Pre-season friendlies can typically be over-analysed and scrutinised past recognition, and whereas they do not essentially symbolize the entire fact, they need to by no means be ignored.
Exhibition matches are at all times filled with little gems, from gamers scoring screamers that’ll quickly be misplaced within the historical past of the game, to unnecessarily feisty affairs between unsuspecting rivals.
With solely a handful of weeks till we welcome the Premier League again into our lives, golf equipment up and down the nation are starting to place a bit extra vitality and a focus into their pre-season preparations.
However how did all of them get on in Saturday’s stack of friendlies?
We begin on the bet365 Stadium for probably the most feel-good story of the weekend. Wolverhampton Wanderers left the Potteries with a 1-1 draw on Saturday, however extra importantly, Raul Jimenez left together with his first purpose since struggling a nasty head damage again in November 2020.
The Mexican tapped residence on the rebound to cancel out Danny Batth’s opener for Stoke Metropolis, and with neither aspect capable of give you a winner, the sport ended all sq..
Aston Villa put fears over Jack Grealish’s future on maintain on Saturday afternoon, hammering Bristol Metropolis 3-0 at Ashton Gate. Teenager Jaden Philogene-Bidace opened the scoring after solely six minutes, and Ezri Konsa pounced on a defensive error to double the lead simply earlier than half-time.
Ollie Watkins wrapped up the victory for Villa on the hour-mark, and Bristol Metropolis merely could not reply towards their superior opponents.
Brentford’s preparations for all times within the Premier League suffered a setback on Saturday, once they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to fellow top-flight outfit West Ham United. Stated Benrahma proved the distinction towards his former aspect, reducing inside and curling a surprising strike into the highest nook to attain the sport’s solely purpose.
Elsewhere, Leicester Metropolis performed out an entertaining 3-3 draw with Queens Park Rangers, snatching a last-minute equaliser towards the Championship aspect. Charlie Austin had given the hosts the lead on the stroke of half-time, earlier than Yoann Barbet doubled the benefit 10 minutes after the break.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Corridor pulled one again on 75 minutes, and new signing Patson Daka drew Leicester stage after clinically ending from inside the realm. The drama did not cease there, although. Rob Dickie restored QPR’s lead with eight minutes to play, however a Kelechi Iheanacho penalty meant the pleasant spoils had been shared at Loftus Street.
Elsewhere, Crystal Palace secured a formidable 3-1 victory over Studying, with Jean-Philippe Mateta giving the guests the lead, after Cheikhou Kouyate had seen pink on the half-hour mark. John Swift equalised for Studying, however late targets from Jordan Ayew and Scott Banks despatched the Eagles hovering.
Brighton additionally ran out 3-1 winners over Luton City, because the Seagulls started life with out defender Ben White. Aaron Connolly handed Graham Potter’s aspect the lead inside 10 minutes, and Enock Mwepu made it 2-0 on 35 minutes.
Harry Cornick gave Luton hope on the stroke of half-time, however Percy Tau restored the two-goal benefit on 62 minutes.
Leeds United fell to a 3-2 defeat to Actual Betis, regardless of Patrick Bamford gifting them a dream begin with a wise header on six minutes. Strikes from Aitor Ruibal, Borja Iglesias and Youssouf Sabaly despatched Betis forward and out of sight, though Mateusz Klich did pull one again with half an hour to play.
The sport was performed at a quick tempo, and tempers did flare, with Nabil Fekir doling out a hefty kick to Pascal Struijk. Leeds could not discover an equaliser nevertheless, and Betis noticed out the win.
Southampton earned a convincing 3-1 victory over Swansea Metropolis, though they needed to come from behind, after Mohammed Salisu scored an personal purpose on the quarter-hour mark. Nathan Tella equalised a minute later, and Nathan Redmond turned the sport on its head 9 minutes later.
Stuart Armstrong put the sport past doubt Swansea on 58 minutes, and so they noticed out the sport with consolation.
Lastly, Burnley bagged two second half targets to overturn a deficit towards Tranmere in a 2-1 victory, after Nathaniel Knight-Percival kicked off the scoring for the hosts. Ashley Barnes grabbed an equaliser with 20 minutes to play, and Dwight McNeil gained the match with a strike from outdoors the realm.
Brentford 0-1 West Ham
Bristol Metropolis 0-3 Aston Villa
Luton 1-3 Brighton
QPR 3-3 Leicester Metropolis
Studying 1-3 Crystal Palace
Actual Betis 3-2 Leeds United
Stoke Metropolis 1-1 Wolves
Swansea 1-3 Southampton
Tranmere Rovers 1-2 Burnley