The start of the new football season continues to near and Saturday was a busy day for pre-season action all over Europe.
Here we round up the best of the action, with Marko Arnautovic opening his West Ham account as Gylfi Sigurdsson skipped Swansea City’s trip to Birmingham.
ARNAUTOVIC OFF THE MARK
Arnautovic scored his first goal for West Ham and Joe Hart made his debut as Slaven Bilic’s men drew 2-2 with Werder Bremen, the Bundesliga side claiming the Betway Cup 3-2 on aggregate after Friday’s 1-0 win.
The first of many Arnie! pic.twitter.com/NvBSILwHyv
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) July 29, 2017
The Austria international’s former club Stoke City came from behind to win 2-1 at Bolton Wanderers, with striker Joselu scoring twice from the bench in the last 12 minutes
Burnley came from a goal down to draw 1-1 at Nottingham Forest, Andre Gray scoring his fourth goal of pre-season, while Marco Silva’s Watford were held 0-0 at Aston Villa.
— Bojan Krkic (@BoKrkic) July 29, 2017
SIGURDSSON ABSENT FOR SWANSEA WIN
Midfielder Sigurdsson was not included in Swansea’s squad for a 2-0 win at Birmingham City as rumours of a move to Everton for the Iceland international continue.
Chelsea loan striker Tammy Abraham and Leroy Fer hit second-half goals for Paul Clement’s men.
Elsewhere, Wilfried Zaha was on target for Crystal Palace in a 1-1 draw with Metz, while Sporting CP beat Fiorentina 1-0.
— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) July 29, 2017
MCGREGOR-INSPIRED CELTIC THRASH SUNDERLAND
Celtic warmed up for their Champions League qualifier second leg with Rosenborg on Wednesday with a 5-0 battering of Championship side Sunderland.
Callum McGregor hit a hat-trick, with Jonny Hayes and Stuart Armstrong also on target for the Scottish champions at the Stadium of Light.
Happy Saturday, Celts! pic.twitter.com/BNGhBi0116
— Celtic Football Club (@celticfc) July 29, 2017
PREMIER LEAGUE NEW BOYS FAIL TO WIN
Both Brighton and Hove Albion and Newcastle United failed to win their friendlies on Saturday, with their Premier League matches just two weeks away.
Chris Hughton’s side drew 1-1 at Norwich City, while his former club Newcastle lost 2-1 against Bundesliga side Mainz, Viktor Fischer scoring a late winner.
Hoffenheim were also 2-1 victors over English opposition, Germany international Sandro Wagner hitting the decider for Julian Nagelsmann’s men against Derby County.
INJURY WORRIES FOR PULIS
West Brom suffered a 2-1 loss at Bristol Rovers of League One, but injuries to three players were more concerning for head coach Tony Pulis.
Matt Phillips pulled out with a tight hamstring before kick-off and his fellow wide players Chris Brunt and James McClean were withdrawn either side of half-time.
“Pre-season is all about getting the players through without picking up injuries and so this is the most disappointing part of the game for me,” Pulis said.
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) July 29, 2017
GABBIADINI ON TARGET IN SAINTS WIN
Striker Manolo Gabbiadini was among the goalscorers as Southampton won 3-0 against Saint-Etienne on Saturday.
There was also a victory for Bournemouth, who beat QPR 1-0 thanks to Jordon Ibe’s winner in a benefit match for Rangers legend Stan Bowles.
Leicester City went down to a 1-0 loss at Championship neighbours Wolverhampton Wanderers, Ivan Cavaleiro scoring the only goal on the hour-mark.
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