Clint Dempsey had a very productive week for London outfit Tottenham Hotspur. On Thursday, Dempsey helped Spurs defeat Panathinaikos 3-1 in Europa League action at White Hart Lane. The Texan collected an assist with a lovely through ball for Emmanuel Adebayor's opener in the first half. Then, with the teams knotted at 1-1, Dempsey took action in the 76th minute, whacking a header which went in after colliding with the bar and keeper Orestis Karnezis. While the strike was scored as an own goal, Dempsey’s impact was clear. Jermain Defoe added the dagger six minutes later. The victory enabled Tottenham to progress to the knockout stages.
On Sunday, Dempsey continued his strong play, scoring in the 76th minute to give Spurs a 1-0 lead over Everton. The midfielder turned from 30 yards out and fired a rocket which took a deflection off Sylvain Distin, looping over fellow American Tim Howard and into the net. Unfortunately for Spurs, Everton rallied with two late goals and grabbed a huge 2-1 victory, leapfrogging Spurs to regain fourth place.
Everton gets three points late
Everton escaped Goodison Park with a win on Sunday after scoring twice in the final moments to edge Tottenham 2-1. Tim Howard was effective, stopping four shots, including a difficult Jan Vertonghen attempt; however the keeper did allow the aforementioned Dempsey goal in the 76th. Luckily, Everton’s hard work paid off late as Steven Pienaar headed in a 90th minute equalizer and Nikica Jelavic notched the winner in stoppage time. The win moved the Toffees up to fourth place.
Bradley helps Roma win wild contest
Michael Bradley started and played well in a thriller on Saturday as Roma defeated Fiorentina 4-2 in a back and forth affair. Bradley was on point in the second half especially as he tested the keeper once and made a crucial clearance late.
Friedel starts in European play
Brad Friedel grabbed a spot start for Tottenham on Thursday against Panathinaikos, as the hosts prevailed 3-1 in Europa League action. For his part, Friedel made four saves but he’s clearly not the number one option as he was benched for Sunday’s contest. There is always the possibility that he could be moved during the January transfer window.
Boyd nets winner for Rapid Vienna
On Sunday, Terrence Boyd scored the game-winning goal against Wacker Innsbruck as Rapid prevailed 2-1. The striker tallied the winner in the 51st minute and in the process, sent his club up to second place in the Austrian Bundesliga. On Thursday, Boyd came on for the final 15 minutes but didn’t do much as Rapid Vienna nabbed its first points in the Europa League by defeating Group K winner FC Mentalist Kharkiv 1-0. Vienna was already mathematically eliminated, while FC Mentalist had qualified for the knockout round prior to Thursday’s match.
Cameron starts in stinker
Geoff Cameron started once again and played the entire contest, but Stoke looked sluggish against Aston Villa for much of the contest. Villa could not make the breakthrough during a boring affair which ended 0-0. Once again, fellow American Maurice Edu failed to make the game-day roster.
Jones helps Schalke clinch group but sputters on Saturday
Jermaine Jones only played the final 18 minutes on Tuesday but was solid as Schalke clinched the top spot in Group B with a 1-1 draw against Montpellier. As the group winner, the German side will have an advantage as it heads into the next stage of the Champions League. On Saturday, Jones was back in the starting unit but Schalke was smashed 3-1 by Vfb Stuttgart thanks to a hat trick from Vedad Ibisevic. It got uglier as Jones was shown a straight red card in the 73rd minute after committing a hard tackle on Ibrahima Traore.
Altidore comes up empty again
AZ Alkmaar continues to fall in the Eredivisie as the squad drew 0-0 with Willem II Wilburg on Saturday. Jozy Altidore started but once again could not find the net. The entire team is in a funk as it has compiled just two goals over the last four contests.
Kljestan heating up
Sacha Kljestan is starting to replicate his fantastic form of a season ago, as he collected another two assists for Anderlecht on the week. First, he provided a late assist to Dieumerci Mbokani in a 2-2 draw at Malaga in the Champions League Tuesday. In league action Saturday, Kljestan provided for Mbokani again as the striker netted a hat trick in Anderlecht's 5-0 win over Mons. The American midfielder now has six assists in his last nine games in all competitions.
Villa tandem earns draw
Aston Villa’s American duo of Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj both started on Saturday as the Villains earned a forgettable 0-0 draw against Stoke. Neither side could bring home a winner and although the hosts were the more aggressive side, it was still a sub-par showing. Guzan wasn’t even forced into a save as Stoke looked even worse and although Lichaj took two shots, neither was on target.
Hoffenheim duo loses again
Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams both started on Friday night but neither looked too confident as Hamburg rolled over Hoffenheim 2-0. Williams was removed midway through the second half. The German club remains in 18th place.
Hannover gets positive results with Cherundolo
Steve Cherundolo came on for the final 20 minutes on Thursday as Hannover blew a 2-0 lead and drew 2-2 with Levante in Europa League play. Despite the lapse, the German club still held on to claim first place in Group L. On Sunday, Cherundolo started and played the full 90 as Hannover got a late winner from Szabolcs Hustzi to take all three against Bayern Leverkusen.
Onyewu makes another Champions League cameo
Oguchi Onyewu started once again in a Champions League affair, helping Malaga draw 2-2 against Anderlecht on Tuesday. The draw knocked the Belgian side out of European competition for the season. Malaga had already secured its progression. For his part, Onyewu played well but did commit a few fouls in the process. He did not dress for Saturday’s 4-0 win over Granada.
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