Jack Cahill is here with a roundup of all the pre-season friendlies of Premier League teams as they prepare for the coming season.
Darlington 1883 1:5 Sunderland 19th July
Sunderland’s miraculous escape from the relegation zone last season will have inspired players and fans alike. They picked up where they left off as Gus Poyet’s side got their pre-season off to a good start with a 5-1 win against Darlington.
New arrivals Billy Jones, Costel Pantilimon and Jordi Gomez were all given their debuts as Sunderland dominated throughout. Striker Stephen Fletcher netted two tap-ins within the first 20 minutes to set the tone for the game. Emanuele Giaccherini and Connor Wickham bagged a goal apiece to make it 4-0 before Gary Brown netted a consolation goal for Darlington.
Sunderland looked comfortable throughout and Jordi Gomez scored on his debut to make it 5-1 and wrap up a solid start to their pre-season. This result aside Sunderland have a right to be quietly confident for the coming season and their confidence will only increase should they complete the signing of loan star Fabio Borini.
Sunderland XI First Half: Mannone, Watmore, Jones, Roberge, O’Shea, Cabral, Ba, Larsson, Honeyman, Clayton, Fletcher.
Sunderland XI Second Half: Pantilimon, Mavrias, Ferguson, Diakite, Brown, N’Diaye, Cattermole, Gomez, Moberg Karlsson, Giaccherini, Wickham.
Minnesota United 2:0 Swansea City 19th July
Swansea City ended their tour of USA with a whimper as they slumped to a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Minnesota United. Justin Davis opened the scoring for the home side after just eight minutes and Swansea responded with long periods of possession, a characteristic of the team. Unfortunately a lack of composure in the final third has become another characteristic in recent times and new man Bafetimbi Gomis continued this by squandering his chances.
Despite their apparent control Minnesota doubled their lead shortly before the break as Greg Jordan fired past Tremmel. For all of their possession and control The Swans just failed to make their chances pay and the game ended 2-0 to Minnesota.
They missed Bony who had been their talisman in the season gone by. The misfiring Gomis was eventually replaced by Josh Sheehan affording Emnes the chance to play in a lone forward role. Monk will be looking to both Gomis and Emnes to take some of the goal-scoring pressure off the Ivorian striker this season.
Swansea XI First Half: Gerhard Tremmel, Angel Rangel (capt), Chico Flores, Kyle Bartley, Stephen Kingsley, Jazz Richards, Adam King, Jonjo Shelvey, Nathan Dyer, Rory Donnelly, Bafetimbi Gomis.
Swansea XI Second Half: Lukasz Fabianski, Dwight Tiendalli, Chico Flores, Kyle Bartley, Neil Taylor, Leon Britton, Jonjo Shelvey, Marvin Emnes, Wayne Routledge, Alex Bray, Bafetimbi Gomis (Josh Sheehan, 59).
Seattle Sounders 3:3 Tottenham 19th July
Mauricio Pochettino’s first game in charge of Tottenham finished in an entertaining 3-3 draw against Seattle Sounders. The game opened with 18-year-old Xander Bailey, who has cystic fibrosis, lining out for Seattle. The teenager was allowed to run through and have an attempt on Friedel’s goal. He left the field to great applause.
Lewis Holtby put Spurs ahead after heading in a Harry Kane cross on 12 minutes. Seattle are no pushovers however and a team featuring the likes of Obefami Martins and Clint Dempsey were never going to be whipping boys.
In the 34th minute Seattle drew level as Gonzalo Pineda dispatched a penalty which Dawson had given away. Seattle were after the win and pushed Spurs in search of it. They were rewarded four minutes after the half as Osvaldo Alonso scored a fantastic long range effort. Soldado quickly evened things up with a penalty just a few minutes later.
Tristan Bowen reasserted Seattle’s lead but Falque oce again levelled the scoreline with an incredible third penalty of the game making it 3-3. Not a bad spectacle for the Argentine’s first game in charge.
Spurs XI and Subs: Friedel; Naughton (Fredericks, 46), Dawson (Kaboul, 46), Fryers, Rose (Veljkovic, 46); Carroll, Capoue (Mason, 63); Holtby (Falque, 68), Townsend (Lamela, 46), Lennon (Ceballos, 46); Kane (Soldado, 46).
Borussia Monchengladbach 1:1 Stoke 20th July
Stoke got their pre-season campaign underway with an encouraging 1-1 draw against German outfit Borussia Monchengladbach. The Potters were in the mood to experiment as Mark Hughes gave debut appearances to all four of their summer signings. (Bojan had not signed yet.)
It was a tight game although there was a number of chances in the first half, most notably for new man Mame Biram Diouf. However it was the hosts who took the lead through Thorgan Hazard (brother of Eden) as the Chelsea loanee pounced on Charlie Adam’s misplaced pass to give his side the lead.
However Stoke equalised in familiar fashion as Crouch tapped in a Walters cross to make it 1-1. Stoke are still missing a number of World Cup participants and will look to involve them as well as new signing Bojan in future friendlies.
Stoke City First Half XI: Butland, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Wilson, Muniesa, Shotton, Nzonzi, Ness, Sidwell, Arnautovic, Diouf
Stoke City XI Second Half: Sorensen, Bardsley, Huth, Teixeira, Pieters, Walters, Sidwell, Whelan, Adam, Shea, Crouch.
Sacramento Republic 0:1 West Brom 21st July
The Baggies started well finding the lead through a Graham Dorrans penalty in the 13th minute. However the good news ended there as Alan Irvine’s men played out a poor game against American third tier side Sacramento.
West Brom were missing a number of important players and it showed as they struggled to take control of a tie they should have walked with ease. Irvine will be citing fitness and chemistry as the pressing issues and while he is correct it never hurts to build pre-season morale with a good result against a far inferior team.
Joleon Lescott, Gareth McAuley, James Morrison, Chris Brunt, Craig Dawson and Ben Foster all missed out through injury and it showed as Irvine’s side lacked coherence and stability, allowing Sacramento to grow into the game in the second half.
Despite Craig Gardner being sent off The Baggies held out for the win but will be looking to improve when the two sides meet again on the 25th.
West Brom XI and Subs: Myhill; O’Neil, Baird, Olsson (D Daniels, 87), Pocognoli; Gardner, Mulumbu, Yacob, Dorrans; Berahino, Anichebe (Roofe, 77).
Swindon Town 0:1 Southampton 21st July
Southampton continue life in their preseason surely feeling as though their side has been pilfered and picked clean in the transfer window. New head coach Ronald Koeman has been making the most of his situation picking up two impressive friendly wins in recent weeks.
After a goalless first half The Saints finally broke the deadlock in the 51st minute through Jos Hooiveld as the defender got on the end of James Ward-Prowse’s corner and poked it past Foderingham.
Swindon created few chances and the Premier League side always looked the more likely to score as the game progressed, they very nearly achieved this through chances from LLoyd and Ward-Prowse.
New £9m signing Graziano Pelle continued to impress with a lively performance that will encourage fans to be hopeful for life after Pochettino, Lambert, Lallana and Shaw. Even with a couple more tipped to follow Southampton can be confident for the new season as they have now strung together three straight pre-season wins, albeit against teams considered to be far weaker.
Southampton XI and Subs: Davis (Gazzaniga 46); Clyne (Chambers 62), Fonte (Yoshida 62), Hooiveld (Turnbull 62), Targett (Stephens 62); Cork (Flannigan 62), Ward-Prowse (McCarthy 62); Reed (Sinclair 62), McQueen (Mayuka 46), Isgrove (Gallagher 62); Pelle (Sharp 62).
Jack Cahill, Pundit Arena.