Jack Cahill is here with a roundup of all the pre-season friendlies of Premier League teams as they prepare for the coming season.
RZ Pellets 1-1 Chelsea, 23rd July
Chelsea’s second game of pre-season saw them play out a 1-1 draw with Austrian side RZ Pellets. New man Filipe Luis was given his debut in a starting role while Cech made his return from injury.
Mourinho fielded a side with a balance of youth and experience, with the experience decidedly featuring in the defensive half. Even without his World Cup stars, Mourinho was able to name a side with plenty of talent, albeit with a youthful attacking element.
This imbalance was perhaps highlighted as a drab first half was played out without a goal. Chelsea’s solid back line was eventually broken in the 58th minute when Silvio De Oliveira struck despite Cech seemingly diverting the ball onto the line off the underside of the crossbar. The goal was correctly given and RZ Pellets led.
Jose Mourinho’s relief was granted by youth as Jeremie Boga struck an impressive goal under pressure from numerous challenges just six minutes from time. The 17 year-old held off the defenders well before finishing clinically. Chelsea fans will be delighted to see the youth team players having a say and Chelsea’s pre-season has seen Mourinho give the kids a chance to encouraging effect thus far.
Chelsea XI and Subs: Cech, Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Luis (Ake 60), Van Ginkel (Romeu 60), Matic (Chalobah 82), Salah (Swift 85), Baker (Boga 46), Brown (Christensen 79), Bamford (Solanke 60).
Columbus Crew 2-2 Crystal Palace, 23rd July
Tony Pulis’ Palace looked to pick up where they left off after a 13-1 win over GAK Graz in their last pre-season outing. They never quite looked like matching that feat however as they played out a 2-2 draw with Columbus Crew in the first match of their pre-season tour of the U.S.
Both sides shared the early chances but it was Columbus’ Adam Bedell who had his side the lead with a headed effort on 15 minutes. Both sides continued to have chances with Dwight Gale perhaps missing the best chance for Palace. Glenn Murray levelled the scores on 36 minutes as he headed home a cross from Bolasie.
Pulis made a number of changes not long after the half in a bid to give his full squad some game time and it was substitute Jake Gray who put Palace in the lead stabbing home an effort from Chamakh which rebounded off the post in the 70th minute.
Both sides continued to have chances and Daniel Paladini managed to head past new signing Wayne Hennessey to make it 2-2 on the night. Each team had multiple chances throughout the game however 2-2 was probably a fair result as neither team was able to dominate throughout.
Crystal Palace XI and Subs: Speroni (Hennessey 46), Ward (Mariappa 51), Dann, Delaney (Ramage 57), Jerome Williams (Boateng 57), Puncheon (Gray 60), Jedinak (O’Keefe 51), Ledley (Bannan 57), Bolasie (Jonny Williams 60, Ledley 73), Murray (Chamakh 51), Gayle (Guedioura 60).
Roma 1-0 Liverpool, 23rd July
Liverpool kicked off their U.S tour with a 1-0 loss to Roma. Brendan Rodgers named a more experienced squad as he looked to test his side before the new season. Fabio Borini left the field early on with a shoulder injury which has since been confirmed as just some bruising.
A drab first half saw Roma have the only real chance as new signing Ashley Cole crossed in for Francesco Totti to deflect the ball harmlessly wide. Liverpool grew into the game in the second half as Philippe Coutinho and Emre Can began to pull the strings in the middle. Rickie Lambert had a couple of efforts on goal to no avail.
Liverpool were really growing into the game and certainly seemed the more likely side to grab the winner. However it was Roma who snatched victory at the death as Marco Borrilleo scored a scrappy goal through the legs of Jack Robinson. It was much less than Rodgers’ Liverpool deserved but the Northern-Irishman can be pleased with the performance of his side who were on top for much of the tie.
Liverpool XI and Subs: Jones; Kelly (Coady), Skrtel, Coates (Agger), Enrique (Robinson); Lucas, Allen (Henderson); Coutinho, Borini (Can), Ibe (Suso); Lambert (Peterson).
Sporting Kansas 1-4 Man City, 23rd July
Manchester City began their U.S tour with a convincing 4-1 win over Sporting Kansas. It did not take long for Pellegrini’s men to assert their dominance and set the tone for the rest of the game as Bruno Zuculini rifled in a well struck shot after just 2 minutes. Both sides started well with City having most of the early exchanges.
