A trio of Premier League bosses took charge of their teams for the first time on Saturday as clubs around Europe got their pre-season campaigns under way.
Crystal Palace, Southampton and Watford supporters got their first glimpse of their sides under new leadership, with the new faces experiencing contrasting days in the dugout.
Some of Europe’s biggest teams were also in action on a busy day and here we round up some of the most important pre-season friendlies on Saturday’s schedule.
WINNING START FOR DE BOER…
It was a highly inexperienced Crystal Palace side that got the club’s pre-season schedule under way, with Frank de Boer taking charge for the first time.
But his faith in young talent was justified as Palace ran out 3-1 winners at non-league Maidstone United, with Jordan Mutch scoring twice. Palace will face a much tougher test in their next match – a Premier League Asia Trophy clash with Liverpool.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) July 15, 2017
…BUT DEFEAT ON SILVA’S WATFORD BOW
Marco Silva’s debut match in charge of Watford saw the Premier League side downed 3-2 at League One AFC Wimbledon.
Cody McDonald struck a quickfire brace for the Dons in the first four minutes of the second half and Ben Watson and Steven Berghuis hit back for the Hornets before substitute Alfie Egan scored a late, close-range winner for Wimbledon.
— Watford FC (@WatfordFC) July 15, 2017
SAINTS DRAW IN SWITZERLAND
Another new boss in the Premier League is former Alaves coach Mauricio Pellegrino, who saw his side draw 0-0 in their pre-season opener against Swiss side St Gallen.
Pellegrino named an entirely different side after the interval but neither XI could find a breakthrough as Virgil van Dijk was rested, with speculation over the centre-back’s future continuing.
FULL TIME: St Gallen 0-0 #SaintsFC
It ends all square in our first pre-season friendly here at Sportanlage Kellen. pic.twitter.com/KebwcRizQU
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) July 15, 2017
VICTORY FOR BOURNEMOUTH IN MARBELLA
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth enjoyed a winning start to their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 win against Estoril in Marbella.
Jordan Ibe gave the Cherries the lead and, after Eduardo’s free-kick levelled the scores, Max Gradel came up with the winner from a tight angle.
LYON THRASH MAKESHIFT CELTIC
With Celtic having been in Champions League action against Linfield on Friday, it was a makeshift team named by Brendan Rodgers for their game against Ligue 1 side Lyon, who won 4-0 at Celtic Park.
All four goals came in the second half with Maxwell Cornet, Myziane Maolida, Nabil Fekir and Amine Gouiri on target in an encouraging display from Bruno Genesio’s team.
— Celtic Football Club (@celticfc) July 15, 2017
WINS FOR ATHLETIC AND SOCIEDAD
LaLiga clubs Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad both eased to comfortable wins on Saturday, with Eneko Gonzalez hitting a brace in La Real’s 5-0 rout of Elgoibar.
Athletic Bilbao were 2-0 winners at Swiss side Sion, with an Elsad Zverotic own goal followed up by a Raul Garcia strike for Jose Angel Ziganda’s side.
DOUBLE FIGURES FOR SAMP
There was a confidence boosting 11-0 win for Serie A side Sampdoria on Saturday, with minnows Sellero Novelle completely outclassed.
Federico Bonazzoli struck four but Gianluca Caprari also hit a treble – so they will have to fight for the match ball – while Fabio Quagliarella and Ibourahima Balde helped themselves to a brace each.
Elsewhere, there were also massive wins for Eredivisie side Feyenoord, who won 10-1 at Putten, while Bologna battered Rappresentativa Sciliar 9-1.
— U.C. Sampdoria (@sampdoria) July 15, 2017
KALOU ON TARGET IN HERTHA WIN
Hertha Berlin were 3-0 winners at Erfurt in their game on Saturday, with former Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou among the scorers. Switzerland international Valentin Stocker wrapped up the scoring, with Vedad Ibisevic having hit the opener.
NAPOLI SCORE SEVEN
Napoli thrashed Serie D side Trento 7-0, with defender Vlad Chiriches somehow netting from well inside his own half and new signing Adam Ounas scoring a brilliant volley.
Arkadiusz Milik scored a double, while Dries Mertens, Emanuele Giaccherini and Jose Callejon were also on target.
— Official SSC Napoli (@sscnapoli) July 15, 2017
Elsewhere, Marseille defeated Fenerbahce 1-0, with new signing Valere Germain’s low strike proving to be a late winner in Lausanne.
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