COLOGNE — New Arsenal forward Gervinho scored twice in the first 15 minutes of his debut as the Gunners beat Cologne 2-1 in a pre-season football friendly at the RheinEnergie Stadion.
Gervinho, signed from French champions Lille by Arsene Wenger this summer, made a promising start by opening the scoring just seven minutes into the game.
Eight minutes later the Ivory Coast international made it 2-0 in Germany before being withdrawn after 29 minutes with what seemed to be a minor knock. Carl Jenkinson’s spectacular own goal provided Cologne’s consolation.
Liverpool trio Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson and Alexander Doni all made their debuts against Hull City, but could not prevent the Reds going down 3-0 to the League Championshsip side.
Kenny Dalglish used 22 players in the friendly at the KC Stadium in a bid to give match practice to as many of his squad as possible, but it was the hosts who took the win with goals from Robbie Brady, Robert Koren and Jay Simpson.
Rafael van der Vaart scored twice as Tottenham beat Orlando Pirates 3-0 in the final of a pre-season tournament in South Africa on Saturday.
Van der Vaart netted in each half and Jermain Defoe added Spurs’ third to wrap up their first win of the three-game tour, while it was positive news all round as Steven Pienaar returned from injury.
Van der Vaart curled in a 35th-minute free kick and the Netherlands midfielder broke clear for his second in the 53rd after a defence-splitting pass from left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Defoe’s volley at the far post from a Gareth Bale cross made it 3-0 with three minutes left.
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba is set to sign a new one-year contract extension that will keep him at Stamford Bridge until 2013.
Drogba has revealed that he is on the verge of putting pen to paper on a deal that would see the Ivory Coast international stay at Chelsea until he is 35.
“We’ve started talking and it’s very interesting. Everybody knows what I feel about Chelsea and what I want,” he said.
“I will definitely be here next season. I said a few years ago that I would be here until the end of my contract, and I am here.
“Now I need to keep playing well here and giving my best, like I always try to do. This will be my eighth season at this club and it means a lot for any striker to stay that long at Chelsea.’’
Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed Manchester United are not currently in the market for new summer signings and he is looking at the Old Trafford dressing room to provide the answer to Paul Scholes’ retirement.
At various points in the summer, Samir Nasri, Luka Modric and Wesley Sneijder have all been linked with big-money moves to United. However, Nasri appears bound for Manchester City, whilst any deals to sign Sneijder or Modric apparently look too expensive for Ferguson to sanction.