2016 International Champions Cup

Watch: Mane dazzles for Liverpool in ICC finale

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It didn’t take Sadio Mane long to open his Liverpool account, and the former Southampton attacker did so in some style.

[ MORE: West Ham looking to bolster attack with Andre Ayew ]

With the Premier League season beckoning, the 24-year-old netted his first goal for the Reds on Saturday as Liverpool took hold of a 4-0 win against Barcelona in their International Champions Cup finale.

[ MORE: Kasper Schmeichel inks five-year deal with Leicester ]

After a great forward run by Adam Lallana in the 15th minute, the Englishman found a striding Mane inside the penalty area, who proceeded to smash the ball past a helpless Claudio Bravo for the game’s opener.

Already up 1-0 at the half, Liverpool quickly found a second goal just two minutes into the second stanza when Mane played a dangerous cross into the Barcelona penalty area, forcing Javier Mascherano into a mistake and an own goal.

The Reds tacked on a third in the 48th minute, when Divock Origi slotted home after a mistake in the Barca midfield.

Mane was subbed off in the 72nd minute as head coach Jurgen Klopp looks to preserve his attacker for next weekend’s clash against Arsenal to open the 2016/17 PL season.

Second-half substitute Marko Grujic scored a wonder goal off his head win stoppage time to put an exclamation point on the afternoon after Lazar Markovic‘s cross was perfectly lobbed into the path of the newcomer.

Antonio Conte warns Chelsea risks “another bad season” unless players bear down

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Following Chelsea’s 3-2 defeat to Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup, a scoreline which still yet flattered the Blues, new manager Antonio Conte was not happy with the effort he saw.

The Italian was especially displeased with his team’s defensive work, noting that their off-the-ball presence was quite poor.

“If we think we can’t work together when we don’t have the ball, it is not possible for us and we risk repeating a bad season,” Conte warned after the game. “Today we weren’t a team in defensive situations. It is important to understand this because in the last game I appreciated that we were. Then I thought we could improve when we had the ball. Today we were better with the ball but bad without the ball.”

[ RELATED: ICC roundup for Chelsea, Manchester United ]

Chelsea finished 10th in the Premier League last year, leading to the departure of Jose Mourinho in mid-December. They conceded 53 goals, a better defensive record than just one team above them in the table. The Blues fielded a mostly full-strength defensive unit against Real Madrid, with John Terry, Gary Cahill, and Cesar Azpilicueta all starting. Only Branislav Ivanovic did not appear, an unused substitute off the bench. Asmir Begovic played in goal through the first half and had a poor showing.

“It is important to keep concentration and to work together,” Conte said. “I know it is fatiguing to work without the ball but if we stay compact, like against Liverpool, we can win. If we lose this compact, if we think one, two or three players don’t want to work without the ball, it is possible we see another bad season.”

[ MORE: Julian Green bags hat-trick for Bayern Munich ]

The Blues have two more friendlies left before the season starts, both closely packed together. They’ll head to Minneapolis to take on A.C. Milan in another ICC game on Thursday before traveling all the way to Germany for a match with Werder Bremen next Sunday.

Man City beat Dortmund on PKs after Pulisic scores late goal

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Manchester City beat Borussia Dortmund on penalty kicks at Shenzhen Longgang Stadium in China as Pep Guardiola picked up his first win as City’s manager and both teams completed their 2016 International Champions Cup campaigns with a 1-1 draw in regulation.

[ MORE: Guardiola bans pizza ]

On a pitch which cut up badly, Dortmund started brightly but after a raft of changes at half time City were the better team in the second half as Guardiola gave plenty of his more experienced players a run out.

One of those players grabbed the goal as Sergio Aguero tapped home a flowing move 12 minutes from time to hand City their first goal of preseason but right at the death 17-year-old U.S. international Christian Pulisic — who came on at half time and impressed on the right flank — slotted home to make it 1-1 and send the game to penalty kicks.

Young goalkeeper Angus Gunn saved three spot kicks as City eventually won 7-6 on penalties.

City now have just one more preseason game before they being Guardiola’s debut season in the Premier League, as they play Arsenal in a friendly in Sweden on Aug. 7.

[ MORE: Fabregas sent off in Chelsea’s win over Liverpool ]

A shaky start for City saw goalkeeper Willy Caballero give the ball away and Ousmane Dembele was clean through but Nicolas Otamendi blocked his shot brilliantly.

Jesus Navas then raced up the other end and picked out Fabian Delph but he scuffed his shot wide. Emre Mor curled a shot just wide and Dembele blasted an effort miles over the bar after another bad giveaway by City as Dortmund’s high-pressing was catching out their defense.

During a first half water break Guardiola barked orders at several of his players including Ukrainian winger Oleksandr Zinchenko who looked bright in spots. Despite looking more dangerous, Dortmund couldn’t break through and right on half time Kelechi Iheanacho had a great chance after good build up play but Roman Burki saved well from close range.

Wholesale changes took place at half time with U.S. national team starlet Christian Pulisic coming on for Dortmund who made a host of changes. Man City brought on Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and David Silva at half time with some of their big-hitters getting some minutes under their belts.

