AMSTERDAM – Tim Howard and Everton continued the misery of Brad Guzan's Aston Villa, racking up a comfy 4-0 Premier League victory at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Toffees star notched three easy saves in running his career record against US stablemate Guzan to 4-0-1. The Villa backstop rang up six stops, including a point-blank robbery of Arouna Kone while the game was still close in the 25th minute. Now unbeaten in three, Everton tentatively climbed to seventh place. Meanwhile, cellar dwellers Villa lost for the 10th time during a 12-game league win drought.
Around the horn, Geoff Cameron worked the final 20 minutes to help Stoke City register a 1-0 victory at Southampton.
The American came on to take a place in midfield before completing eight of nine passes with one tackle. Thanks to their fourth straight shutout in EPL play, the Potters reached 10th place.
One league below in the Championship, Daniel Williams' third goal of the season stood up as the Reading winner as they downed visiting Bolton 2-1.
In the 34th minute, Williams stepped into a shot just beyond the top of the area to fire home a low rocket. The Man of the Match also connected on 43 of 49 passes while piling up six interceptions and four tackles on the defensive end. By halting a four-game winless slide, the Royals moved to within a point of the promotion playoff zone.
They stand a rung below Jonathan Spector and sixth-place Birmingham City, who suffered a tough 1-0 home defeat against his former loan employers Charlton.
The center back managed just two tackles and two pass picks, what with most of the day's action taking place at the other end. The loss was the third in cooling Birmingham's last five games.
Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest also fell hard, conceding a last-gasp decider in their 2-1 loss at Brentford.
The right back had a strong game in attack, with three passes that teed up shots and another pair of dangerous balls delivered into box. Lichaj also did the job in defense, with four clearances, two tackles and two cross blocks to his credit. With three losses in four, the Reds have dropped to 18th place.
Duane Holmes went unused as David Wagner's Huddersfield Town fell 3-1 at Sheffield Wednesday. Winless in five, the Terriers now stand above the danger zone by the slimmest of margins.
Also, Cody Cropper served as backup netminder in MK Dons' 1-1 draw against rallying guests Fulham and Charlie Horton did the same as Leeds United dropped a 1-0 home loss to Rotherham.
Over in the Bundesliga, Fabian Johnson pitched in with a strong all-around showing that did everything but print his name on the scoresheet as Borussia Mönchengladbach left it late in a 2-1 home win over Hannover 96.
The left winger completed 10 positive passes in the attacking third, including four that resulted in a shot being fired by a teammate. Johnson also found time to chalk up three tackles, a shot block and a cross smother at the defensive end. Thanks to their seventh win from an eight-match league unbeaten run, the Foals conditionally jumped into the final Champions League slot in the table.
Elsewhere, Timothy Chandler entered as an early sub in Eintracht Frankfurt's 3-1 loss against visiting Bayer Leverkusen.
The American was among few standouts for his side, with three danger crosses into the box, three tackles and two pass picks. Despite his efforts over the game's final 68 minutes, Chandler & Co. lost for the first time in four rounds.
In Scotland's second flight, Gedion Zelalam worked a solid full shift in midfield, but table-toppers Rangers let the lead slip in a 1-1 draw away to strugglers Livingston. The result allowed second-place Hibernian to pull level on points with the Ibrox boys, who still hold a game in hand.
Turning to Bulgaria's A-PFG, Bjorn Maars Johnsen picked up a yellow card in 67 minutes of work as title chasers Litex Lovech battled to a wild 3-3 draw at Beroe.
The Norwegian-American's best chance came shortly before the break, when he was foiled on a break-in move. Johnsen left with Litex leading 1-0, but a late flurry of goals kept the second-place visitors three points shy of the summit.
French Ligue 1 action saw Alejandro Bedoya return from a lengthy stay in sick bay as Nantes were blanked 1-0 at Monaco.
The US attacker entered with 10 minutes left to link three passes in or into the attacking half and contribute one pass interception with high pressure. It was not enough to keep the 11th place Canaries from their third defeat in the last four games.