The two continued to attack and it was Kansas who scored next on 30 minutes. C.J Sapong took the ball down in the area and slotted past Willy Caballero as City’s defence slumbered. Dedryck Boyata put his side back in front just before the end of the half with a powerful header direct from a free-kick. After an exciting first half Man City deservedly led 2-1 at half time.
Kansas fielded a new XI for the second half as they gear up for a number of matches in the coming days. The American side were far from disjointed by this yet City seemed more comfortable after the break and made it 3-1 in the 71st minute, Aleksandar Kolarov converting a penalty following a foul on Scott Sinclair.
City were having more of the play as the game wore on and made it 4-1 in the 89th minute as 17 year-old Iheanacho Kelechi netted with a tidy finish. Perhaps a harsh scoreline on Kansas who were far from over-awed by their trans-Atlantic counterparts however Pellegrini will likely be happy with his team who took their chances when prompted.
Manchester City XI and Subs: Caballero, Richards (Clichy), Kolarov, Boyata, Rekik (Nastasic), Navas, Fernando (Garcia), Zuculini (Huws), Kelechi, Sinclair, Jovetic (Guidetti).
Los Angeles Galaxy 0-7 Man Utd, 23rd July
Louis van Gaal began his reign at the helm of Manchester United with a 7-0 thrashing of MLS side LA Galaxy. The Dutch manager has begun to implement his formation seen with the Netherlands in the World Cup and it seems the system fits. Both Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw started as van Gaal looked to implement his 3-2-3-2 formation.
Danny Welbeck opened the scoring in the 13th minute after an impressive long-range effort caught the keeper unaware and flew in off the post. Wayne Rooney effectively ended the contest before the half as he struck twice to make it 3-0 at half-time. He converted a penalty before nonchalantly rolling the ball into the net after some terrible defending from the MLS side.
Van Gaal swapped out almost the entire side for the second half, leaving only his midfield duo of Herrera and Darren Fletcher. 20 year old Reece James had a night to remember as he scored twice in the second half to make it 5-0 before Ashley Young bagged a brace of his own to compound Galaxy’s misery and end the scoring at an impressive 7-0.
Van Gaal will continue to experiment with formation and line-ups as the pre-season continues and will be happy that players like Ashley Young are giving him something to think about when it comes to selection. The new players looked assured with Herrera in particular putting in a fantastic showing as he played a crucial role in almost all of his side’s goals.
Man Utd XI and Subs: De Gea (Lindegaard 46), Smalling (Blackett 46), Jones (M Keane 46), Evans (Kagawa 46); Valencia (Rafael 46), Herrera, Fletcher, Mata (Cleverley 46), Shaw (James 46); Rooney (Nani 46), Welbeck (Young 46)
Sydney FC 0-4 Newcastle, 23rd July
Alan Pardew’s Newcastle followed up their first game loss with a resounding 4-0 win over Sydney FC. He gave starting roles to new players Siem De Jong, Jack Colback and Emmanuel Riviere with the latter making his debut.
The game was even for the first 20 minutes until Newcastle took control of the tie. A defensive mistake allowed de Jong to score with relative ease and five minutes later fellow new signing Riviere tapped in a Yoan Gouffran cross to make it 2-0 and notch his first goal for his new club.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa made it 3-0 with a deflected strike beating the hapless Ivan Necevski. A good first half from the Magpies which saw them dominate both chances and possession.
The Australian outfit threatened more in the second half as they looked to find a consolation goal but it was Newcastle’s Adam Armstrong who finished the scoring with an 82nd minute strike. The 17 year-old duped his marker before finishing smartly to make it 4-0 and give Alan Pardew some optimism heading into their remaining pre-season friendlies.
Newcastle United XI and Subs: Elliot; Yanga-Mbiwa, Taylor (Satka 76), Coloccini (Campbell 82), Haidara (Dummett 76); Anita, Colback (Abeid 68); Gouffran (Armstrong 76), De Jong ( Vuckic 46), Aarons (Ameobi 68); Riviere (Perez 55).
Jack Cahill, Pundit Arena.