AMSTERDAM – Five saves from Aston Villa netminder Brad Guzan were not enough on Saturday afternoon, as visiting Fulham struck near time for a 2-1 Premier League victory.
The former Chivas USA star was especially busy late in the first half, keeping the game scoreless by cruelly turning away Cauley Woodrow twice before doing the same to both Lewis Holtby and Steve Sidwell. Guzan also benefited from a heroic Matthew Lowton line clear in the waning moments of the contest, but fell victim to a glancing Hugo Rodallega header four minutes from the buzzer.
Despite a third straight loss, Villa remain seven points clear of the relegation zone in 13th place.
Around the EPL, Geoff Cameron left at halftime of Stoke City's 3-0 defeat away to tentative table leaders Chelsea with what appeared to be a lower-body complaint.
The Potters right back, who was unable to get forward much, was not to blame on either of the Blues' first-half tallies. The result snapped a three-game win streak by 10th-place Stoke.
One league below in the Championship, Daniel Williams capped a star display with the late winner as Reading earned some promotion playoff breathing room with a 1-0 victory at Charlton.
Before he went to the trouble of bagging his third league goal in the last seven starts, the US midfielder was busy piling up four pass interceptions, two tackles and a near constrant string of penetrating scampers on the dribble. In the 73rd minute, Williams fired into the top corner from a Danny Guthrie feed to give the sixth place Royals their fifth win from a six-game road unbeaten run.
Elsewhere, Jonathan Spector worked a tidy full shift in defensive midfield in Birmingham City's 3-1 win at Doncaster.
With Will Packwood watching from the away dugout, Spector committed just one total turnover while forcing several. The handyman also picked up his fifth yellow card of the season, enacting a one-game ban. By winning consecutive road games for the first time since last year, the 18th place Brums pushed seven points clear of the trap door.
Tim Ream worked solidly at left back as Bolton stretched their bulletproof streak to four games with a last-gasp 1-0 winner at Huddersfield Town.
The former Red Bulls defender did not have his usual impact in the passing game, but spent most of his time notching a game-best five tackles and five clearances. Thanks to a stoppage-time Joe Mason strike, Wanderers climbed 12 points above the danger zone in 15th place.
Meanwhile, Duane Holmes was an 80th minute sub for Huddersfield, who slipped a rung to 17th place.
Over in Süper Lig, Jermaine Jones and Besiktas held serve in the duel for Turkey's lone Champions League group phase pass by topping guests Kayserispor 2-1.
The midfield agitant drew his second yellow card for the club – and just his third during the current campaign, including 14 Bundesliga matches with Schalke – in the 35th minute. The Black Eagles soared to three points beyond Sunday players Galatasaray in second place, but still trail their city rivals on goal differential.
Finally, in Norway's Tippeligaen, Mikkel Diskerud went unused as Rosenborg rallied for a 1-1 share at Aalesund FK. The point gained at least temporarily moved the Troll Kids up to seventh place with most of round two set to take place on Sunday.