RECAP: WEEKEND ENGLISH ACTION
Tim Howard and Everton picked up a point at Chelsea while Jonathan Spector got another start for West Ham, narrowly missing the target against Sunderland in a weekend full of English action.
Chelsea 1 - 1 Everton
Tim Howard's first half foul on Nikolas Anelka gifted Chelsea the opener, but Everton snagged the equalizer to split the points at Stamford Bridge.
Captain Phil Neville did well do make time for himself as Chelsea pressed forward, but the defender waited on the ball and was forced into making a poor back pass.
Sensing the hesitation from his opposition, Anelka pounced on the back pass and ran straight at Howard who was forced to come off of his line.
At the last second Anelka pushed the ball around the American keeper and plowed straight through him, forcing the referee into making the penalty call. Didier Drogba stepped up to convert the 42nd minute spot kick.
Both squads hit the post when John Terry kept his composure inside the area, sending a looping ball up and over Howard only to hit the crossbar.
Jack Rodwell hit the post for Everton after a brilliant header beat Petr Cech, but his shot hit the far post and bounced across the face of goal and out of danger.
David Moyes was forced to make a change in the 58th minute when Louis Saha picked up an injury with Jermaine Beckford as the chosen replacement. Not living up to his Leeds United potential, the front man was in need of a goal. With just four minutes left to go, he did not disappoint.
Causing problems to the Chelsea squad all day, Leighton Baines made a surging run beating four Chelsea players before whipping in a clinical cross. Tim Cahill was unmarked and headed the cross back across goal for Beckford who was waiting to power his header past Cech.
Howard was booked for his foul on Anelka, joined in the book by Seamus Coleman, Phil Jagielka, and Neville. John Terry was the only Chelsea player booked. Up next for Everton is a home match next Saturday against Wigan.
Arsenal 2 - 1 Fulham
Clint Dempsey took advantage of an Arsenal lapse to slip Diomansy Kamara in, but Samir Nasri was the difference in the game.
Fulham continued their style of play, slowly getting better as the time went on. Unfortunately for Fulham, it usually means they start very poorly but finish quite strongly.
Arsenal were in full swing from the start, and it took Nasri 14 minutes to put the ball in the back of the net. Aaron Hughes let the ball drop, which allowed Andrey Arshavin the space to run forward at the defense. Picking his head up to catch a glimpse of Nasri on the right flank, the Russian prodded the ball on.
Nasri produced magic from there on, dancing past two defenders before thundering his shot into Mark Schwarzer's top corner.
Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci clashed heads in the 30th minute, leaving Koscielny dazed and confused. Staying on his feet to defend the Fulham attack, he was beaten off the ball by Dempsey.
Eluding two defenders after that, the American had the presence of mind to pick out Kamara who was racing through behind the out of sync back line going on to finish past Lukas Fabianski.
Kamara had a similar chance later in the game going on on one with the Arsenal keeper, but this time Fabianski came out on top with a kick save. The head injury to Koscielny threw off Arsenal's rhythm, with Fulham taking charge. They continued to get better as time went on, but were unable to put the ball in the back of the net.
Nasri took over in the 75th minute after receiving the ball from Robin van Persie. In the middle of the Fulham defense, Nasri danced around Hughes and John Pantsil before rounding Schwarzer. Nasri then pirouetted on the byline before shooting into the open net from a difficult angle to win Arsenal the game.
No yellow cards were issued in the game, as Fulham next face Sunderland at home.
Sunderland 1 - 0 West Ham
Jonathan Spector was given another start by Avram Grant after his midweek trouncing of Manchester United.
It wasn't as fairytale when they travelled to Sunderland who were raring for all three points. Asamoah Gyan continued his string of good performances as his good run found him alone downy he right wing. Picking his head up, the forward picked out the streaking run of Jordan Henderson who buried his shot past Robert Green in the 34th minute.
Spector almost mirrored his goal against Manchester United, winning a tackle in the center of the park. After making a surging run into the box, Spector lost his balance at the crucial point, falling over as he struck his ball that went just wide to the left.
Stuart Holden was out injured as Bolton lost 1-0 away at Manchester City.
Marcus Hahnemann was again relegated to the bench as Wayne Hennessey let in three goals as Wolves fell 3-0 at Blackburn.
Brad Friedel and Aston Villa face Liverpool on Monday.
Bad weather postponed Carlisle United's game against Leyton Orient, leaving Frank Simek and Mike Grella to look forward to next weekend. A new rearranged date has not been announced.
Weather also cancelled the game between Jemal Jonhson's Milton Keynes Dons and Anton Peterlin's Plymouth Argyle.
Conor Doyle did not feature as Derby County lost to Norwich City.