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Wednesday 25 July 2012

Pre-season friendlies round-up

Arsenal and Norwich among Barclays Premier League clubs to seal victories

  • Arsenal's Thomas Eisfeld is embraced by Nico Yennaris after scoring against Malaysia XI

  • Gareth Bale celebrates his goal for Tottenham against LA Galaxy

  • Stoke City's Kenwyne Jones (right) escapes Julius James of Columbus Crew

  • Jonathan de Guzman curls a free-kick over Colorado Rapids' wall for his first Swansea goal

  • Norwich's James Vaughan (right) vies with Celtic defender Mikael Lustig

Malaysia XI 1-2 Arsenal

Arsenal got their Asia tour off to a winning start after coming from behind to overcome a Malaysia XI thanks to late goals by Thomas Eisfeld and Chuks Aneke.

Despite twice coming close to taking the lead through Andre Santos the Gunners fell behind on the stroke of half-time thanks to a fine strike from the edge of the area by Mohamad Azmi Muslim.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger rang the changes at half-time and they eventually paid off as 80th-minute substitute Eisfeld levelled the match three minutes from time after latching on to Nico Yennaris's cut-back. Aneke produced the winner moments later with a deflected effort.

Los Angeles Galaxy 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur were held to a 1-1 draw in Los Angeles despite taking the lead through Gareth Bale in their pre-season friendly against LA Galaxy.

Bale put Andre-Villas Boas's side ahead after 17 minutes when Bale nodded Rafael van der Vaart's pass into the path of Gylfi Sigurdsson before meeting the former Swansea City midfielder's cross with a firm header.

However, the visitors were pegged back just before the half-hour mark as David Junior Lopes arrived in the area to convert Hector Jiminez's centre and earn the MLS champions a share of the spoils.

Unlike former Tottenham captain Robbie Keane, David Beckham was absent from the LA Galaxy side as he is set to play for the MLS All Stars against Chelsea on Wednesday evening.

Portland Timbers 2-2 Aston Villa (Villa won 5-4 on penalties)

Aston Villa had Brad Guzan to thank as his goalkeeping heroics helped the Barclays Premier League side beat Portland Timbers on penalties.

Paul Lambert's charges twice took the lead through Ciaran Clark, three minutes before half-time, and new signing Matthew Lowton, on 80 minutes, but they were pegged back by strikes from Sebastian Rincon and Rodney Wallace, whose effort deflected off Lowton.

In a friendly attended by Hollywood actor and Villa fan Tom Hanks, the visitors provided a dramatic finale by scoring all five penalties in the shoot-out, while Guzan denied Timbers' fifth taker Bright Dyke.

Colorado Rapids 2-1 Swansea City

Michael Laudrup's reign got off to a losing start as his Swansea City side were beaten by Colorado Rapids in the first match of their pre-season tour of the United States.

The Swans were 2-0 down inside the opening 14 minutes as Andre Akpan and Kamani Hill struck for the home side, but new signing Jonathan de Guzman reduced the arrears with a superb 25-yard free-kick in the second half.

Although Leroy Lita came within a whisker of an equaliser with a header that skimmed the crossbar late on, the visitors, who also included Michu in the starting XI, had to make do with defeat.

Micheldorf 1-3 Wigan Athletic

Wigan scored three times as two separate line-ups emerged triumphant in Tuesday night's pre-season friendly in Austria.

Mauro Boselli was on target on 36 minutes to give the visitors a deserved half-time lead, while Callum McManaman rounded off the scoring three minutes from time.

Mathias Roidinger had pulled a goal back for the hosts following Victor Moses's 62nd-minute strike for a Wigan outfit which had made 10 substitutions.

Celtic 0-1 Norwich City

Grant Holt grabbed the only goal of the game as Norwich City edged a close-run encounter against the Scottish Premier League champions.

Holt struck two minutes from the end as he reacted first to the loose ball after Fraser Forster had saved Jonny Howson’s shot.

Columbus Crew 2-1 Stoke City

Stoke City were on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline despite taking a first-half lead through Jonathan Walters in Ohio on Tuesday night.

The Republic of Ireland international broke the deadlock with a first-half header only for a much-changed second-half line-up to concede goals by Aaron Horton and Ben Speas in the last 20 minutes.

Reading 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday

It was a disappointing night in Portugal for Reading as Brian McDermott's side were defeated by the Championship outfit.

The Royals created a number of chances but had no answer to goals by Mike Jones, a minute before the interval, and Chris O'Grady's 86th-minute strike.

Everton tour postponed

Everton's pre-season schedule suffered a setback after they withdrew from the inaugural Java Cup in Indonesia after failing to receive assurances over the competition structure.

They will now continue their preparations for the new season in the United Kingdom.

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Key Points

  • Barclays Premier League teams in friendly action on Tuesday night
  • Arsenal, Tottenham and Aston Villla among the teams in action
  • Three weeks to go until the new Barclays Premier League season