11 eye-catching pre-season results, ft: Arsenal, Liverpool, Bayern & Inter
If your club has a good pre-season, it’s definitely a sign they are going to have a successful campaign, but we all know not to pay too much attention to results if they are not as you might have hoped.
We’ve looked back at 11 results which have stood out so far, including some Sunday League scorelines. Speaking of which…
ATV Irdning 0-22 Everton
A nice, proper pre-season shellacking against Austrian minnows in Marco Silva’s first game in charge of Everton, featuring four hat-tricks and the poor goalkeeper literally giving up.
Sheffield United 1-1 Inter
As far as illustrious friendly opponents go, Sheffield United played a blinder in getting Inter to visit Bramall Lane.
It also capped a remarkable day for David McGoldrick. Released by Ipswich Town at the end of the season, McGoldrick signed for the Blades on the morning of the game, then opened the scoring against the three-time European champions with a neat dink over Samir Handanovic.
Mauro Icardi levelled for Inter in a match which also saw the main grandstand renamed the Tony Currie Stand in honour of the United legend.
Bodmin Town 1-11 Cardiff City
Neil Warnock often takes his teams on a pre-season trip to Devon and Cornwall, which may or may not have anything to do with the fact he has a family home there.
He often used to regale readers of his column in The Independent with Partridge-esque tales of that part of the world, featuring this beauty from when he had just been sacked by QPR in 2012:
“We finished off with a cream tea in the local post office-cum-café. I hadn’t had one for ages and I’m still not sure whether the cream or jam is supposed to go on first. In the circumstances I thought I could give the Dukan diet a miss.
“Talking of which, I had to laugh at Sky’s coverage on Sunday night. They sent a poor old reporter to hang around Loftus Road but there was obviously no one around so they dragged three blokes out of the Springbok pub nearby.
“They were all slightly inebriated and one said, ‘Warnock, he lost four stone and he was never the same.’ I felt like texting Sky, saying: ‘Surely you can get someone better than that?’ Never mind me losing four stone, they looked like they could each lose four stone and more.”
Anyway, yes, against Bodmin Town of the South West Peninsula Premier Division, Cardiff enjoyed their preparations for life back in the Premier League with a rout against their 10th-tier opponents, with Danny Ward and Kadeem Harris bagging hat-tricks.
Bayern Munich 3-1 PSG
Two of European football’s big boys met in the International Champions Cup with both sides shorn of a number of players who competed at the World Cup.
There was still a wealth of talent on display, and PSG went into the break in front thanks to Timothy Weah’s opener, only for Bayern to score three times in 18 second half minutes through Javi Martinez, Renato Sanches and Joshua Zirkzee.
Halmstads 1-6 Crystal Palace
Roy Hodgson took Palace to the side with whom he began his managerial career 42(!) years ago.
The former England boss was inducted into Halmstads’ Hall of Fame prior to the match, which Palace dominated thanks to goals from Christian Benteke, Sullay Kaikai, James McArthur, Jason Puncheon and a Patrick Van Aanholt.
One worry for Hodgson, however, was the sight of Benteke limping off after scoring.
Liverpool 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
Jurgen Klopp also took on a former club as Liverpool met Dortmund in North Carolina, but this was all about Christian Pulisic.
The USA international scored twice and was also involved in the third in front of his adoring fans, with Klopp subsequently singing the attacker’s praises.
“I know Christian, I liked him since he was a kid. He’s a fantastic player, it’s deserved people think highly of him, in Germany it’s the same,” Klopp said.
The Liverpool boss also sent the rumour mill into overdrive by adding: “If, at one point, he will join us, I don’t know, but I like him. We respect contracts. There is no market I know about at the moment. We did our business and Dortmund did theirs.”
Arsenal 1-2 Brentford
Behind-closed-doors friendlies are the best kind of friendlies, and Arsenal’s behind-closed-doors friendly was so behind-closed-doors that nobody actually knew it was taking place until a Brentford player posted on social media while tagged at the Gunners’ training ground.
As such, details of the game are sketchy, but we do know that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a fifth goal of pre-season, only for Bernd Leno to gift the visitors victory with a bit of a blunder.
Derby County 3-0 Southampton
One of the more intriguing storylines of the upcoming season will be how Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard fare in their first managerial roles.
On the evidence of this, Derby fans should be excited about their prospects under Lampard, as they put a strong Southampton side to the sword in the former Chelsea hero’s first match at Pride Park.
Chelsea loanee Mason Mount was among the players to impress, although Lampard stressed: “I don’t want to heap anything on him.”
Accrington Stanley 3-0 Huddersfield Town
Accrington were one of the stories of last season, winning promotion to the third tier of English football for the first time in their history thanks to a stunning run of form in the second half of the season amid the second-smallest average attendance in the entire Football League.
David Wagner’s men can hardly be accused of taking their opponents lightly as he fielded the majority of players who featured in the Premier League last term, but the German remained relatively unconcerned.
“Don’t get me wrong we wanted to win and don’t like to lose so nobody is happy with the scoreline,” he said.
“But it makes no sense to use it for a judgement of how our season will go – even though you want to win every game.
Levante 3-4 Bournemouth
Any supporter making a trip abroad to watch a pre-season friendly wants a) a nice location, and b) some goals.
Bournemouth fans were given both as the Cherries beat Levante in a seven-goal thriller in La Manga. Six of the goals were scored in a frantic first half before Lewis Cook bagged a late winner with five minutes to go.
Oxford United 4-3 Leeds United
Arranged as part of the deal which saw Kemar Roofe join Leeds in 2016, Oxford boss Karl Robinson expressed his disappointment that the Whites brought a largely second-string outfit, with Roofe among the players missing.
Still, fans were given plenty of value for money as Oxford led 3-0 and 4-1 before Leeds mounted a comeback.
It’s also a decent excuse to shoehorn in this brilliant finish from another former Oxford player, Tyler Roberts.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) July 24, 2018