There is just under two weeks until the Premier League commences yet again, and four teams were in action today looking to gear up for the new season.
Arsenal took on Wolfsburg in the final of the Emirates Cup at home and triumphed 1-0 on a goal from Theo Walcott just after halftime. The assist came from 17-year-old French attacker Jeff Reine-Adelaide, who Wenger confirmed after the match will stay with the senior team rather than be loaned out.
New goalkeeper Petr Cech was forced into a number of powerful saves, and he preserved the clean sheet to give the Gunners their second preseason trophy. They can make it three with a Community Shield win over Chelsea next weekend.
Everton was in action abroad as they squared off with Scottish side Hearts and triumphed 3-1 behind a hat-trick from Belgian frontman Romelu Lukaku. Hearts, fresh off their Scottish Championship triumph that sent them back into the Premiership, took an early lead through Callum Patterson, but Lukaku tied things up nine minutes later on a penalty and would finish with a trio of goals.
Crystal Palace has had an up-and-down preseason, following up their 4-0 domination of South African side SuperSport United with a loss to Sporting Lisbon in the finals of the Cape Town Cup today. The Portuguese side scored both goals inside the final 20 minutes, but much of the match was highly competitive, which left Palace manager Alan Pardew smiling.
“I was pleased with everything but the result,” Pardew said. “It was a good test for the players and played at a high level. I would say it was the same level as a Europa League game and having that opportunity before the start of the season means I’m delighted in terms of our preparation.”
Finally, Newcastle United drew 2-2 with Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, exposing concerns about the defensive line. Club captain Fabricio Coloccini was not available, and the remaining defenders were beaten on either side of the halftime break. The positives for the Magpies came from new signing Georginio Wijnaldum who scored his second goal of the preseason.