July 28, (THEWILL) – Club football continued in the background of the different competitions that have grabbed headlines at the Olympics going on in Tokyo, Japan. On Tuesday, the two English Premier League sides that contested for last season’s UEFA Champions League fielded teams with fringe players in warm-up matches.
That was how goals came from players like Ike Dominique Ugbo, the 22-year-old English professional footballer who plays as a forward for Chelsea and Samuel Edozie, the 19-year-old Englishman who joined Manchester City from Millwall in July 2019 and has progressed through the City Elite Development Squad (EDS) programme to stake his claim for places in the new season.
There was also a game played at the Estadio Do Algarve, São João da Venda in Portugal between La Liga club Sevilla and Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain where many expected to see their latest set of signings take to the pitch including ex-Real Madrid iconic defender Sergio Ramos.
However, Ramos was unavailable to feature in his debut for the French side as he is presently nursing a calf injury according to a Tuesday statement from the club. Injuries had beset the performance of the 35-year-old in his final season at the Santiago Bernabeu and seemed to have followed him to Les Parisiens.
It is unlikely that Ramos will be back in action when Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG, as French Cup winners, face Ligue 1 champions Lille in Sunday’s Champions Trophy which is scheduled to be played in Tel Aviv, Israel, this year.
THEWILL sums up these friendly matches below:
Bournemouth 1 – 2 Chelsea
The Thomas Tuchel-coached UEFA Champions side Chelsea picked up the win in their pre-season clash against Scott Parker’s Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium in Dorset.
Bournemouth is the professional association football club based in Kings Park, Boscombe, a suburb of Bournemouth, Dorset, England and they compete in the Championship, which is the second tier of the English football league system.
In the first half, both teams rarely threatened to test either of their keepers with Chelsea fielding a shadow of their continental trophy-winning squad. However, the Blues’ forward Tammy Abraham and Bournemouth’s striker Dominic Solanke came close for both sides.
The managers rang in the changes in the second half to allow more players a chance to get involved. Emiliano Marcondes put Bournemouth ahead in the six minutes after the hour mark. Then, six minutes later, Armando Broja scored for the Blues to equalise and level matters. It was left for the 22-year-old Ugbo to get the winning goal for the men from Stamford Bridge and his 77th minute goal gave Tuchel’s side their pre-season victory.
Sevilla 2 – 2 PSG
Spanish side Sevilla faced PSG in a high-profile friendly in Portugal, at a neutral stadium just a couple of hours from the Andalusian capital with a final result that was deadlocked at two goals apiece.
Former Barcelona midfield maverick, Ivan Rakitic, gave his Spanish club the lead in the 40th minute when he converted from a penalty kick after Youssef En-Nesyri was brought down by Keylor Navas. The first half ended with that slim Sevilla lead.
Mauro Icardi cancelled the advantage with a goal for the Parisians three minutes into the second half. But, Oscar Rodriguez regained Sevilla’s goal cushion shortly after the hour mark. A late fightback saw PSG equalised again in the 88th minute through Kenny Nagera.
In the end the scores were for PSG’s final pre-season preparations before they face Lille while Sevilla continues to get ready and will next play the English Premier League side Aston Villa.
Manchester City 2 – 0 Preston
Pep Guardiola surprisingly named the likes of Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo, Nathan Ake, and Zack Steffen in the starting line-up of Tuesday’s friendly with Preston, despite the quartet only returning to full club training on Monday morning. Liam Delap meanwhile missed out after being deemed ‘not fully fit’.
Fully known as Preston North End Football Club, City’s opponents on Tuesday is a professional football club in Preston, Lancashire, that competes in the EFL Championship, the second tier of the English football league system, just as Chelsea’s opponents in Tuesday’s friendly.
The men from the Etihad expectedly started the better of the two sides and Algeria’s forward Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring midway through the first half with an excellent free-kick.
Pep Guardiola made 10 changes to the team that began the friendly with only Zack Steffen appearing in both halves. And, the second City goal was from a Samuel Edozie pile driver from close range that doubled City’s lead all the way four minutes past the hour mark. City held on to the lead all the way to the final whistle.