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Premier League friendly roundup: Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool all in action

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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.

Fulham nabs first clean sheet of season in draw at Newcastle

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  • Fulham’s 1st clean sheet of season
  • NUFC without shot on target
  • Three penalty calls unheard by Atkinson

Newcastle United couldn’t find a way past creaky Fulham, something no team has failed to do this season, as the Magpies drew the Cottagers 0-0 at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Referee Martin Atkinson was the star of the show, turning down three penalty kick shouts: Two for handballs and another when Salomon Rondon was brought down in the box.

The Magpies now have 17 points and sit in 15th place, five points clear of the drop zone. Fulham earned its 10th point and remains in 20th.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Newcastle provided some chances for Fulham, but the most dangerous moment came courtesy the Magpies attack.

Jamaal Lascelles headed a free kick back across goal, with Fulham’s Dennis Odoi clearing the danger of a bounding ball through the six.

There was a scary incident in the 32nd minute, as Sergio Rico‘s two-handed clearing attempt made solid connection with Alfie Mawson‘s header. Both Rico and Newcastle’s Salomon Rondon called for medical attention as Mawson appeared to have been knocked cold for a moment.

There were shouts for a penalty when unheeded when Matt Ritchie saw his shot blocked into a Fulham defender’s arm.

The danger was limited in the second half, with Paul Dummett popping a header over the goal in the 75th. And Kenedy‘s shouts for a penalty when pulled by Joe Bryan went unrealized by Martin Atkinson.

Bryan hit a left-footed shot wide of the goal in the 79th, and Aleksandar Mitrovic twice-threatened Newcastle in the final five minutes. The Cottagers were shouting for a penalty when the second effort was blocked by a mess of Newcastle defenders.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Watch Live: Newcastle vs. Wolves

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Rafa Benitez continues his charge to lead Newcastle away from the relegation zone as the Magpies host Wolverhampton at St. James Park on Sunday. (Watch live at 11:00 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com)

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Matt Ritchie and Paul Dummett both return to the Newcastle squad. The former was suspended last time out for yellow card accumulation and returns to the starting lineup, while the latter has missed the last three matches with an injury he picked up on international duty, proving fit enough for the bench.

For Wolves, Ruben Neves also returns from his one-match suspension for yellow card accumulation, while Leander Dendoncker is back on the bench after making his Premier League debut midweek in a nine-minute cameo.

Newcastle has never lost to Wolves in Premier League play, with two wins and four draws. The Magpies, however, have lost four of their first six home matches to start the season, tied for the worst start to a home campaign in their top flight history.

LINEUPS

Newcastle: Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Clark, Ritchie, Diame, Ki, Atsu, Perez, Rondon.
Bench: Woodman, Dummett, Muto, Kenedy, Manquillo, Joselu, Longstaff.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Patricio, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Doherty, Neves, Saiss, Vinagre, Traore, Costa, Jota.
Bench: Ruddy, Cavaleiro, Raul, Gibbs-White, Moutinho, Denconcker, Bonatini.

Newcastle tops Bournemouth behind Rondon brace

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  • Rondon scores twice in 1st half
  • Lerma pulls one back before break
  • Magpies win second-straight

Salomon Rondon scored a pair of goals as Newcastle United won its second-straight match, this one a 2-1 win over Bournemouth at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Newcastle has won seven of its nine points in its last three matches, the last two wins, as the Magpies rise 14th with nine points.

Bournemouth sits sixth with 20 points. Jefferson Lerma scored the Cherries’ goal.

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Bournemouth wasn’t shy to start the match, with Jordon Ibe’s promising chance thwarted by a sliding Federico Fernandez.

But Newcastle opened the scoring when DeAndre Yedlin raced onto the end of a Mohamed Diame cross, cutting back for Rondon to score on the second of two bids on Asmir Begovic.

The Magpies were very much under siege for the next 20 minutes, with goalkeeper Martin Dubravka very busy.

Bournemouth’s Adam Smith pulled up with a non-contact injury in the run-up to a free kick, and needed a stretcher.

But Rondon struck again, rising high to latch onto a Kenedy cross and deliver a trademark goal.

Begovic stopped a point-blank shot from Kenedy just before halftime, and was called into action again when a Ki Sung-yeung free kick was nearly headed in by Fabian Schar.

Lerma headed a close-range effort home to make it 2-1 before the break, and Ayoze Perez almost answered toward the end of 8 minutes of first half stoppage.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Perez cued up a sliding Ritchie effort that spun wide of the far post in the 63rd minute.

Ibe missed a bid to level the score in the 73rd minute.

Newcastle tested Begovic through substitute Christian Atsu in the 81st minute.

Ex-Magpie midfielder Dan Gosling thought he’d scored when Dubravka pawed a hard shot onto his path, but the Bournemouth man was offside.

Rondon came close to completing his hat trick in the 89th, but Begovic kicked it aside.

Newcastle top Watford, grab long-awaited win

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  • Magpies get first win
  • Watford allows first goal in 3 matches
  • Subs Ki, Perez combine for winner

Ayoze Perez’s second half goal was enough for Newcastle United to win its first Premier League match of the season and emerge from the drop zone with a 1-0 defeat of Watford at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

The Magpies now have six points, while Watford has 19 and sits eighth.

The win avoids the worst start in Newcastle history.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The opening 10 minutes belonged to Newcastle, but the Magpies couldn’t maneuver inside the final third.

At the other end, Watford then won a series of corners but found Newcastle very willing to block shots and clog lanes.

Newcastle’s Mo Diame dribbled into space and ripped a shot that Ben Foster parried, and Watford dealt with his rebound cross.

Kenedy intercepted a Craig Cathcart pass but saw Adrian Mariappa slide to block his in-tight effort. Watford countered off the ensuing corner, but Gerard Deulofeu missed the far post.

Watford’s 12th attempt was its first on target, as DeAndre Yedlin helped allowed an Isaac Success shot saved by Martin Dubravka.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The Hornets dealt with two Newcastle chances off a 46th minute free kick, and Matt Ritchie‘s ensuing free kick was blocked only to see the Magpies keep possession.

Roberto Pereyra hit the bar at the other end before Dubravka stopped his rebound effort.

The Magpies, however, broke through off a set piece, Perez nodding a Ki Sung-Yueng free kick past Ben Foster. The under-fire Spaniard plugged his ears in celebration, and it was 1-0 to Newcastle.

Newcastle came close to making it 2-0, but instead nearly lost their lead on a counter attack thanks to a poor pass from left back Paul Dummett.