 Stoke City
Stoke City proved to be a formidable defensive presence in the Premier League as they help on for a scoreless draw against Liverpool at Anfield.
Geoff Cameron made another start at right back, while Maurice Edu made his debut for Stoke City as a second half substitute.
The versatile Cameron went the distance once again for the Potters, while Edu finally saw action after a frustrating September, coming on in the 80th minute.
The Potters came close twice in the first half, as Liverpool ‘keeper Pepe Reina made poor passes out of the back and nearly gifted goals to Charlie Adam and Steven Nzonzi respectively.
As has come accustomed to fans of the English top flight, Stoke played a rough game. The road team was booked six times in the match.
The draw is Stoke's fifth in seven games, as the Potters find themselves in 12th place in the standings.
The Potters take to the road once again in two weeks as they play Manchester United next week at Old Trafford after the international break.
Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Aston Villa
Tottenham followed up their victory over Manchester United with a convincing win over Aston Villa at White Hart Lane to continue their club up the Premier League standings
Brad Friedel's streak of 310 straight starts in the Premier League came to an end in Tottenham Hotspur's victory over Brad Guzan and Aston Villa.
Hugo Lloris made his league debut for Spurs, taking the place of the American legend.
Clint Dempsey made another start for his new team and was subbed out in the 82nd minute, while Villa's Eric Lichaj dressed but did not feature.
The first goal of the game came in the 58th minute when Steven Caulker luckily deflected a shot into the back of the net as he got in the way of a wide Jermain Defoe shot.
Spurs doubled their lead in the 67th minute when Clint Dempsey marched into the offensive third and found Aaron Lennon who slotted home.
Dempsey came close to notching Tottenham's third goal of the game in the 75th minute, but the ex Fulham star missed his header from eight yards out.
Guzan was active throughout the game, registering four saves in the match.
Wigan Athletic 2-2 Everton
Everton have been the surprise team of the Premier League in the early going of the 2012/13 season but they needed late heroics to secure a point against a feisty Wigan Athletic team.
Tim Howard started and went the distance at goal in Everton's come from behind draw with Wigan Athletic.
The tie denies Everton a shot to keep the strong pace at the top of the standings held by Chelsea.
Arouna Koné opened the scoring for Wigan in the 10th minute, but Nikica Jelavic continued his strong form with a header just a minute later to equalize for Everton.
Wigan got the lead in the 23rd minute again when Koné set up Franco Di Santo for goal to put the home fans on their feet.
It took until the 87th minute for Everton to strike back, as Kevin Mirallas was taken down in the box by Maynor Figueroa. Leighton Baines buried the ensuing penalty kick, salvaging a point for the Toffees.
The American ‘keeper recorded one save in the game.
Everton takes the field once again next Sunday when they visit Queens Park Rangers.
Birmingham City 0-1 Huddersfield Town
Birmingham City have been mired in inconsistency this season and the rocky road continued with a disappointing loss to Huddersfield at home.
Jonathan Spector went the full ninety minutes in Birmingham City's home loss to Huddersfield Town in Championship action.
Will Packwood did not dress for the Blues.
The loss pits Birmingham City dangerously close to relegation position, while Huddersfield sits happily in sixth place in the standings.
The only goal of the game came in the 25th minute when James Vaughan found plenty of space down the right side of the field and found Jermaine Beckford for the Huddersfield goal.
Huddersfield's victory was their first in league play against the Blues since 1996.
Birmingham City looks to scrounge their way back out of danger next week against Leicester City.
Leicester City 2-0 Bristol City
Leicester City have their eyes on promotion this year and their performance against Bristol City this weekend shows why.
Texas-born Zak Whitbread played the majority of the second half for Leicester after coming on in the 62nd minute for the injured Sean St. Ledger.
The win is Leicester City's fifth straight and they are now just one point behind Cardiff City for first place in the standings.
The Foxes opened the scoring in the 19th minute when David Nugent latched onto a long pass form the defense and beat ‘keeper Tom Heaton.
In the 74th minute Bristol was unlucky as Richard Foster headed in a ball into his own net off of a cross from the left, doubling Leicester's lead.
The Foxes look to jump to the top of the standings next week with a win over Birmingham City.
Stevenage 1-0 Scunthorpe United
Stevenage is one of the teams expecting to contend for the League One title and the secured three valuable points in a gritty win over rivals Scunthorpe.
Mike Grella returned to the starting lineup in Scunthorpe United's road loss to Stevenage.
Grella started and went the distance, while Robbie Rogers dressed but did not feature for Stevenage.
Stevenage's Greg Tansley scored the only goal of the game as he found the back of the net in the 75th minute with an impressive free kick from 25 yards out.
Despite the significant difference in the standings between both teams, the game was tight throughout.
The win stretches Steveange's unbeaten run to eleven games and they now are within four points of first place Tranmere Rovers in League One.
Stevenage takes on Colchester United next week, while Scunthorpe hosts Brentford.
Oxford United 0-0 Gillingham
Gillingham began the League Two season is strong fashion with hopes of coasting to promotion this year. These ambitions have hit a rough patch in recent weeks and they will clearly be frustrated in not securing three points against Oxford.
Robbie Findley came on in the 58th minute in Gllingham's draw with Oxford United.
Jon Paul Pittman did not dress for Oxford.
The tie ends Gillingham's perfect road record, but they continue at the top of the League Two standings by three points.
The Gills were the better of the two teams in the first half, causing Oxford's ‘keeper Ryan Clark to make some game saving stops.
Oxford played a strong second half though, culminated by a near goal from Alfie Potter whose shot was saved by Gillingham's Stuart Nelson.
Gillingham takes on Aldershot Town next week and hopes to hold on to their League Two lead, while Oxford United take to the road to play Cheltenham Town.
Cody Cropper did not dress in Southampton's draw with Fulham.
Tim Ream dressed but did not feature in Bolton's loss to Millwall.
Conor Doyle did not make the game day lineup in Derby County's draw with Brighton & Hove Albion.
Seb Hines was left on the bench in Middlesbrough's win over Watford.
Frank Simek did not feature in Carlisle United's win over Walsall.