If yesterday’s pre-season results were a mixed bag for Premier League clubs, today’s results could only be described as disheartening. While you really cannot put much weight into the scoreline during the run-up to the league campaign, you certainly can dissect the overall performance; for many, today was a poor showing, especially for two of the Premier League’s elite.
After a strong displaying in their 5-1 win yesterday against Benfica, Arsenal were brought back down to earth by Radamel Falcao and AS Monaco in a 1-0 loss at the Emirates Cup. Falcao bagged the only goal of the match in the first half with a well taken header, as he continues his recovery from last-season’s long-term injury. With a side that was much more resemblant of their strongest starting XI, Arsenal did not produce a convincing performance. Alexis Sanchez would start from the off, but even he was unable to find a breakthrough. The Gunners were also had claims for a second-half penalty wrongly given as a free-kick. On the whole, they were far less effective.
Two penalties would be enough for Werder Bremen to put Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea to the sword in Germany, but the side from northern Germany would go on to win 3-0 in a performance that had many Chelsea supporters lashing out. While concerns overall must be tempered as it is only pre-season, you will still expect a level of commitment that the Blues did not produce. Despite the happy sights of Didier Drogba’s return and Thibaut Courtois between the posts, it was an otherwise unhappy afternoon; goals from Eljero Elia, Ludovic Obraniak and Felix Kroos would do the business for Bremen.
Roberto Martinez’s Everton would take on Portugese giants FC Porto in Leon Osman’s testimonial match at Goodison Park. Steven Naismith would continue his goal scoring form last season for the Toffee’s, as his goal would be enough to earn a credible draw for the club, which also unveiled Romelu Lukaku at half-time to a warm welcome from the home support. Martinez would discuss the many positive signs in his sides performance in the post-match presser, with expectations hitting new heights around the club this season in what is to be the Spaniards second at the helm.
Newcastle continued their impressive pre-season preparations for the Premier League season today in the Schalke Cup, beating the hosts 3-1. Goals from Emmanuel Riviere, Rolando Aarons and Remy Cabella sealed the deal for the Magpies, who have looked the part in their preparations this summer. Highly touted German youngster Donis Avdijaj did peg one back for Schalke, but they truly offered little all match. Newcastle supporters got their first look at new loan signing Facundo Ferreyra as well; he would get the assist on Cabella’s goal.
New Stoke signing Bojan Krkic continued to impress for his new club this summer as the Potters played to a 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers. The shocking nature of the Bojan signing still continues to baffle many, but his second goal of the summer and another all-round impressive performance from the Spaniard has many Stoke supporters thinking they could crack the top-ten in the coming Premier League campaign. Perhaps they’ll play a little bit of football this season rather than continuing their Rugby approach.
West Ham could not put together a decent display on back to back days after they beat Schalke 7-6 on penalties yesterday; they would crash to Malaga in the other fixture of the second day in the Schalke Cup. The Hammers have shown signs of improvement this summer, so the result should certainly not be looked too far into as a negative – results are the last thing to consider.