With all the changes the game was disjointed but City looked the more likely to take the lead.

Wilfried Bony, another half time sub, looked bright as he turned and hit a shot on goal which was saved and then cleared. Aguero then smashed an effort over the bar as City pushed hard for their first win, and goal, of preseason so far.

Silva then set up Bony on the edge of the box but he smashed another effort just over the bar, while late on Gonzalo Castro went clean through but drilled his effort over.

Aguero’s goal then arrived and it was a beautifully worked team goal.

Young center back Tosin Adarabioyo sprayed a long ball out to former New York City FC left back Bersant Celina and then Aleix Garcia combined with Silva on the edge of the box and the latter slotted the ball across to Aguero to tap home.

Dortmund had a strong shout for a penalty kick in stoppage time as Shinji Kagawa went down but then Pulisic popped up to slot home with the last kick of regulation after City switched off from a short corner.

In penalty kicks Gunn was the hero as he saved three penalty kicks.

Fabregas sent off as Chelsea beat Liverpool in fiery friendly

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Liverpool vs. Chelsea is never a friendly encounter.

That was proved correct on Wednesday as Chelsea beat Liverpool 1-0 at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in their opening 2016 International Champions Cup clash.

[ MORE: Guardiola bans pizza ]  

The lone goal of a feisty match came in the first half as Gary Cahill headed home Cesc Fabregas’ corner, but the latter was sent off in the second half for an awful lunging tackle on Ragnar Klavan.

There were six yellow cards — five to Liverpool players — dished out in the game in front of 53,117 in California.

Fabregas apologized to Liverpool after the game for his 70th minute tackle (see video below) according to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp,

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Both Klopp and Antonio Conte acknowledged this game was more combative than most friendlies and given the recent history between the two clubs you can understand why.

Chelsea’s new manager was pleased with the reaction of his side when they went down to 10-men but urged his team to play more

“I saw a lot of positive things about the defensive situation but we must improve when we have the ball because I love to play the ball, but we are improving,” Conte said.

Liverpool’s biggest concern was an injury to Marko Grujic who clashed heads with Bertrand Traore and was taken to hospital.

“The biggest problem for me in this moment is that Marko Grujic is in hospital, because he can’t remember anything. That’s not too cool,” Klopp told the media. “Hopefully it’s not too serious. Injuries after games like this in pre-season is the biggest problem obviously.”

Liverpool now head to Santa Clara, Calif. to play against AC Milan on Saturday before flying to St. Louis and playing AS Roma on Aug. 1 on their way back to England. Chelsea will fly to Michigan as they take on Real Madrid at “The Big House” on Saturday.

Youthful Tottenham Hotspur lose to Juventus in ICC opener

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Italian champs Juventus beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia on Tuesday as Paulo Dybala and Medhi Benatia both scored in the first half and Erik Lamela pulled one back for Spurs in the second half.

[ MORE: United to let four go ]

The International Champions Cup clash saw both teams field plenty of youngsters but Juve put the result to bed inside the opening 15 minutes with two well-taken goals.

New Spurs signings Vincent Janseen and Victor Wanyama started the game, while U.S. youth international Cameron Carter-Vickers started at center back and DeAndre Yedlin was on the bench but came on at half time and played left back.

Mauricio Pochettino‘s young side defended poorly early on but he will have been pleased to come through the game without any injuries — plus youngster Marcus Edwards impressing off the bench — and Spurs’ attention will now switch to playing Atletico Madrid in Melbourne on Friday.

Dybala scored after just six minutes with the first effort of the game as young Spurs defender Dominic Ball gave the ball away and Carter-Vickers couldn’t clear the ball which led to Dybala smashing home with his left foot. 1-0 to Juve.

A strong Juventus side continued to pin Spurs back as Miralem Pjanic becoming more influential and Dybala hammered a shot towards the to corner after Carter-Vickers was caught out but Michel Vorm tipped it over.

From the resulting corner Benatia headed home across the goal and despite protests of a push by Benatia from Spurs’ players, the goal stood. 2-0 to the Italian champs.

Spurs began to grow into the game after their initial struggles and looked dangerous from wide areas but Janseen was a frustrated figure up front, while William Miller went down in the box under a heavy challenge but no penalty kick was awarded.

At half time Pochettino made four changes with Josh Onoma, Harry Winks, Erik Lamela and Yedlin coming on, with the USMNT man slotting in at left back before playing the final 12 minutes at right back as he showed plenty of promise going forward.

Pjanic was set clean through in the second half but skewed his effort over the bar when he should’ve hit the target and at the other end Lamela struck a low left-footed effort just wide of the far post via a deflection.

After a flurry of subs for both teams Lamela pulled one back for Spurs. Wanyama won the ball back 40-yards out in a central area and Lamela drilled a low shot into the bottom corner to make it 2-1.

Lamela had a great chance to equalize late on but hit his shot straight at the goalkeeper, while Shayon Harrison was also kept out as Spurs couldn’t find an equalizer with the first game of their tour of Australia ending in defeat.