AMSTERDAM – Geoff Cameron was big at the back as Stoke City vaulted clear of the Premier League danger zone by edging a 1-0 win away to Brad Guzan and slumping Aston Villa.
In addition to passing well out of the back, the Potters handyman posted game highs with seven clearances and five tackles. Cameron also added a pair of area shot blocks and one cross smother as Stoke won for the third straight time across all competitions.
Guzan, meanwhile, kept busy piling up four saves, two cross captures and one big punch from a crowd of Stoke attackers. He was left no chance on the Marko Arnautovic winner that doomed Villa to their fourth consecutive defeat. The result kept them in 18th place, while Cameron & Co. moved five points above the trap door in 13th.
Elsewhere, DeAndre Yedlin put in a decent but quiet full shift at right back as 10-man Sunderland held on for a 2-2 draw with visiting West Ham United.
Though the Seattle Sounders product provided plenty of possession support while the hosts raced to a two-goal lead in the first half, his attacking influence was on mute for much of the day. Yedlin rarely got loose on the overlap and completed but one early second half pass in the final third.
While among many culpable on West Ham's late first-half strike that halved the lead, Yedlin did turn up the defensive heat after the Black Cats lost Jeremain Lens to a second booking in the 57th minute. From that point on, the US international chipped in with three pass interceptions, two area clearances and a tackle to help the winless home side halt a three-game EPL losing slide.
Over in the Bundesliga, Alfredo Morales came on for the last 10 minutes to help Ingolstadt seal their first top-flight home victory, a 2-0 decision over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Still without the injured Timothy Chandler, Eintracht succumbed late when the promoted hosts hit on 78 and 84 minutes. Morales had a decent chance at piling on two minutes from time, but fired high from 16 yards. The win lifted Ingolstadt up to fifth place, and level on points with Hertha Berlin for the last Champions league slot.
Also, Fabian Johnson worked 70 lukewarm minutes, departing before Borussia Mönchengladbach could seal a leave-it-late 2-0 triumph against visiting Wolfsburg.
The left winger completed 18 of 21 passes, but his impact was largely reduced to aiding possession. Thanks to a pair of late strikes, the Foals won their third in a row to reach 13th place.
One league below in the Championship, Daniel Williams buried the winner just 15 seconds in to set Reading on their way to a 2-0 home victory against Middlesbrough.
The US midfielder raced up the gut to nod home a Hal Robson-Kanu cross for his second goal on the young season. Williams filled out a top-shelf display with 16 positive passes in or into the attacking half, five pass picks and two tackles. With three straight wins and five in their last six games, Reading stand four points off the summit in third place.
Around the horn, Jonathan Spector worked the final 20 minutes to help Birmingham City complete a 2-0 win at Leeds United. With consecutive road shutout wins on the books, Birmingham stand one rung below Reading in fifth on goal differential.
A solid Eric Lichaj effort went to waste as 10-man Nottingham Forest fell 1-0 against visiting Hull City.
The right back completed 17 of 20 passes in helping the Reds create several chances and added two tackles. Now winless in three, Forest slipped to 13th place.
Switching focus to the 2.Bundesliga, Andrew Wooten set up a quick and decisive Sandhausen double as the warming visitors strolled to a 3-1 win at St. Pauli.
Just five minutes in, Wooten benefited from a turnover at the St. Pauli back to tee up Jakub Kosecki for the ice-breaker. Three minutes later, the right winger eluded three defenders to cross for Ranislav Jovanovic to head home from close range. Though quiet the rest of the day, enough damage was done early to put sixth place Sandhausen within three points of the promotion playoff spot.