American Exports: Jozy Altidore helps Sunderland register historic victory at Manchester United
AMSTERDAM – Brad Guzan snapped a six-game win drought with a commanding performance as Aston Villa all but ensured their Premier League safety with a 3-1 victory over guests Hull City on Saturday afternoon.
The former Chivas USA star captured five crosses out of the sky, but needed just two saves to defeat his former loan employers with the chips on the line. Guzan's best work came to deny Tom Huddlestone from long range to keep the score tied shortly after the Tigers equalized through a Jordan Bowery own goal near the half-hour mark.
Elsewhere, Geoff Cameron spent much of his afternoon helping Stoke City forward to register their highest-scoring EPL match in nearly 14 months, a 4-1 rout that doomed visiting Fulham to relegation.
The Potters right back did make one notable error, but he was saved by a backline teammate Marc Muniesa. With one game remaining, Stoke ensured that they will end up no lower than their current 10th place position – which is already good enough to stand as their best top flight finish since 1975.
It was also good relegation fight news for Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore, who pitched in with a solid 25-minute outing as the visitors scored a 1-0 victory at Manchester United that moved them to the brink of clinching safety.
The US hitman nearly notched an insurance tally assist with 18 minutes left, but Emanuele Giaccherini fired his pinpoint cross from the right flank off the far post. Winners of three straight EPL matches for the first time since February 2012, Sunderland also halted a 46-year winless run at Old Trafford.
Most importantly, the Black Cats climbed to three points clear of the EPL relegation dunk booth with two games remaining on their schedule.
Also, Brad Friedel watched on from the away dugout as Tottenham surrendered all UEFA Champions League qualification hopes with a 2-0 derby loss at West Ham United.
Turning to the Bundesliga, Timothy Chandler went the distance for the first time in three months, but FC Nürnberg missed the chance to reach the promotion/relegation playoff spot thanks to a 2-0 home loss to Hannover 96.
The right back was good for six tackles and five pass interceptions, as well as a yellow card. Nürnberg, whose current six-game losing is their longest in Bundesliga play in nearly 30 years, now head into closing day needing a victory and for Hamburg to drop points for a chance at survival.
Meanwhile, Fabian Johnson proved able moving Hoffenheim forward from right back and Joseph Gyau worked a threatening shift off the bench in a tight 3-2 loss at Borussia Dortmund.
Johnson drew four free kicks and his steal helped set up the visitors' opening goal, but he did suffer a couple of defensive hiccups that went unpunished in the end. Gyau hopped off the bench in the 61st minute to provide a spark as ninth-place Hoffenheim strived in vain to find the leveling goal.
The young winger buzzed the cross bar with a 20-yard drive in his bid to tie the game with five minutes left and then served a cross that Kevin Volland missed by inches shortly thereafter, before finally nodding wide in stoppage time.
Finally, John Anthony Brooks had a lukewarm afternoon in Hertha Berlin's 2-0 loss at Werder Bremen. The center back accounted for six clearances, four tackles and a caution as the Old Lady stayed put in 10th place.