American Exports: Dempsey goal, assist fuel Fulham victory
AMSTERDAM – A pair of Americans found the net in Europe on Saturday, with Man of the Match Clint Dempsey notching a goal and assist to lead Fulham to a 2-1 win over Zak Whitbread and Norwich City.
The Texas tornado caromed home a rebound after just two minutes to bag his 13th EPL goal of the term, and then slipped Damien Duff into the area for a curler 10 minutes later. The Cottagers snapped a three-game losing streak to reach 11th place, passing Norwich on goal differential.
Meanwhile, Eric Lichaj sparked Aston Villa's late comeback with a goal and assist, but they would go on to fall 4-2 against visiting Chelsea.
Moments after the right back's long throw was nodded in by James Collins, he buried a Marc Albrighton cross at the back post to temporarily level the game with 10 minutes left. With the loss, Villa remain docked in 13th.
Tim Howard posted his third clean sheet victory in eight days as Everton climbed to seventh with a 2-0 decision over visiting West Bromwich Albion. The US No. 1 needed just two saves to register his ninth league shutout of the season.
Bolton defender Tim Ream continued his solid play in a 3-2 road win over Wolverhampton. Thanks to their first three-game EPL win streak since 2006, Wanderers moved out of the drop zone.
In neighboring Scotland, Maurice Edu worked 85 minutes to help Rangers win 2-1 at Motherwell. The last-minute victory gave the Light Blues a six-point edge over their hosts in the race for the SPL's second Champions League berth.
Over in the Bundesliga, Timothy Chandler saw yellow during an active shift as FC Nürnberg fell 1-0 to derby guests Bayern Munich. Having now lost four straight games, Der Club dropped to 12th.
Also, Alfredo Morales went unused in Hertha Berlin's 4-1 home loss to Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen back-up netminder David Yelldell did the same in a 2-0 defeat to visiting Freiburg.
Heading north to Denmark, late sub Chris Rolfe was sent off in stoppage time of Aalborg BK's 1-0 loss at AC Horsens. The winger was shown the gate for kicking out at Martin Spelmann after being tumbled over by the midfielder's reckless late challenge.
Finally, in Israel's championship playoff, Leo Krupnick went into the ref's book early in a 1-0 loss at Bnei Yehuda. Dino Ndlovu's 79th minute striker not only halted the Diamonds' four-game winning run in league play, it also cut their shutout streak off at 378 minutes.