American Exports: Howard a bright spot on rough day
AMSTERDAM – It was not a productive Saturday for English clubs employing Americans, with Tim Howard and Everton enjoying the best result in a 0-0 draw with guests Swansea City.
The US netminder needed only three saves on a day where the fifth-place hosts dominated the action. His best denial came nine minutes before the break, when he pushed Michu's chip attempt onto the woodwork while back-wheeling.
Howard recorded his first clean sheet since September's away win over the Swans, who still have yet to find the net in four series meetings against him.
Around the EPL, home woes continued for Brad Guzan and Aston Villa, who fell 1-0 to Southampton on a controversial penalty decision.
With compatriot Eric Lichaj watching from the dugout, the Villans extended their goal drought in the friendly confines to 370 minutes, the club's longest such streak since 2006. Guzan's three saves went to waste as the hosts fell into the bottom three by remaining winless for the seventh straight league game.
Geoff Cameron (left, with Chelsea's Eden Hazard) had a hard day at the office as 10th place Stoke City were taken behind their own woodshed for a 4-0 whooping by visiting Chelsea. Though he was not directly at fault for any of the goals, it was not one of better days for the US international.
Tottenham Hotspur ace Clint Dempsey worked a quiet quarter hour off the bench in a frustrating 0-0 stalemate at Queens Park Rangers. Spurs simply could not find a way past QPR 'keeper Júlio César and were nudged down to fourth place by Chelsea as punishment.
One level down in the Championship, Tim Ream recovered from a poor start, but his big mistake had lasting effect in Bolton's 1-1 share with guests Millwall.
The former New York Red Bulls defender made a bad early pass that led to a spot kick for the Lions. Now with just one win in the last five league matches, Wanderers slipped a spot to 16th.
Jonathan Spector came on at halftime of Birmingham City's 1-1 draw at Huddersfield Town. The handyman was solid in midfield as the struggling Brums inched five points clear of the trap door.