American Exports: Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan extends his away shutout streak
AMSTERDAM – Aston Villa netminder Brad Guzan continued his road mastery on Saturday, logging four saves in a 0-0 draw at West Ham United.
By keeping the club that tried to sign him over the summer off the scoreboard, Guzan extended his shutout streak in Premier League away games to 289 minutes. The former Chivas USA star was at his best with second-half stops to deny Matt Jarvis and Joe Cole. The result kept Villa winless in four and in 13th place.
Around the league, Geoff Cameron and Stoke City blew a gifted early lead to settle for a 1-1 share with visiting Southampton. Badly in need of a victory, the Potters went up after just 12 seconds when goalkeeper Asmir Begović netted from his own area with a wind-aided bouncer. The American right back was issued a harsh yellow card in the waning moments. Now winless in seven EPL matches, Stoke remained a point above the danger zone.
Jozy Altidore had a short afternoon as nine-man Sunderland fell 1-0 at Hull City. The striker was lifted at the break, which directly followed the second Black Cats ejection. The loss, Sunderland's eighth in 10 games this season, kept them flailing in 19th place.
One league below in the Championship, Tim Ream and Bolton vaulted out of the drop zone with a 2-0 triumph at Bournemouth. The center back, who saw yellow late, continued his strong play as 19th-place Wanderers extended their bulletproof run to six games.
Eric Lichaj went the distance as slumping Nottingham Forest suffered a tough 1-0 home loss to Blackpool.
The US international could have earned a winning assist with a fine dash-and-dish near the hour had sub striker Greg Halford done better with his created chance. Despite taking consecutive league losses for the first time since April, Forest held firm in sixth place.
Oguchi Onyewu was an unused sub as third-place Queens Park Rangers moved to within two points of the top with a 2-1 win over guests Derby County.
Over in the Bundesliga, late sub Jermaine Jones assisted on Schalke's insurance tally in a 2-0 victory at Hertha Berlin. The US midfielder capped his 10-minute outing by teeing up Julian Draxler for a stoppage-time strike. The Miners, who have three wins and a draw in their last four road games, climbed a rung to fifth.
Elsewhere, Timothy Chandler and FC Nürnberg are still searching for their first league win of the season following a galling 3-0 home defeat to Freiburg. The US defender was the only man along the FCN backline found not guilty on any of the visitors' goals. Chandler & Co. are next to the basement, three points from the safety area after 11 games.
Next door in Belgium's Jupiler League, Sacha Kljestan bagged the game's opening goal for the fifth time in 11 games this term as champs Anderlecht topped visiting OH Leuven 3-1.
Kljestan was the winner in a goalmouth scramble two minutes before intermission, netting his career-best seventh of the season. The American left his teammates to close out matters in the 65th minute, as the Mauves tentatively moved into third place.
Just to the north the Eredivisie, Aron Jóhannsson and AZ Alkmaar reached the top of the table with a 2-0 home win over ADO Den Haag. The only team in last week's top five to emerge from the weekend victorious, AZ pushed their AFAS-Stadion win streak in league play to four games.
Turning to Denmark's Superliga, Conor O'Brien and fifth-place Odense BK were on the sad end of a tight 1-0 decision at Aalborg BK.
The midfielder set up his side's best late chance to equalize 13 minutes from time, only to watch teammate Emil Larsen cruelly denied off his slip pass. It was OB's first league loss in six.