European friendlies: Barcelona top PSG on penalties, Man City impress, and more

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After a wild transfer season that saw Paris Saint-Germain sign the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, the French club appears to be building much-needed chemistry as it prepares for the new season. But they also apparently need more practice from the penalty spot.

On Saturday, PSG battled back from a 2-0 deficit to draw Barcelona, 2-2, in a friendly in Paris. Rafinha Alcantara had put Barcelona up 1-0 early, and Lionel Messi then scored a penalty to double Barcelona's lead. But PSG recovered in the second half as Ibrahimovic scored a penalty of his own against his former team. Then, with seven minutes left, defender Zoumana Camara scored to secure a 2-2 draw for PSG.

Since the game served as the Trophée de Paris, the game was then decided on penalties. Barcelona's Jose Manuel Pinto came up big, saving spot kicks from PSG's Kevin Gameiro and Guillame Hoarau. Pinto's teammates, on the other hand, made all of their attempts as they went on to win the shootout 4-1.

It was the fourth draw in a row for PSG this preseason, a stretch that saw them play Chelsea and DC United in the World Football Challenge. Barcelona, meanwhile, will continue their preseason with a high-profile clash with Manchester United in Sweden on Wednesday.

Read about other European preseason action from the weekend after the jump:

MANCHESTER CITY 2, WOLFSBURG 0

Defending English Premier League champions Manchester City coasted to a 2-0 win on Saturday, defeating Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Arena in Germany.

Sergio Aguero opened the scoring in the 39th minute, bursting through the Wolfsburg defense and into the penalty area before slotting a goal past Diego Benaglio. City went up by two when Carlos Tevez pounced on a defensive error and gave the ball to Yaya Toure, who also beat Benaglio in the 54th minute.

Aguero picked up a slight ankle knock with 11 minutes left in the game, and was immediately substituted by Roberto Mancini as Roque Santa Cruz replaced him. Manchester City then held on for the rest of the match to preserve the clean sheet and the win.

BRIGHTON 3, CHELSEA 1

Chelsea's lackluster preseason continued on Saturday, as they fell to an embarrassing 3-1 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Despite fielding a starting lineup that included top players like John Terry, Fernando Torres, and Eden Hazard, Chelsea struggled in the friendly against the Championship club. Frank Lampard put the Blues up 1-0 in the 34th minute, but Brighton answered swiftly, as Vicente bagged an equalizer two minutes later.

Moments before halftime, Brighton took a surprising lead when Ashley Barnes collected a rebound from Petr Cech and slotted it home to make it 2-1. Late in the second half, Brighton sealed the win when Andrew Crofts scored on a corner kick.

It was Chelsea's third straight loss in a preseason that has also seen them lose 3-2 to the MLS All-Stars, and go down 1-0 to AC Milan in the World Football Challenge. The Blues had beaten the Seattle Sounders and drawn PSG before that, but they haven't won since. They return to action next week for the FA Community Shield against Manchester City.

VALERENGA 0, MANCHESTER UNITED 0

Manchester United couldn't get on the scoreboard despite dominating large stretches of a friendly in Norway against Valerenga as the two teams played to a 0-0 draw on Sunday.

Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, and Nani were all on the field for the Red Devils, who were the better side but they couldn't convert that dominance into a goal. Javier Hernandez almost managed to bag a late winner in the 88th minute when newly-signed Shinji Kagawa and winger Antonio Valencia combined to set up the Mexican striker with a quality chance. But Valerenga's goalkeeper managed to keep it out, preserving the 0-0 draw.

There was good news for Manchester United, as defender Nemanja Vidic returned to action after being out since December. The Red Devils return to action Wednesday when they take on Barcelona in Sweden.

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3 Responses to European friendlies: Barcelona top PSG on penalties, Man City impress, and more

  1. ya says:

    FSC should definitely do a show akin to Yanks Abroad. Maybe once a week or month (if budget is so low) do a 30min program on a particular player. Like on Clint at Fulham, Cherundolo at Hanover 96, Howard at Everton, Bradley at Roma, Altidore at Alkmaar. I think it would be really interesting. Heck ESPN could do it. I mean Clint has been at Fulham for 5.5 years. Fans could learn what’s his favorite goal, what’s a typical day like? how has criticism affected him?

    I’m sure the clubs would love some of the PR

  2. Tyler says:

    PSG started essentially their first team and Barcelona started their reserve squad and just ran through them. Yikes.

  3. al17 says:

    Ummmm NOPE!!!!