Arsenal open US tour with 3-0 friendly win in Colorado

Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Macey makes a save against the Colorado Rapids during international friendly match on Monday. (AP)
Updated 16 July 2019

Arsenal open US tour with 3-0 friendly win in Colorado

LOS ANGELES: Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli scored in his Arsenal debut Monday as the English Premier League club launched their pre-season tour of the US with a 3-0 friendly win over the Colorado Rapids.

Bukayo Saka and James Olayinka also scored for the Gunners, who cruised to victory at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in suburban Denver.

Martinelli, the 18-year-old forward signed from Ituano on July 2, was given a surprise start in attack by Unai Emery and sent an early chance wide.

Saka, 17, was an energetic presence and put Arsenal up 1-0 in the 13th minute as he collected a through-ball from Eddie Nketiah.

Another teenager — 18-year-old Olayinka —  doubled the score in the 29th, seizing a stray pass from defense and racing in to fire into the top left corner of the net.

Martinelli, having missed his early chance, capped the scoring in the 61st when he slotted home a cross from close range.

The Rapids, in the midst of the Major League Soccer season, fielded a mostly reserve side that featured several players from the lower-rung Colorado Springs Switchbacks.

Arsenal, too, started a reserve team as they begin their build up to the Premier League season after again failing to secure a Champions League berth.

The tour has not started without controversy. Captain Laurent Koscielny refused to travel to the US, and a group of influential Arsenal supporters’ organizations published a statement on Monday hitting out at Stan Kroenke’s “passive ownership.”

Under a hashtag “WeCareDo You” the statement decried a “soulless” atmosphere at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and a lack of transfer strategy.

Kroenke, who began investing in the club in 2007 through his company Kroenke Sports Enterprises and took full ownership in 2018, also owns the Rapids as well as the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams.

Aguero reaches 400 goals in Man City stroll, Newcastle stun Spurs

Updated 54 min 27 sec ago

Aguero reaches 400 goals in Man City stroll, Newcastle stun Spurs

  • Argentine striker inspired the champions’ 3-1 win at Bournemouth
  • Raheem Sterling was also on the scoresheet — making it six goals in four games this term

London: Sergio Aguero reached 400 career goals as the Manchester City striker inspired the champions’ 3-1 win at Bournemouth, while Tottenham suffered a shock 1-0 defeat against Newcastle on Sunday.
With Premier League leaders Liverpool off to a perfect start with three successive victories, City are already under pressure to keep pace.
Pep Guardiola’s side did just that thanks to Aguero as City’s record goalscorer hit another milestone with a clinical double in the south-coast sunshine.
Raheem Sterling was also on the scoresheet — making it six goals in four games this term for the England winger — as City’s second win of the season lifted them to within two points of Liverpool.
It was a landmark day all round for City, with captain David Silva involved in all three of the goals on his 400th appearance for the club.
“We felt Bournemouth’s physicality, a nice three points and a big compliment to the players, a few things to improve, that’s good it’s happened when we are winning games,” Guardiola said.
“The quality of our players in front made the difference and we won the game.”
Guardiola was less enthused by a VAR review that denied City a penalty when Jefferson Lerma appeared to trip Silva.
City were last week left frustrated during a 2-2 draw with Tottenham when a last-gasp goal from Gabriel Jesus was disallowed by VAR due to a contentious handball against Aymeric Laporte.
Asked if City deserved a spot-kick, Guardiola replied in an sardonic manner: “No, no, no. Penalty? No.
“It was clear hands last game, clear hands. A penalty today? No, please.
“The challenge this season will be amazing for us after winning back-to-back two titles, the challenge will be great.”
Meanwhile, Steve Bruce silenced his critics as Newcastle won at Tottenham to secure their first points under the polarizing Magpies boss.
Since taking over from Rafael Benitez in the close-season, Bruce had found himself under pressure after losing his first two games, with fans doubting his credentials and former players claiming his squad were uncertain about his methods.
But Joelinton first goal for Newcastle in the 27th minute gave Bruce some breathing space for a few days at least.
Davinson Sanchez was caught playing the offside trap, allowing Brazilian forward Joelinton to collected Christian Atsu’s inch-perfect ball and fire home.
Newcastle were helped by a poor performance from Tottenham, who have won only once in their first three games.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side were frustrated by VAR after the decision-review system ruled not to award a penalty when Harry Kane had tumbled under a challenge from Jamaal Lascelles.
Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen was only used as a substitute amid uncertainty surrounding his future ahead of the European transfer window shutting next week.
In the day’s other game, Wolves forward Raul Jimenez scored a stoppage-time penalty to rescue a 1-1 draw against Burnley at Molineux.
Ashley Barnes had put Burnley in front after 13 minutes with a blistering strike, giving the forward four goals in three games this season.
But Jimenez netted from the spot in the 97th minute after the Mexican was tripped by Erik Pieters.
Wolves have drawn all three of their league games this term.