U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season (in 19 starts) on Tuesday, burying the second for Fulham in a 3-0 win over West Brom.
And check out Fulham fans serenading the man from Nacogdoches:
(All together now: “He scores with his left!/ He scores with his right!/That boy Clint Dempsey/ Makes Drogba look shite!”)
The win lifted the Cottagers out of the relegation zone and all the way up to 14th place. That’s a helpful boost, for sure, but the bottom half of the table is absurdly crowded: just five points separate Everton in 11th place and West Ham in 20th.
Speaking of those two clubs, Everton snatched a valuable three points from visiting Tottenham yesterday, winning 2-1, while West Ham was thrashed 5-0 at Newcastle.
U.S. keeper Tim Howard made several saves in Everton’s win, including a brilliant denial of Rafael Van der Vaart from six yards. The game was a cracking, back-and-forth affair, won by Seamus Coleman’s diving header in the 75th minute.
Jonathan Spector dressed but did not play for West Ham, which plunged further into relegation trouble with the loss. The Hammers have played one more game than all of their fellow drop-zone denizens, yet trail all on points as well.
Aston Villa and Brad Friedel fell 1-0 at home to Sunderland, on Phil Bardsley’s 80th-minute winner. Friedel started and went the distance. Young U.S. defender Eric Lichaj dressed but did not play, while Yank keeper Brad Guzan is on loan to Hull.
Villa fell into the drop zone with their loss to the Black Cats, thanks to Wolverhampton’s stunning 1-0 upset of Chelsea on Jose Bosingwa’s fourth-minute own goal. Wolves jumped over Villa on goal difference with the shocker. American netminder Marcus Hahnemann dressed but did not play for Wolves.
Hey, when you’re missing the best player in the league from your lineup, your results are going to suffer, and that’s just what’s happening to Bolton following Stuart Holden’s injury in the Chelsea match at the end of December.
The U.S. midfielder missed Bolton’s next game, a loss to Liverpool, and yesterday, he sat out his team’s home match against Wigan, and Wanderers produced another underwhelming result: a 1-1 tie against the relegation battlers.
Bolton did dominate the game, but couldn’t finish the several chances they created after 19-year-old Rodrigo Moreno’s 54th minute opener. (Dutchman Ronnie Stam tied it for Wigan ten minutes from time.)
The Premier League is off this weekend for FA Cup third-round matches.