American Exports: Kljestan gets 6th assist in last 9 games
AMSTERDAM – It was another busy Saturday for Americans playing in Europe, with Sacha Kljestan continuing his productive form by assisting on the winner in Anderlecht's 5-0 cruise through Mons.
In the fourth minute, the US midfielder raided the area to pick out Dieumerci Mbokani at the far post for his sixth helper in the last nine games across all competitions. Kljestan also smoothly released the crosser when Mbokani completed his hat trick near time.
The defending champs have now won seven Jupiler League tilts in a row to build a six-point table-top cushion.
Turning to Serie A, Michael Bradley ably patrolled central park as red-hot AS Roma tentatively climbed up to fourth place with a 4-2 triumph over Fiorentina at Stadio Olimpico.
The midfielder, who was often at the center of action over the final hour of play, started the move for Roma's winner on the stroke of halftime. Bradley then was denied from an early second-half scramble, raced from his own half to slice wide in the 70th minute and executed an important line save with the hosts still protecting a one-goal lead in the waning moments.
The Giallorossi, who have now scored 14 goals in their last five at home, earned their first four-game win streak in nearly a year.
Over in the Bundesliga, Jermaine Jones notched an early assist before seeing the first straight red card of his professional career in Schalke's 3-1 loss at Stuttgart.
The US international's left-wing cross allowed Ciprian Marica to level matters near the quarter-hour, but he'd eventually get the gate 17 minutes from time for a reckless challenge from behind on Ibrahima Traoré. Fifth-place Schalke have dropped four straight league games away from home.
Timothy Chandler was active in FC Nürnberg's 2-0 victory over guests Fortuna Düsseldorf. The right back narrowly missed scoring from distance before the break and performed a pair of saving line clearances after it.
Premier League action saw Aston Villa netminder Brad Guzan extend his home shutout streak to 273 minutes without needing a single save in a 0-0 stalemate with Geoff Cameron's Stoke City. The Potters left back had some defensive struggles on the day, while Eric Lichaj worked cleanly on Villa's left side.
The hosts are now unbeaten in four, while Stoke improved their bulletproof run to six games.
One league below in the Championship, Leicester City defender Zak Whitbread set up the last gasp equalizer in a 2-2 draw with Barnsley. Having earlier come close to scoring on a restart header twice, the American knocked down expertly for Jamie Vardy to gain the Foxes a point in stoppage time.
Jonathan Spector worked the first half in midfield as Birmingham City fell 1-0 at Wolverhampton.
Bolton defender Tim Ream came on for the final five minutes as the 10-man visitors managed a 2-2 draw at Huddersfield Town.
Conor Doyle was an unused sub in Derby County's 3-1 victory over Leeds United.
Across the North Sea in the Eredivisie, Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar were frustrated yet again after settling for a 0-0 draw with visiting cellar-dwellers Willem II.
The US striker had two decent penalty shouts ignored in the first half and was robbed of a late winner as the Cheese Farmers saw their league win drought at home grow to six matches.