American Exports: Jermaine Jones, Timothy Chandler battle to draw, Johannsson scores but AZ blown out
AMSTERDAM – A trying Saturday for European clubs fielding Americans continued as Timothy Chandler's FC Nürnberg hosted a 0-0 Bundesliga draw with Jermaine Jones and Schalke.
The US internationals each shined for their respective sides, with defensive midfield pest Jones going close to a winning goal on both 29 and 83 minutes. Chandler, meanwhile, consistently drove the FCN attack on the dribble and fired a game-high four shots.
Seventh place Schalke stayed winless in their last five road contest across all competitions, while Nürnberg posted their league-high 11th draw in 17 games this season to remain above the cellar on goal differential.
Next door in the Eredivisie, Aron Jóhannsson rang the bell in a losing cause, striking the lone AZ Alkmaar goal in a galling 5-1 home defeat to Heerenveen.
Hosting the Frisians for the second time this week after a KNVB Cup win featuring two Jóhannsson goals, AZ were more error-prone than overrun in a match that saw them hold 57% of the ball and fire 17 shots. The US forward buried his only chance, deftly chesting down on the run to make it 2-1 in the 40th minute.
Due to their fourth straight league loss, the Cheese Farmers stand vulnerabl to three Sunday contestants in seventh place.
Turning to France's Ligue 1, Alejandro Bedoya put in a decent shift as Nantes dropped a 2-0 result at Saint-Étienne. Consecutive losses have dipped the Canaries down to sixth place.
In the English Championship, Tim Ream ably held down central defense as Bolton settled for a 1-1 home share with Charlton. Despite the point earned, Wanderers slipped a rung to 17th place.
Reading midfielder Daniel Williams gave a decent account of himself with five tackles, but also saw yellow late in a 2-1 home loss to Wigan. Unable to recover from two goal leaks in the opening 12 minutes of the contest, the Royals were nudged down a place to sixth.
Eric Lichaj hopped off the bench at intermission to pitch in a capable half at right back in Nottingham Forest's 0-0 draw at Birmingham City. While only two Championship clubs have lost fewer games, the Tricky Trees fell to seventh place thanks to their league-high ninth share of the season.