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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 18, 2009

Pre-season wrap: City stumble, Arsenal held

Manchester City kept their high-profile signings out of sight as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Orlando Pirates.

Carlos Tevez and Roque Santa Cruz were not even named on the bench for the match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa.

And Gareth Barry, although named as a substitute, did not make an appearance.

Mark Hughes' team are taking part in the Vodacom Challenge as part of their pre-season tour, a competition which also includes the Kaizer Chiefs.

In an evenly contested first half, the Pirates managed to get the upper hand just four minutes before the break.

Ben Mee fouled Frank Olivier in the area and defender Lucas Thwala converted the penalty, beating City's new goalkeeper Stuart Taylor.

The Pirates doubled their lead in the 56th minute thanks to substitute Phenyo Mogale's long-range effort.

The game was played at a ground which will be used at next year's World Cup.

Big-spending City will now be looking to bounce back in their next match against the Kaizer Chiefs on Tuesday, where supporters will be hoping to see some of the new signings make their debuts.

Emmanuel Adebayor was missing as Arsenal were held to a draw by Barnet in today's traditional pre-season friendly at Underhill.

In his absence impressive academy product Sanchez Watt formed a first-half strike partnership alongside Andrey Arshavin in a starting line-up that blended youth and experience.

Barnet looked to capitalise on some lacklustre pre-season defending by Arsenal but were carved open themselves in the 44th minute when Watt picked out Arshavin with a pinpoint cross that the Russian buried.

The lead lasted only a minute, however, as Ismail Yakubu met Danny Hart's free-kick with an athletic glancing header that evaded Manuel Almunia on its way into the top right corner.

Individual brilliance by Dutchman Nacer Barazite restored Arsenal's lead shortly into the second half as he weaved his way to the edge of the area where he chipped the ball home.

Wenger had emptied his bench and this took its toll on Arsenal who looked far less menacing than in the first half.

Hart forced a robust save from Vito Mannone from long distance and then Vermaelen came to the rescue as Arsenal's defence began creaking.

It eventually cracked with eight minutes to go, Elliott Charles capitalising on the ongoing confusion to stab home from close range to earn Barnet a deserved draw.

Aston Villa ran out comfortable 3-0 winners in their first pre-season friendly at Peterborough.

Austrian forward Andreas Weimann opened the scoring for Martin O'Neill's side with a neat header midway through the first half from Marc Albrighton's cross.

Curtis Davies provided the highlight of the match with the second goal eight minutes after the interval, the defender coolly slotting past James McKeown following a slick one-two with Marlon Harewood.

Midfielder Steve Sidwell blasted home to complete the scoring 19 minutes from time at London Road.

Loan signing Jo struck a brace this afternoon as Everton began their pre-season campaign with a thumping 4-1 triumph at Rochdale.

The Brazilian striker, who signed a one-year loan deal with the Toffees from Manchester City last week, notched after 32 and 78 minutes to put the visitors out of sight at Spotland.

Youngster Shane Duffy tapped home the opener after seven minutes and the visitors' advantage was doubled midway through the first half courtesy of a Craig Dawson own goal.

Chris Dagnall pulled one back for the hosts from the penalty spot just before the half-hour mark but then Jo got in on the act to seal Everton's victory.

Jerome Thomas made an immediate impression on his first appearance for Hull with the opening goal in a 6-0 win at UniBond League neighbours North Ferriby.

The former Arsenal and Charlton winger, who is on trial with the Tigers following his release by Portsmouth, struck after 32 minutes.

City moved up a gear after the break with Caleb Folan scoring twice and Jamie Devitt and Nick Featherstone also on target. Nick Barmby also got on the scoresheet for Hull.

Sunderland suffered a surprise 4-1 mauling at the hands of non-league Gateshead, while north-east rivals Newcastle routed League Two Darlington 7-2.

Goals from Damien Duff, Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez, Steven Taylor, Andy Carroll and two from Shola Ameobi eased the Magpies to a welcome victory.

Derby slumped to a 2-1 loss at Chesterfield, Plymouth won 2-0 at Skelmersdale, Preston were 2-1 winners at Tranmere while Swansea triumphed 3-1 against Steve McClaren's FC Twente at the Liberty Stadium.

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