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PL preseason roundup: Arsenal’s injury crisis starts early; Costa scores for Chelsea

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A roundup of Sunday’s preseason action involving Premier League sides…

[ MORE: Every Premier League season preview ]

Arsenal 3-2 Manchester City

The 2016-17 Premier League season is yet to even kick off, and Arsenal already have a budding injury crisis on their hands. Gabriel Paulista was stretchered off during second-half stoppage time of the Gunners’ 3-2 victory over Manchester City in Gothenburg, Sweden. Per Mertesacker underwent knee surgery last month and could miss the rest of 2016, which means Arsene Wenger will have to either rush Laurent Koscielny back from his post-EURO 2016 break, or start 20-year-old Rob Holding at center back in next Sunday’s season opener against Liverpool (11 a.m. ET, Watch live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com). Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck will also be unavailable next weekend, while Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey are both expected to be available after logging 78 and 62 minutes in Sunday’s game, respectively.

Alex Iwobi, Theo Walcott and Chuba Akpom did the scoring for Arsenal on Sunday. Sergio Aguero and Kelechi Iheanacho bagged the goals for Man City, who kick off their season next Saturday, at home against Sunderland (12:30 p.m. ET, Watch live on CNBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Werder Bremen 2-4 Chelsea

Diego Costa might stay at Chelsea, or he might not. We may have to wait all the way until the transfer deadline for a definitive answer, but in the meantime, Costa is back in action with his (for now) Chelsea teammates, and scoring goals. The Brazilian-turned-Spanish striker made it 3-1 just before halftime of Sunday’s friendly against Bundesliga side Werder Bremen. Eden Hazard and Oscar each scored inside 10 minutes before Claudio Pizarro halved the lead from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute.

Lennart Thy made it 3-2 not long after the hour mark, and Pedro restored the two-goal lead in the 90th minute. Antonio Conte will make his Premier League debut when Chelsea welcome West Ham United to Stamford Bridge next Monday (3 p.m. ET, Watch live on USA and online via NBCSports.com).

VELDEN, AUSTRIA - JULY 20: Bertrand Traore (C) of Chelsea celebrate scoring a goal with the Diego Costa (R) near goalkeeper Alexander Kofler (L) of WAC RZ Pellets during the international friendly match between WAC RZ Pellets and Chelsea F.C. at Worthersee Stadion on July 20, 2016 in Velden, Austria. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
(Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

West Ham United 2-3 Juventus

Speaking of West Ham, the Hammers fell to Juventus, the five-time defending Serie A champions, in their first game inside their new home ground, the Olympic Stadium, on Sunday. Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic made it 2-0 after 21 minutes. Andy Carroll bagged a brace either side of halftime to level the score, but Simone Zaza (whose EURO 2016 penalty kick still hasn’t landed) hit the winner in the 85th minute.

Mainz 4-0 Liverpool

Liverpool, who also played on Saturday, were rolled by Jurgen Klopp‘s “other” former club, Mainz. The majority of expected starters featured in Saturday’s demolition of Barcelona, thus did not see action 24 hours later.

Elsewhere in preseason action

Southampton 1-0 Athletic Bilbao

VAR allows Man Utd goal, overturns Mane as Liverpool trails at half

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Marcus Rashford has put Manchester United ahead at Liverpool, and the Reds are furious that VAR didn’t reverse the marker.

The English striker was on the business end of a Daniel James cross, which came two moves after Victor Lindelof kicked Divock Origi as the Belgian lost possession with a sloppy touch.

[ MORE: WATCH 2nd HALF LIVE ]

Scott McTominay picked up the ball and sent James down the right flank. Virgil Van Dijk played off the crosser, and Joel Matip couldn’t clear the effort and it reached Rashford who beat Alisson Becker.

Origi was certainly caught by Lindelof, and no one would’ve blinked had Martin Atkinson ruled it a foul, so perhaps the poor touch is what cost the Belgian his whistle?

VAR again worked against Liverpool minutes later when a long ball over the top glanced off Sadio Mane’s hand before the Senegalese scored a goal. It had a little impact on the play, but the rules are the rules when they are bad ones.

Either way, the Red Devils relish the chance to deny Liverpool its chance at history. The visitors are one win from matching PL records for consecutive wins and away wins.

Tuanzebe injured in warm-ups, Rojo now in Manchester United XI

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Well then.

Manchester United’s announced XI has changed thanks to a presumed injury to center back Axel Tuanzebe.

Marcos Rojo will take the youngster’s place in a back three with Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.

Liverpool and United kickoff from Old Trafford at 11:30 a.m. ET (Watch live at on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The 29-year-old Rojo has played four times this season, but just 30 minutes in the Premier League.

Phil Jones has been added to the bench.

LINEUPS

Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Rojo, Young, Fred, McTominay, Pereira, James, Rashford. Subs: Romero, Mata, Martial, Jones, Greenwood, Garner, Williams.

Liverpool: Alisson, Robertson, Van Dijk, Matip, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Mane, Origi, Firmino. Subs: Adrian, Lovren, Milner, Keita, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana.

Lukaku scores 2, celebrates with Conte as Inter Milan bounces back

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If this guy was still in red, Manchester United would have a lot more hope heading into today’s visit from Liverpool.

Romelu Lukaku scored his fourth and fifth Serie A goals of the season on Sunday as Inter Milan outlasted Sassuolo 4-3 at Stadio Citta del Tricolore.

[ MORE: Pulisic Watch Sargent scores ]

Lautaro Martinez also scored twice in the win, as Inter rebounded from its loss to Juventus and reclaimed second place. Inter sits a point back of The Old Lady.

Lukaku caused a bit of buzz online when he raced over to manager Antonio Conte following his second goal for a fiery embrace (It’s Conte. Fiery is his thing).

From Football-Italia:

“Conte and I are both team players, so when I score a goal, I want to celebrate with everyone. I am focused only on working and giving my best in every match.”

Inter is home to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday in almost a must-win given its slow start to life in the Champions League.

Lukaku, who’s also scored six goals in his last four appearances for Belgium, already has a goal in a Milan Derby and a solid strike partner in Martinez.

He ranks near the top of Inter’s performance charts on WhoScored, chipping in on the defensive end as well.

Watch Live: Manchester United v. Liverpool

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Manchester United chases a notable home win over rivals Liverpool without Paul Pogba and David De Gea, as the visitors look to match a pair of Premier League records on Sunday at Old Trafford (Watch live at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Liverpool can tie the standard for consecutive away Premier League wins (9) while also winning its 18th-straight league match.

There’s a place on the Manchester United bench for Anthony Martial, but there are three center backs in the forms of Harry Maguire, Axel Tuanzebe, and Victor Lindelof.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is not ready for any sort of return.

David De Gea and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have passed fit for United, while Divock Origi starts with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane for Liverpool.

LINEUPS

Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Tuanzebe, Young, Fred, McTominay, Pereira, James, Rashford. Subs: Romero, Mata, Martial, Rojo, Greenwood, Garner, Williams.

Liverpool: Alisson, Robertson, Van Dijk, Matip, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Mane, Origi, Firmino. Subs: Adrian, Lovren, Milner, Keita, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana.