RECAP: WEEKEND ENGLISH ACTION
Brad Friedel won the battle of the keepers with Everton's Tim Howard, while Clint Dempsey and Stuart Holden both helped push their teams to draws in a full slate of English action.
Aston Villa 1 - 0 Everton
Brad Friedel had the perfect comeback game after being taken to school by Newcastle in his last outing as the wily veteran won the battle of the keepers against American counterpart Tim Howard and Everton.
It only took Luke Young nine minutes to find the back of the net, scoring only his second goal for Aston Villa. John Carew headed onward for Ashley Young who wasted no time releasing his namesake defender into space. With only Tim Howard to beat Luke Young struck a powerful left footed strike past the American.
Jermaine Beckford made way for Louis Saha, and the move almost paid off for David Moyes if it wasn't for the last ditch save from Friedel at full extension to tip the forwards shot around the post.
All of the cards went Villa's way, with Marc Albrighton, James Collins, Richard Dunne, and Stiliyan Petrov all being booked. Villa next play Stoke City away, while Everton welcome Manchester United to Goodison Park following the international break.
Bolton 2 - 2 Birmingham
Stuart Holden went 78 minutes as ten-man Bolton battled back to earn a draw at home to Birmingham.
Roger Johnson had Bolton on the back foot from the fourth minute after a slick play from the visitors. Lee Bowyer was introduced to the starting line up to change things up, and Alex McLeish's gamble paid off. Bowyer chased the ball down to the byline after being played through by James McFadden before crossing it into the box.
With a few options Cameron Jerome flicked the ball on for Johnson to finish from six yards out to get the opening goal. Eight minutes before half time, however, Johnson was involved in an incident that saw Jussi Jaaskelainen slap the defender, earning the goalkeeper a red card and leaving Bolton with a deficit both on the scoreboard and in personnel.
Just five minutes after the restart Craig Gardner put the visitors into a comfortable position. Jerome looked to be marginally offside after McFadden's cross, but as the Bolton back line protested, Jerome headed the ball back across the face of goal for Gardner to finish after initially missing his first attempt.
Johnson again took center stage, but this time for the wrong reason. Kevin Davies was a stepping stool for the defender, and the referee pointed to the spot in the 71st minute. Grabbing the game by the scruff of it's net, Davies made no mistake to get one back for the home team.
With only nine minutes left on the clock, Garry Cahill was fouled on the edge of the area. Holden earlier had a free kick turned over the bar by Birmingham keeper Ben Foster, but 67th minute substitute Robbie Blake left him no chance as he bent in a curler to equalize.
Davies and Fabrice Muamba were both booked for Bolton, while Bowyer, Sebastian Larsson, and Johnson were all booked for Birmingham. Up next for Bolton is a trip to Arsenal.
Wolves 1 - 1 Newcastle
Marcus Hahnemann was unable to stop Newcastle United from equalizing in the second half as a goal on either side of halftime saw both team share the spoils.
Wolves struck first through Sylvan Ebanks-Blake after a stunning turning volley. A big ball forward from Jelle van Damme saw the striker lunging to settle, but his spinning volley left the visitors stunned as it rocketed in from ten yards out.
Joey Barton was a true inspiration to Newcastle, taking knock after knock but kept delivering balls in all night. He finally got his reward for his perseverance after a big free kick in saw Andy Carroll leap the highest to send a glancing header over the helpless Hahnemann.
Christopher Berra, Kevin Doyle, van Damme, Adlene Guedioura, Karl Henry, Matthew Jarvis, and Ronald Zubar were all booked for Wolves. Shola Ameobi, Carrol, Kevin Nolan, and James Perch received yellow for Newcastle. Up next for Hahnemann and company is an away trip to Fulham.
Blackpool 2 - 2 Fulham
Clint Dempsey was again a second half substitute, and helped spark Fulham's attack into life to get a late equalizer.
