American Exports: Clint Dempsey can't spark Fulham in defeat to Arsenal, Oguchi Onyewu makes debut
AMSTERDAM – Aron Jóhannsson continued his impressive production at AFAS-Stadion on Saturday, scoring AZ Alkmaar's second goal in a 3-0 win over guests NAC Breda.
Just prior to intermission, the US forward bundled home a Nick Viergever cross to chalk up his 12th Eredivisie goal of the season and 19th across all competitions. By snapping a four-match losing slide in style, AZ rose to seventh place.
Meanwhile, it was a rough Saturday afternoon for most of the Americans drawing paychecks in England, as Clint Dempsey had a dull 90-minute outing as Fulham dropped a 2-0 decision at table-toppers Arsenal. Standing just a point above the trap door, the Cottagers lost for the ninth time in their last 11 EPL games away from home.
Further south in London, a strong Geoff Cameron effort was wasted in Stoke City's 1-0 defeat at last-place Crystal Palace. The Potters right back led all players with five tackles and often helped the visitors forward up his wing. Though now winless in four, Stoke held firm in 12th place.
Elsewhere, Jozy Altidore went 72 minutes as Sunderland clawed back for a 2-2 share against visiting Southampton.
The US striker had a rather quiet day offensively, but excelled in the air and drew extra defenders on both of the home side's goal moves. With but one loss in their last seven Premier League matches, the Black Cats climbed a rung to 18th place.
In the late game, Brad Guzan was among the culpable as Aston Villa blew a two-goal lead to settle for a 2-2 draw at Liverpool.
The former Chivas USA man showed well for most of the match, but was whistled for upending Luis Suárez eight minutes after halftime and Steven Gerrard bagged the resulting penalty kick to level matters. Guzan then atoned by making the best of his four saves to rob Jordan Henderson in the 65th minute.
Despite just one win in eight, Villa nudged their way up to 10th place.
One flight down in the Championship, Oguchi Onyewu starred on his Sheffield Wednesday debut, a 1-1 rally draw at second-place Burnley.
In addition to racking up 23 clearances in the heart of defense, the new arrival assisted on Chris Maguire's equalizer just before the break. Now unbeaten in seven across all competitions, the warming Owls rose clear of the drop zone to 19th place.
Brek Shea pitched in with 78 quality minutes as Barnsley topped visiting Blackpool 2-0.
The left winger had a strong day and saw one of his three shots deflected inches wide near halftime. Though still in the basement and four points from the safety zone, Barnsley halted a six-match win drought in league play.
Around the league, Daniel Williams and Reading climbed back into a promotion playoff spot by demolishing Tim Ream's Bolton by a 7-1 count.
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Near the end of a solid shift of work in the middle of the park, Williams nearly joined the goal fun in stoppage time, only to have his try from distance pawed out of the bottom corner. However, Ream had a rough day at the office, with his error freeing the crosser on Adam Le Fondre's third goal of the game. While Reading jumped into sixth place, Bolton stayed chained to 18th.
Will Packwood went unused as Birmingham City fell 2-0 to guests Yeovil Town. Despite the loss, the slumping Brums remained in 17th place.
Also, Duane Holmes was an unused sub in Huddersfield Town's 2-1 defeat at Queens Park Rangers and Zak Whitbread watched from the home dugout as Derby County kept hold of fourth place with a 1-0 victory over visiting Brighton & Hove Albion.