Americans Abroad recap: Guzan helping Villans survive

The burly American keeper played well last week, keeping opposition in check as Aston Villa prevailed twice
With just a few weeks remaining, Aston Villa made good use of its matchups down the stretch, picking up six huge points last week to jump up to 13th place in the table. First, Brad Guzan’s week started off easily as he made just one save on Monday due to his squad’s dominance of Sunderland. The hosts annihilated the Black Cats 6-1 behind Christian Benteke’s hat trick.

On Saturday, Guzan was tested a bit more during a tight contest but the keeper still made just one save as Aston Villa edged out Norwich City 2-1. Eric Lichaj even made an appearance for the surging squad. The seldom-used American defender came on in the 27th minute for the injured Matthew Lowton and played well for the remainder of the contest. It was his first appearance since January. The victory moved the Birmingham outfit five points clear of the relegation zone.

Howard nabs clean sheet in derby draw

Tim Howard made three saves on Sunday as Everton and Liverpool played to a 0-0 stalemate. The Merseyside derby was relatively uneventful as only five total shots tested either keeper. Although the draw helps Everton maintain position in the table, the result extends the Toffees winless run at Anfield to 14 years.

Dempsey plays 72 minutes in crucial contest

Clint Dempsey started on Saturday against Southampton and tested the goalkeeper twice but it was Gareth Bale who finally gave Spurs the vital three points, putting the club ahead in the 86th minute. The 1-0 victory keeps Tottenham in the running for a Champions League place.

Altidore scoreless for AZ

Jozy Altidore started on Sunday but had a tough game, picking up a yellow card before being removed after 60 minutes as AZ dominated PEC Zwolle 4-0.

Bradley helps Roma to win

Michael Bradley started on Saturday and played well as Roma outlasted a fiery Florentine side, grabbing a late 1-0 victory thanks to Pablo Daniel Osvaldo. The three points keep Roma’s slim Champions League hopes alive.

Jones looks strong in victory

Jermaine Jones started on Friday night and played aggressively, committing five fouls while picking up a yellow card. In the end, teammate Julian Draxler made the difference, giving the visitors a 1-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach. The win keeps Schalke in a top four position.

Johnson starts in comeback draw

Fabian Johnson started but was removed at halftime as Hoffenheim looked to get back into it after going down 2-0 against Werder Bremen. The visitors made a valiant effort and Sven Schipplock scored a late brace to even the scoreline at 2-2. The point helps, but the club is still two points from the safety zone. Danny Williams was not involved in the contest.

Chandler out for loss

Timothy Chandler was an unused substitute on Saturday as Nurnberg fell to Bayer Leverkusen 2-0.    

Kljestan solid for Anderlecht

Sacha Kljestan started and played the entire contest on Sunday as Anderlecht defeated Standard Liege 2-0 behind two goals from Guillaume Gillet.