Going into Thursday’s fixture, Fulham faced a daunting 3-1 aggregate deficit, but the crowd at Craven Cottage motivated the home side to an unbelievable 4-1 victory. Things weren’t looking good early as the visitors extended their cushion with a second minute opener from David Trezeguet. However, Bobby Zamora tallied just seven minutes later before the Cottagers were dealt a very generous hand. Defender Fabio Cannavaro was sent off in the 27th minute, leaving Juve with a severely weakened back four. Zoltan Gera then scored two straight to level the aggregate at 4-4. Clint Dempsey was introduced in the 70th minute and, with extra time looming, produced something brilliant. In the 82nd minute, “Deuce” received the ball just outside the 18-yard box and chipped a 20-yard effort just over 'keeper Antonio Chimenti’s head, sending the raucous crowd into a frenzy and Fulham into the Europa League quarterfinals.
On Sunday, Dempsey played the final 38 minutes but Fulham could not crawl out of an early 0-2 hole, ultimately falling 1-2 at home to Manchester City. Dempsey played well during his time and, although Fulham pulled back a goal through Danny Murphy’s 75th minute penalty, they simply could not grab an equalizer.
Tim Howard, Everton
Vs. Bolton, 2-0, (90 minutes, 0 goals conceded, 3 saves)
After a lackadaisical first half, the Toffees got back on track during the second stanza, scoring two goals to bury Bolton. Mikel Arteta tallied with a brilliant free kick before Steven Pienaar sealed the deal in the 89th minute with a strong effort. Howard made a few really nice saves, stifling Zat Knight and Kevin Davies in the first half. Bolton was reduced to 10 men after the 70th minute and Everton broke it open after that.
Up Next: Wednesday, away to Manchester City, and Saturday, away to Wolves.
Brad Friedel and Brad Guzan, Aston Villa
Vs. Wigan Athletic, 1-2, (Friedel: 90 minutes, 1 goal conceded, 2 saves)
Vs. Wolverhampton, 2-2, (Friedel: 90 minutes, 2 goals conceded, 2 saves)
Friedel played a solid game on Tuesday, holding Wigan to one goal as Aston Villa got a second half winner from James Milner. Gary Caldwell beat Friedel in the first half with a close glancing header but outside of that strike, the hosts didn’t put that much pressure on the keeper. On Saturday, John Carew scored two goals, including one within the final eight minutes, as Aston Villa salvaged a point against Wolves. Friedel was beaten early on by Jody Craddock, followed by an own goal error by James Milner minutes later.
Up Next: Wednesday, home for Sunderland, and Saturday, away to Chelsea.
Clint Dempsey, Fulham
Vs. Juventus, 4-1, (20 minutes, 1 goal)
Vs. Manchester City, 1-2, (38 minutes)
Up Next: Wednesday, away to Tottenham (FA Cup), and Saturday, away to Hull City.
Jonathan Spector, West Ham
Vs. Arsenal, 2-0 (90 minutes)
Arsenal handled the Hammers on Saturday to move temporarily top of the league. Denilson scored a beautiful goal in the fifth minute with a powerful strike. The visitors missed the chance to level to score in the 45th minute when Alessandro Diamanti’s penalty try was saved by Manuel Almunia. Cesc Fabregas scored late from the spot after Matthew Upson handled in the box. Spector had a tough time with an outstanding Arsenal squad but wasn’t really out of place during the match. The Hammers were simply outplayed.
Up Next: Tuesday, home for Wolves, and Saturday, home for Stoke City.
Marcus Hahnemann, Wolverhampton
Vs. Aston Villa, 2-2 (90 minutes, 2 goals conceded, 1 save)
Wolves nearly pulled off an upset at Villa Park on Saturday but a late strike from John Carew settled the draw. Hahnemann was beaten early and late by Carew and really wasn’t forced into many saves on the afternoon.
Up Next: Tuesday, away to West Ham, and Saturday, home for Everton.
Jozy Altidore, Hull City
Vs. Portsmouth, 3-2, (83 minutes)
Phil Brown was sacked as Tigers manager midweek and Iain Dowie took over. Altidore was not included against Portsmouth due to injury but it will be interesting to see how the new boss uses the American forward.
Up Next: Saturday, home for Fulham.
Stuart Holden, Bolton Wanderers
Vs. Everton, 2-0, (DNP)
Holden, out with a broken leg, saw his Bolton squad lose to Everton on Saturday.
Up Next: Saturday, home for Manchester United.
Jay DeMerit, Watford
On Tuesday, DeMerit helped Watford end their losing streak as the Hornets triumphed 2-1 over Ipswich. Come Sunday, DeMerit once again played the full 90 but the losing was back in session as Cardiff easily handled Watford 3-1.
Up Next: Wednesday, away to Sheffield Wednesday, and Saturday, home for Middlesbrough.
Frank Simek, Sheffield Wednesday
Simek did not get on Tuesday or Saturday as Wednesday drew 2-2 with Preston North End and 0-0 with Derby County.
Up Next: Wednesday, home for Watford, and Saturday, away to Coventry City.
Kenny Cooper, Plymouth
Plymouth defeated Bristol City 3-2 on Tuesday and fell to Scunthorpe United 2-1 on Saturday but Cooper did not feature in either. The striker played in a Reserves fixture on Thursday, losing to Swansea 4-1.
Up Next: Tuesday, away to Ipswich Town, and Saturday, home for Blackpool.
Jemal Johnson, Stockport County
Johnson, still out with a hamstring injury, did not participate at all last week at Stockport fell 0-1 to both Oldham and Brentford..
Up Next: Saturday, away to Millwall.
Jon-Paul Pittman, Wycombe Wanderers
Pittman played the final seven minutes as Wycombe coughed up a win late to Exeter City. Leading 2-1 with just minutes remaining, Richard Logan tallied in the 89th minute to settle the draw.
Up Next: Saturday, away to Colchester United.
Zak Whitbread, Norwich City
Whitbread, still out with a calf injury, did not feature as Norwich drew 1-1 with Swindon Town.
Up Next: Saturday, home for Leeds United.
Meanwhile Up In Scotland…
DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu, Rangers
Nine-man Rangers won a dramatic CIS Insurance Cup final on Sunday, getting an 84th minute winner from Kenny Miller. Kevin Thomson and Danny Wilson were both sent off but Miller’s header found the net late after a great breakaway opportunity. Edu played the entire second half while Beasley remained on the bench.
Up Next: Wednesday, away to Dundee United (Scottish Cup), and Saturday, away to Heart of Midlothian.
** St. Pat’s FC midfielder Ryan Guy scored twice on Friday night as his club defeated University College Dublin 3-0. St. Pat’s is now 3-0 to start the season and Guy has scored three of their seven goals thus far.
Matthew Braine writes the Americans in the UK piece every Monday. Contact him with your questions or comments at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @MatthewBraine
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