RECAP: WEEKEND ENGLISH ACTION
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa recorded a big win over Chelsea, and Oguchi Onyewu and Sheffield Wednesday thumped Will Packwood, Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City.
FC Everton 2 - 1 Cardiff City
Tim Howard and Everton picked up a stoppage time winner over Cardiff City on Saturday to move into sixth place.
Back in net after a break the previous week, Howard played the full 90 minutes in goal for the Toffees.
In the first half, Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall kept the Bluebirds in the match by making a big save in the opening minutes and another in the 38th minute on a shot from distance, as his teammates didn't trouble Howard much.
Gerard Deulofeu managed to beat Marshall in the 59th minute, however, to give Everton the lead. Deulofeu dribbled in from the left wing and had his shot deflected past Marshall at the near post.
That lead was short-lived, as eight minutes later, the Bluebirds equalized off a set piece. Peter Whittingham whipped in a free kick that Juan Cala redirected to the right of Howard and into the back of the net.
Marshall continued to frustrate the Toffees and seemed to do enough to allow Cardiff to get a point, but in the third minute of stoppage time, Seamus Coleman found the match winner. The Irish defender mishit a volley that sliced under the crossbar and into the net.
With the win, Everton moved to within two points of Tottenham in fifth place, and the Toffees return to action next Saturday against Swansea.
Stoke City 3 - 1 West Ham United
Geoff Cameron and Stoke went down early, but the Potters rattled off three unanswered goals to record three points against West Ham on Saturday.
Cameron started and went the distance in defense for the Potters.
Things didn't look too good for Stoke in the early goings, as Andy Carroll headed home a free kick from Mark Noble by popping it over Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic at the edge of the six-yard box.
That lead lasted until the 32nd minute, when Peter Odemwingie equalized for Stoke. Peter Crouch headed a corner straight into the ground and bounced back off the crossbar, just to go back to Crouch. Crouch attempted another acrobatic effort on net which deflected off Odemwingie at the line before going over it.
In the second half, West Ham pressed for a goal early, but it was the Potters who found the back of the net in the 69th minute. Marko Arnautovic dribbled through a couple of defenders before squeaking a shot inside the right post.
As the Hammers continued to press, Odemwignie made them pay in the 79th minute, completing a counterattack by taking a pass from Stephan Ireland and slotting home from an acute angle.
With the win, Stoke moved nine points above the relegation zone, and the Potters will face Aston Villa next Sunday.
AFC Sunderland 0 - 0 Crystal Palace
Jozy Altidore came off the bench to play in the second half, but he couldn't stop a goalless from happening between Sunderland and Crystal Palace.
Sunderland had 12 shots in the first half, but only two were on target and those didn't threaten the goalkeeper much. Once Altidore stepped onto the field in the second half, he had a great chance in the 51st minute. Altidore received a long ball in the 18-yard box, and following a bad first touch, the American forward turned his marker and forced Eagles goalkeeper Julian Speroni to stop his point-blank shot.
The best chance of the match occurred in the 83rd minute, when Fabio Borini's shot ricocheted off the crossbar, but that was it for a draw match. With the tie, Crystal Palace maintained a three-point cushion over Sunderland, but the Black Cats have two matches in hand. Sunderland returns to action next Saturday at Norwich.
Aston Villa 1 - 0 FC Chelsea
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa earned a huge win over Premier League-leading Chelsea on Saturday.
Guazan went the distance at his usual spot between the sticks.
At the end of a lackluster first half, Chelsea seemed to take the lead when Nemanja Matic scored off a corner, but the assistant referee deemed the Serbian handed the ball and called the goal off. In the second half, Chelsea tried to turn its 62-percent mark in possession into goals, but they couldn't break down the Aston Villa defense in front of Guzan.
Things changed in the 68th minute, when Willian received his second yellow card by taking Fabian Delph down on a counterattack. Delph made Chelsea pay 14 minutes later, sending a pass out on the left wing to Marc Albrighton, who launched a low cross into the box. Delph back-heeled the cross inside the right post to give Villa the win.
Chelsea's frustrations at being unable to score eventually boiled over in stoppage time, as the referee sent off both Ramires and coach Jose Mourinho.
With the win, Aston Villa moved into 10th place and nine points above the drop zone, and the Villans host Stoke next Sunday.
Bolton Wanderers 0 - 2 Brighton & Hove Albion
Tim Ream and Bolton couldn't stop promotion-chasing Brighton at home on Saturday.
Ream played the entire match for Bolton, which dropped in the Championship standings to 17th place with the loss.
The Seagulls took an early lead when Will Buckley couldn't be denied by Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan in the 13th minute. Bogdan blocked Buckley's first shot, but the rebound went right back to Buckley, who was dribbling away from the net and turned around to place his second attempt into the back of the net.
Bolton searched for an equalizer after that and had three solid chances, all of which Brighton goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak blocked. Then, in the second half, Buckley struck again in the 65th minute. A through ball put Buckley alone on net, and he punished the home team by sliding the ball into the net.
The Trotters return to action next Saturday at Yeovil Town.
Sheffield Wednesday 4 - 1 Birmingham City
Oguchi Onyewu and Sheffield Wednesday rolled over Will Packwood, Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City on Saturday.
It was a rough day for Birmingham's American, as Spector recorded a yellow card in the 65th minute for a bad foul and Packwood scored an own goal. Both Spector and Packwood went the distance for the Blues, while Onyewu played the entire match for Wednesday.
Wednesday took a two-goal lead within the first 21 mintues, starting with a Caoloan Lavery goal in the 16th minute. Lavery dribbled around a couple of defender while coming in from the right wing, and he finished off the move by sliding into a shot that barely got around Birmingham goalkeeper Darren Randolph and inside the far post. Then, in the 21st minute, Leon Best got at the end of a scramble in front of net following a corner and tapped the ball in to double the Owls' lead.
Although the Owls continued to press for goals, it wasn't a Wednesday player who next scored for the Owls - it was Packwood. In the 58th minute, Jeremy Helan sent in a cross into the middle of the box, where the American defender, who didn't have a single Wednesday player around him, got a leg to it. The ball jumped up in the air before bouncing back to earth and into the net.
Ten minutes later, Lavery completed Wednesday's rout with another goal, curling in a shot from the edge of the 18-yard box. Birmingham City scored a consolation goal with Lee Novak's goal in the 80th minute, but it was just a small blimp on a rather dominating performance.
With the win, the Owls moved into 16th place, and they play next on Tuesday against Queens Park Rangers. Birmingham, meanwhile, stayed in 19th place with the loss, and the Blue return to action next Saturday against Reading.
Brad Friedel didn't play in Tottenham's 1-0 loss to North London rivals Arsenal on Sunday.
Eric Lichaj wasn't available for Nottingham Forrest's scoreless draw against Doncaster on Saturday.
Duane Holmes started but left after just 29 minutes in Yeovil Town's 3-0 loss to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. The American forward rolled his ankle before the match, but coach Gary Johnson removed Holmes because he struggled early.
Zak Whitbread was an unused substitute for Derby County's scoreless tie with Reading, which didn't have Danny Williams available because of a knee injury.