Both teams had first half goals ruled out for infractions of the rules, but it was Bobby Zamora that struck first blood in the 35th minute. Ian Evatt felt he was fouled by Moussa Dembele, but the striker pushed on to whip in a delightful ball that Zamora powered home with a 12 yard header.
John Pantsil will probably block out the five minutes that saw him partially at fault for both of Blackpool's goals. In the 71st minute, his hospital ball across the middle of the park lost possession for Fulham, and the resulting counter attack saw the defender track back far enough to unfortunately turn the ball into his own net.
Blackpool's second goal was one for the purists, as five neat and tidy passes from the defense up to the midfield found Luke Varney making a perfect run for the striker to score on his Premier League debut.
Dembele continued his success record after a beautifully picked out pass to the surging Dickson Etuhu. Alone on goal, Etuhu delicately lobbed his shot over the onrushing David Stockdale to earn a share of the spoils.
The only card issued was to David Vaughaun of Blackpool. Dempsey had a fierce shot saved by Matthew Gilks, who was forced to block the 25 yard drive with a diving save. Up next for Fulham is a visit from Wolverhampton Wanderers to Craven Cottage.
Manchester United 3 - 0 West Ham
Jonathan Spector had a wretched time as he was recalled to the West Ham first team after giving up a penalty against former teammate Ryan Giggs.
A beautiful ball forward by Manchester United legend Paul Scholes to Ryan Giggs was brought down with ease, and the Welshman didn't give Spector any chance as he twisted and turned his way around the defender before being fouled. Without scoring since March, England international Wayne Rooney stepped up to put away the follow penalty kick in the 33rd minute.
United pressed on as a flowing movement started with Luis Nani, ended with the winger dancing around the edge of the penalty area before smashing home a left footed finish in the 50th minute.
Dimitar Berbatov was the final united goal scorer, finally getting the goal he deserved after an inspired performance. United pushed and pushed, with the final ball being delivered across by Nani with the Bulgarian front man providing a stunning scissor kick to cap off his night. After scoring the striker took off his shirt immediately, earning a yellow card.
Mark Noble and Matthew Upson were booked in the outing for West Ham, who next face Chelsea at home in an all London affair.
Derby County 2 - 2 Queens Park Rangers
Conor Doyle started for Derby County as they tied to Queens Park Rangers in a nail-biter this weekend.
The American played 57 minutes for the Rams before coming off.
Kris Commons opened the scoring for Derby in the 40th minute when he received a pass from the left from Dean Moxey and easily lofted the ball over QPR goalie Paddy Kenny.
Early in the second half James Bailey doubled the score for the Rams, finding the net from the edge of the box.
Derby County was feeling the win was theirs, but two minutes into injury time saw a Patrick Agyemang shot go beyond goalie Stephen Bywater.
Jamie Mackie then leveled the game in the sixth minute of added time after he fired a shot from 20 yards out to keep his team undefeated in the Championship.
Moxey was booked for Derby County in the 32nd minute while Clint Hill received a yellow card just before half time.
Carlisle United 1 - 1 Colchester United
Frank Simek and Carlisle United salvaged a draw against Colchester United in League One action this weekend.
Simek again continued his consistent playing time by going the full 90 minutes for Carlisle.
David Mooney opened the scoring for Colchester in the 29th minute when a Brian Wilson cross was headed in by the on-loan striker.
In stoppage time, though, Gary Madine managed to get the ball into a crowded area, where Paul Thirwell was able to score from close range, salvaging a point for Carlisle.
Colchester's Mooney and Kemal Izzet were booked while James Berrett received a yellow card in the 69th minute for Carlisle United.
Mike Grella did not make the bench in Leeds United's 1-0 win against Watford
Jemal Johnson did not see playing time for Milton Keynes Dons' 2-1 win over Swindon Town.
Anton Peterlin played the last 15 minutes for Plymouth Argyle's 3-1 loss to Peterborough United.
Both Seb Harris and Jon-Paul Pittman had cameo appearances as Northampton Town drew against Wycombe with a goal apiece.