RECAP: WEEKEND ENGLISH ACTION
A pair of American goalkeepers let in late goals in Premier League action, while Duane Holmes helped Yeovil Town win in his match with the team.
Arsenal 4 - 1 Sunderland
Jozy Alitdore and Sunderland were on the wrong end of a shellacking, as Arsenal scored three goals in first half en route to a rout.
Altidore started at forward for the Black Cats but lasted just until halftime with little to show for his efforts.
It didn't take long for Arsenal to take advantage of a passive, more defensive-oriented gameplan by Sunderland when Olivier Giroud put the home team ahead in the fifth minute. Surrounded by three Sunderland defenders, Jack Wilshire lost the ball in the box, only for it to roll to Giroud, whose left-footed, nine-yard strike found the back of the net.
In the 30th minute, Giroud scored again, this time by pouncing on a bad Santiago Vergini back-pass and sliding it under a charging Vito Mannone. Arsenal then completed the half by adding a third goal in the 42nd minute, when Tomas Rosicky completed a string of one-touch passes through the center of the Sunderland defense and chipped over Mannone from seven yards out.
The rout was complete when Laurent Koscienly headed home a Santi Cazorla corner in the 57th minute, although Sunderland was able to record a consolation goal in the 81st minute. Emanuele Giaccherini launched a shot from distance that went to the right of Wojciech Szczesny after the Arsenal goalkeeper punched away a free kick.
The loss dropped Sunderland back into the relegation zone, one point out of safety. The Black Cats' next match will be in the League Cup final against Manchester City next Sunday.
Manchester City 1 - 0 Stoke City
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City couldn't hold off Manchester City on Saturday, dropping closer to the drop zone.
Cameron went the full 90 minutes in the losing effort.
Stoke seemed set to spend the entire match defending onslaught after onslaught by the Citizens, while hitting out on counterattacks and set pieces. This allowed Manchester City to hold a wide advantage in possession, 74-26 percent.
Still, it took the Citizens until the 70th minute to break through the Potters' defense. Aleksandar Kolarov sent in a low cross from the left wing, and Yaya Toure redirected it into the back on the net.
From there, Manchester City cruised for the win. The loss puts Stoke into 14th place, three points above the relegation zone, and the Potters return to action next Saturday against Arsenal.
Chelsea 1 - 0 Everton
Tim Howard gave up a late goal as Everton lost to Chelsea on Saturday.
Both teams went back and forth with multiple goal-scoring chances, only to have both Howard and Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech have to make stops. The American goalkeeper had one such instance in the 60th minute, where he had to make two stops in quick succession in order to keep it scoreless.
In the 90th minute, John Terry broke the deadlock. The Blues captain slid into a challenge with Howard off a Frank Lampard free kick, and Terry got enough of it for the ball to go into net.
Everton dropped into seventh place with the loss and will look to rebound against West Ham next Saturday.
Newcastle 1 - 0 Aston Villa
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa were a few minutes of added time away from escaping Newcastle with a point in Premier League action on Sunday.
Aston Villa had the better chances in the first half, but the Villans ended up with nothing to show for it. In the second half, Newcastle skied a few efforts wide but eventually had a shot hit off the post in the 88th minute.
If the away team thought it had done enough for a tie, Loic Remy gave Newcastle the three points. In the second minute of stoppage time, the Frenchman received a deflected pass in the middle of the box, took a dribble to his left and beat Guzan.
This loss was the third out of Villa's last four Premier League matches, and the team sits just four points above the drop zone. Villa returns to action next Sunday versus Norwich.
Huddersfield Town 0 - 2 Sheffield Wednesday
Oguchi Onyewu and Sheffield Wednesday stretched their unbeaten run on the road to nine matches at Huddersfield on Saturday.
Onyewu started and went 67 minutes before coach Stuart Gray took him off the field.
Although Huddersfield saw more of the ball, Sheffield Wednesday made the most of its chances, taking the lead in the 40th minute. Jeremy Helan sent in an effort from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner of the net to give the Owls the lead.
Jacques Maghoma doubled that lead in the 72nd minute, slotting home a right-footed shot from the center of the box into the bottom left corner of the net. That provided the dagger, as Huddersfield had just one solid goal-scoring chance go off the crossbar in the 89th minute and not much else.
