American Exports: Dempsey & Co. shelled by Man. Utd
AMSTERDAM — It wasn't the happiest Wednesday night overall for Americans in Europe, headlined by Clint Dempsey and Fulham suffering the indignity of a 5-0 whooping from rude guests Manchester United.
The US star was perhaps the most active home side player on the night as the defending Premier League champs easily halted a three-match winless slide at Craven Cottage.
Meanwhile, a quality three-save outing from goalkeeper Brad Guzan was not enough to prevent Aston Villa from dropping a 2-1 home decision to Arsenal. The ex-Chivas USA man was beaten by a first half Robin van Persie spot kick and Yossi Benayoun's free corner-kick header three minutes from time.
Tim Howard, however, was the lone American victor on Wednesday after backstopping Everton to a 1-0 win over visiting Swansea City.
Making his 157th consecutive EPL start, the US netminder needed just one save to notch his third clean sheet of the season. The victory snapped a three-game drought for the Toffees, who rose to 11th place.
Over in Serie A, Michael Bradley put in a Man of the Match performance as visitors Chievo held fourth place Lazio to a 0-0 draw. Working as a stay-at-home defensive midfielder, the US international continued his recent form ascent with a mistake-free outing.
To the north in Germany, Jermaine Jones was sent off late as nine-man Schalke bid farewell to the German Cup with a 3-1 loss at regional rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach. The midfielder was shown the gate after seeing his second yellow of the night — and ninth in the last 10 Miners matches — for a stoppage-time tussle with Foals striker Igor de Camargo.
In related news, the Hoffenheim duo of Fabian Johnson and Daniel Williams learned their quarterfinal fate after being drawn to host nearby rivals Greuther Fürth in early February.
Finally, in the wildest scene of the night, Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar must wait to hear what will become of a Dutch Cup round of 16 suspended with hosts Ajax up 1-0 in the 38th minute.
The federation has been left to rule on a matter of many levels after a drunk 19-year-old hopped from the stands to attack AZ netminder Esteban Alvarado. The Costa Rica international quickly subdued the man before applying two more kicks to the fallen invader. When security arrived to clear the dust, referee Bas Nijhuis showed the Cheese Farmers No. 1 a straight red card, to which AZ manager Gertjan Verbeek quickly replied by ordering his players back to the locker room.
After the game's suspension was officially announced, AZ technical director Earnie Stewart told a Dutch TV interviewer that Verbeek insisted his players could not feel safe. The Dutch federation is expected to announce its judgments on Thursday.