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Jul 24, 2012

Gunners struggle, Barca win

Arsenal scored twice in the last five minutes to rescue a 2-1 victory against Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur.

Friendly: Arsenal 2-1 Malaysia XI

Chuks Aneke hit a deflected winner in the 89th minute, shortly after Thomas Eisfeld had drilled home an equaliser.

Mohamad Azmi Muslim gave Malaysia XI the lead on the stroke of half-time with a 25-yard howitzer that flew past a static Vito Mannone.

Striker Benik Afobe spurned two glorious chances to level the match in the second period, one of which came back off the post, and Andre Santos was guilty of wastefulness in the first half.

After the match, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted there is still "some work to do'' as pre-season steps up a gear.

"verall we still have some tactical work to do and some physical work, but don't forget that some players have only had two or three days training. Some others have only had a maximum of seven or eight so physically we are far from what we can produce."

The Gunners will face Manchester City on Friday, live on ESPN.

New Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova got his tenure off to a positive start with a 2-1 friendly win away to German Bundesliga club Hamburg on Tuesday.

With a host of players missing, including those who helped Spain to glory at Euro 2012 and the injured Lionel Messi, Vilanova sent out a young team in a match held to mark Hamburg's 125th anniversary.

Dani Alves gave the Catalans an early lead and, while Tolgay Arslan hauled Hamburg level, Barcelona scored what proved to be the winner shortly before half time when 18-year-old prodigy Gerard Deulofeu knocked in a loose ball.

Grant Holt's late strike gave Norwich a narrow 1-0 victory over Celtic in their pre-season friendly at Parkhead.

After a night of close calls at both ends, the Canaries captain had the easiest of tasks in the 89th minute when the ball fell to him a few yards from goal, after Hoops keeper Fraser Forster had blocked a drive from Jonathan Howson, to slam the ball into the net.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon was in Iceland to see KR Reykjavik play HJK Helsinki in the Champions League qualifiers, with the Finnish side winning 2-1 for a 9-1 aggregate success which sets up a trip to Parkhead next week in the first leg of the third qualifying round.

Lennon will already know following Saturday's 4-0 friendly defeat by Ajax in Amsterdam, that his side will have to improve if they are to get into the Champions League play-offs.

Meanwhile, Urby Emanuelson's second-half goal gave AC Milan a 1-0 friendly win over Schalke 04 in Gelsenkirchen. The Dutchman rounded 'keeper Timo Hildebrand to slot home after being played in by Brazilian Robinho.

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