The win moved Wednesday into 15th place in the Championship, nine points above the relegation zone. The Owls' next match is on Monday, a fifth-round FA Cup match against Charlton.
Reading F.C. 0 - 1 Blackburn Rovers
Daniel Williams and Reading missed a chance to keep pace for a promotion-playoff spot with a loss to Blackburn at home on Saturday.
Williams played the entire match for the Royals in the losing effort.
The Royals struggled shooting throughout the match, letting 18 shots loose but only one went on net. Rovers, meanwhile, were more clinical in front of net with half of their efforts on net.
That clinical nature paid off in the 36th minute, as Craig Conway took a tight angled shot that bounced off Reading captain Jobi McAnuff's outstretched leg and into the net. Blackburn almost doubled its lead two minutes later, with Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy making a diving save on a Jordan Rhodes' shot.
In the second half, Reading came close to equalizing multiple times, but couldn't find the back of the net. One of the best chances occurred in the 73rd minute when Royston Drenthe launched a shot that just flew over the crossbar, but Reading couldn't get any closer.
Reading continues to occupy sixth place in the Championship, although the Royals have played one more match than Wigan, which trails Reading by one point. Reading returns to action next Saturday against Yeovil Town.
Yeovil Town 1 - 0 Doncaster Rovers
In his first match on loan at Yeovil Town, Duane Holmes played a huge role in his team's win over Doncaster.
The English-born American forward started and played 77 minutes in his team's win over Doncaster on Saturday.
Sitting at the bottom of the Championship standings, Yeovil Town needed some points from this match and played as such, probing the Doncaster defense from the start. One of the Glovers' best opportunities came in the second half, especially when Holmes crossed a ball into the box, only to have Tom Lawrence's attempt easily corralled by goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.
In the 58th minute, Holmes gave Yeovil its best chance, forcing Rovers defender James Husband near the endline in the box. James Hayter converted the penalty.
From there, Yeovil held on for a precious three points, which puts the team three points out of safety. Yeovil Town will hope to move out of last place against Reading next Saturday.
Blackpool 1 - 2 Birmingham City
Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City scored two goals in the second half on Saturday to beat Blackpool, which went down a man in the final 15 minutes.
Both Spector and Packwood started and went the distance in defense for the Blues.
Blackpool, which hadn't won in 14 matches prior, took the early lead, scoring a goal in the 22nd minute. Steve Davies headed along a corner to Andrew Keogh, who used a right-footed volley to give the Seasiders the lead.
That scoreline held until the 63rd minute when Birmingham's Lee Novak drove a shot from distance into the back of the net. Then, in the 74th minute, Blackpool's Jack Robinson earned a straight red card.
Seven minutes later, the Blues capitalized on the man-advantage. Novak met an Emyr Huws cross with his head in the center of the box and placed it into the lower left corner.
With the win, Birmingham sits in 15th place with 36 wins, and the Blues face Ipswich next Saturday.
Bolton Wanderers 2 - 0 Watford
Tim Ream and Bolton scored two goals in an 11-minute span to end a nine-match winless streak on Saturday against Watford.
Ream played the full 90 minutes for the Trotters, who won for the first time since December 26.
Watford had a couple of chances early, but Bolton was the team that managed to score first in the 35rd minute. From a Jay Spearing free kick, Lukas Jutkiewicz drove a shot from the middle of the 18-yard box into the lower right corner of the net.
Following the goal, the Trotters pressed the Hornets for another, which Bolton got right before halftime. In the 45th minute, Neil Danns headed along a pass to Joe Mason, who missed three chances beforehand and beat Manuel Alumnia.
Watford didn't trouble Bolton much in the second half, giving Wanderers the win. Bolton kept its six-point cushion above the relegation zone, sitting in 19th place, and the Trotters will return to action next Saturday against Blackburn.
Brad Friedel was on Tottenham's bench Spurs lost to Norwich City, 1-0, on Sunday.
Zak Whitbread dressed but did not play in Derby County's 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.
Brek Shea played the final 27 minutes for Barnsley, which beat Millwall on Saturday, 1-0.