Three of the big six sides in the Premier League were in action on Sunday as preseason preparation progresses ahead of the start of the season.
Here’s a closer look at how the Premier League clubs fared.
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Chelsea top Reading in seven-goal thriller
A trio of Americans hit the field as Chelsea held off a pair of Reading comebacks to win at the Madejski Stadium, 4-3, in Frank Lampard‘s first (unofficial) match on English soil.
Christian Pulisic got the start for the Blues as it took a 2-1 lead into the halftime break. Joshua Barrett gave the hosts an early lead in the 13th minute with a sweet finish off the half-volley, looping the ball over Wily Caballero’s head in goal for Chelsea. Ross Barkley equalized just eight minutes later with a sweet free kick into the top left corner, before Kenedy put Chelsea ahead with a strike from outside the box that was re-directed and left Reading’s goalkeeper Joao Virginia flat footed.
While Pulisic departed the match at halftime, Reading brought on centerback Matt Miazga and striker Andrija Novakovich among other subs to play the second half. The pair were involved as Reading tied the score through Michael Morrison in just the 49th minute.
Yet it was the former Derby County midfielder and Chelsea youngster Mason Mount that made the difference in the match. Mount’s two second half goals gave Chelsea the distance it needed to close out the win. The first goal was a cracking shot in the box but the second was an absolute gift from Virginia, who turned the ball over to Tammy Abraham in the box, who centered to Mount who couldn’t miss from five yards out.
Sam Baldock slipped one home in the 71th minute for Reading but it couldn’t find another equalizer as Chelsea held on for the win.
Arsenal fall to Lyon at Emirates Cup
It was a new-look Emirates Cup with a double-header including the men’s and women’s teams for Arsenal. However, on the men’s side, it was a disappointing result for Unai Emery‘s squad.
Arsenal was defeated, 2-1 by Lyon with two second-half goals coming from former Fulham and Celtic striker Moussa Dembele. Arsenal completely dominated the first half of the match in terms of chances created, and arguably should have been up by more than the 1-0 scoreline it earned at the break. A cross from Henrikh Mkhitaryan was re-directed with lightning-speed into the net by none-other-than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to put Arsenal in front in the first half.
Later, even though Dembele had tied the score at 1-1 with a header, it appeared new Arsenal signing, 18-year-old Gabriel Martinelli had given the Gunners the lead, poking home off a rebound in the box. However, the goal was ruled off for offside on Martinelli.
Seconds later, Dembele beat the offside trap and then scored on Bernd Leno who was way off his line. To make matters worse for Arsenal, striker Alexandre Lacazette was forced off in the 12th minute due to an apparent sprained ankle, per Arsenal. The club stated postgame, via Unai Emery, that it didn’t think the injury was serious, but he was taken off as a precaution. Still, it’s never good to see a star player go down with an injury, especially during preseason.
Liverpool trounced by Napoli in Scotland
In terms of just wins and losses results on the field, it hasn’t been a very successful preseason so far for Liverpool. The Reds continued their traveling preseason tour with a match in Edinburgh, Scotland against Napoli, and the Italian side came away with a 3-0 victory.
Lorenzo Insigne and Arkadiusz Milik scored for Carlo Ancelotti’s side in the first half before Amin Younes put Liverpool away with a goal in the second half.
It’s been a tough preseason for the Reds, but of course, they’re missing a large chunk of their squad due to international tournaments this summer. Jurgen Klopp started a pretty-strong backline in Andrew Robertson, Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold. However, Divock Origi started on his own up top and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is still recovering from a serious knee injury, also got a start as he builds back his fitness after missing almost all of last season. Starters Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Alisson and Roberto Firmino are all either on international break rest or working their way back to fitness.
Liverpool did get some time to play some of it’s potential stars of the future. Sepp van den Berg played the final 11 minutes of the match, as did new Liverpool signing Harvey Elliot, the 16-year-old recently acquired from Fulham.