Giants on a roll in pre-season friendlies

Sports Desk | Published: 00:05, Jul 30,2018 | Updated: 00:21, Jul 30,2018

 
 

Barcelona midfielder Arthur (R) celebrates with his team-mates after scoring the second goal against Tottenham Hotspur during their International Champions Cup match at Pasadena in California, USA on Saturday.— AFP photo

Ernesto Valverde expects a bright future for summer signing Artur after the Brazilian midfielder netted a stunning goal on his Barcelona debut, reports Agence France-Presse.
The 21-year-old made an instant impression in Barcelona’s opening encounter in the International Champions Cup pre-season tournament on Saturday after firing home in a 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur, before the Catalans triumphed 5-3 on penalties.
Barcelona’s weakened team dominated the opening half and went ahead through a devastatingly simple 15th minute opener.
Andre Gomes delivered an in-swinging cross from the left, Rafinha escaped at the far post and headed the ball back into the six-yard box, where Munir cushioned it into the net from point-blank range.
A second arrived courtesy of Arthur. Rafinha laid the ball back to the midfielder on the edge of the area and he effortlessly swept it into the far top corner beyond the helpless Gazzaniga.
Another new Brazilian signing, Malcom, was introduced by Valverde at half-time and he came close to marking his Barcelona debut with a goal after taking on right-back Serge Aurier and firing a low shot towards the near post which was smartly diverted behind by goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
But after Valverde introduced a raft of teenagers into the fray, Spurs began to pull themselves back into the game and pulled level with two goals in as many minutes.
In the penalty shoot-out that followed, Anthony Georgious missed for Spurs, with Barcelona converting all five of their spot-kicks.
Chelsea beat Inter Milan 5-4 on penalties as goalkeeper Willy Caballero saved from Milan Skriniar in the shootout following a 1-1 draw in their opening game of the International Champions Cup.
Spain international Pedro struck after just eight minutes in Nice, slotting in a rebound after Inter keeper Samir Handanovic saved from a lively Alvaro Morata.
Inter levelled early in the second half through Roberto Gagliardini, whose drilled shot proved too much for Argentina’s Caballero after fellow half-time substitute Tiemoue Bakayoko gave the ball away.
Caballero, who was dropped at the World Cup following a 3-0 group stage loss to Croatia, saved from Skriniar with his legs in the shootout before Cesar Azpilicueta converted the decisive spot-kick.
Liverpool scored three second half goals as they wrapped up their pre-season tour of America on Saturday with a dominating 4-1 victory over Manchester United at Michigan Stadium.
Sadio Mane converted a penalty to open the scoring for Liverpool in the 28th minute.
Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira tied the game 1-1 in the 31st minute off a free kick.
Liverpool seized command in the second half, starting with Daniel Sturridge’s 66th-minute strike, which made it 2-1.
Sheyi Ojo then scored off a spot-kick in the 74th minute. That set the stage for Shaqiri to bring the packed stadium to its feet eight minutes later with his overhead kick from inside the box off a nice feed from Ben Woodburn.
Pepe Guardiola finished Manchester City’s US tour with a deserved 3-2 victory over former club Bayern Munich, but his evening was soured with an injury to new signing Riyad Mahrez.
Two goals from substitute Bernardo Silva helped Manchester City come from 2-0 down to end a run of two defeats in this International Champions Cup campaign with youngster Lukas Nmecha scoring in between.
It was a good team goal and on 23 minutes, Ribery and Robben combined for number two. The French midfielder’s lofted through ball found the Dutchman in the area and his two touches - one to control and one to expertly lift the ball past Claudio Bravo - were top class. 

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