Pre-Season Friendly Round-Up: Liverpool, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund All Win
As we move into the second half of July, many major European club sides are already gearing up their 2014-15 preseason preparations in earnest, preparing for tours abroad or playing local sides in friendly matches.
The likes of Chelsea and Liverpool were in action in England, while big guns from Germany and Spain also took to the field.
Here's our roundup of all the biggest teams' results from a weekend packed full of noncompetitive games, with new signings taking to the field for the first time in some cases and game time and fitness being the primary motivations for all.
Liverpool Win 2-1 at Preston
Liverpool's youngsters produced a better second-half performance than their senior counterparts, as they helped the Reds beat Preston 2-1 in the Shankly Shield friendly.
Josh Brownhill scored the game's opener from close range right on half-time to give League One side Preston the lead at the break.
Jordon Ibe then set up both Suso and Kris Peterson to turn the match around in the space of five minutes as the game ticked on into the final 15.
Chelsea Fight Back from Two Down to Beat AFC Wimbledon 3-2
AFC Wimbledon took an early lead against Chelsea and went on to establish a two-goal lead by the break before the Premier League side fought back late on.
Alan Bennett scored inside a minute, and Matthew Tubbs added a penalty for the League Two side, giving them hope of a big scalp in preseason.
But after a raft of substitutions, John Terry scored with around 15 minutes left and later scored the last-minute winner, either side of Mo Salah's equaliser.
Arsenal Beat Local Side Boreham Wood 2-0
A mixed Arsenal side of seniors and youngsters comfortably saw off Boreham Wood, annual opponents, by a 2-0 scoreline.
While the likes of Nacho Monreal, Aaron Ramsey and Carl Jenkinson all started the game, it wasn't until the second half that the Gunners found the breakthrough.
Kristoffer Olsson scored the opener with 20 minutes left and Benik Afobe scored a late penalty.
Tottenham Claim Draw Against Sounders in Seattle
Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham reign got underway with a 3-3 draw with the Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
Iago Falque scored a late equalizer from the penalty spot to ensure Pochettino avoided defeat in his opening game, an entertaining contest at the Sounders’ CenturyLink field.
Lewis Holtby opened the scoring for the visitors, before Gonzalo Pineda and Osvaldo Alonso both struck to put the MLS side ahead.
However, Roberto Soldado scored shortly afterwards from the penalty spot to restore parity, before Tristan Bowen set the scene for Falque’s dramatic late intervention—enabled after a foul from USA World Cup player DeAndre Yedlin.
As enjoyable as the action on the pitch was, one of the more memorable moments actually came before the match started. 18-year-old Xander Bailey started the game after signing for the Sounders the previous day as part of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, drawing huge applause from the crowd as he forced a save from Brad Friedel before being substituted.
One player who was not involved in the contest was Gylfi Sigurdsson, who was initially named in the starting XI before being replaced at the last minute with Tom Carroll.
Sigurdsson has been linked with the likes of Swansea City and Crystal Palace in recent days, with the late withdrawal only heightening speculation that a transfer is not far away.
Borussia Dortmund Take Late 4-3 Win over Heidenheim
Borussia Dortmund were involved in a back-and-forth game away to Bundesliga 2 side Heidenheim, eventually taking a 4-3 win.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the opener, but the home side were in front by half-time.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan then scored twice either side of a third Heidenheim goal before Joseph-Claude Gyau scored a winner just five minutes from full-time.
Ajax Beat Real Sociedad 3-1...and Achilles 2-1
Ajax fielded two different sides in two games on Saturday.
The first group overcame Dutch side Achilles '29 by a 2-1 scoreline, with Tobias Sana and Lesley de Sa on the scoresheet.
Similarly, the second group won their own game 3-1 against Spanish La Liga side Real Sociedad. Loan youngster Arkadiusz Milik and youngster Anwar El Ghazi both found the net, while La Real's new signing Alfred Finnbogason scored for the Spanish side.
Celtic Draw 1-1 with Dynamo Dresden Ahead of Qualifier
Celtic only managed a 1-1 draw with lower league German side Dynamo Dresden.
Playing the game between the two legs of their Champions League fixture, the Scottish side will have hoped for a confidence-boosting win, especially after Kris Commons put them ahead.
Sylvano Comvalius scored a second-half equaliser. Celtic face KR at home on Tuesday.
Valencia Defeated by Nurnberg Without Defender Jeremy Mathieu
Valencia's versatile Jeremy Mathieu did not take part in their friendly defeat to Nurnberg as the Frenchman looks to seal a transfer to Barcelona.
Los Che took the lead through Jonathan Viera and handed a debut to Andre Gomes but lost after conceding three in quick succession in the second half.
Jakub Sylvestr and Antonio-Mirko Colak (twice) scored for the German side.