thumbnail Hello,

There were victories Michael Laudrup's men and the Saints, but the Canaries and Bhoys fell to disappointing losses away from home, while Reading were held in Portugal

Ajax 4-0 Celtic

Ten-man Celtic slipped to a heavy defeat in Amsterdam as they were demolished 4-0 by Ajax in their final pre-season fixture away from home.

The SPL champions fielded a strong side, with last season's free-scoring duo of Anthony Stokes and Gary Hooper paired up front in a line-up which also included Joe Ledley, Scott Brown and Emilio Izaguirre.

But they could not contend with the Dutch giants' brilliance, as Siem de Jong hit a 30-yard screamer into the top corner to give them the lead on 13 minutes.

Less than 10 minutes later it was 2-0 as poor defending from Celtic let in Viktor Fischer, who drew Fraser Forster from his line before squaring to Kolbeinn Sigthorsson to tap into an empty net.

Ajax went from strength to strength, and added a third before the half hour. Thulani Serero ran clean through on goal, and showed great composure to slot the ball between Forster's legs and into the net.

Celtic improved after the break with a number of half-chances, as Victor Wanyama saw his goalbound effort blocked by a defender but it proved to be a short-lived respite. Charlie Mulgrew was dismissed after handling the ball on his own goal line, and from the resulting penalty Daley Blindscored to make the final score 4-0 to the hosts.

Port Talbot 0-5 Swansea

Stephen Dobbie hit a first-half hat-trick as new Swans manager Michael Laudrup watched his side secure a comfortable 5-0 win against Welsh Premier League outfit Port Talbot in their first pre-season fixture.

Dobbie formed an attacking trio alongside Leroy Lita and Luke Moore, while in defence youngsters such as Scott Tancock and Daniel Alfei were given a chance to impress.

Swansea made a blistering start, opening the scoring on four minutes as Dobbie converted from the spot after Curtis Obeng was brought down in the penalty area.

Lita made it 2-0 moments later, side-footing in a precise finish, before he was fouled inside the box to allow Dobbie to step up and add his second spot-kick of the day midway through the half.

Dobbie had to wait just two minutes to complete his hat-trick, playing a neat one-two with Andrea Orlandi before firing in past Craig Richards.

The visitors made a number of changes at the break to create a largely youthful line-up. Dobbie went close to adding his fourth, before being replaced by Henry Jones on the hour.

18-year-old Jones made an instant impression, running on to a loose ball outside the area and firing in a low shot for number five with 20 minutes remaining to round off the win.

Hertha Berlin 3-2 Norwich

Norwich slipped to defeat against Germany side Hertha Berlin in Austria, with James Vaughan's brace being outshone by a hat-trick from Hertha's Elias Kachunga.

Chris Hughton sent out a strong side for the first 45 minutes, with John Ruddy, Bradley Johnson and Grant Holt all in the starting line-up.

But they were undone by two goals in as many minutes from Kachunga, with the striker producing two calm finishes past Ruddy in quick succession after 12 minutes.

Holt was denied when Thomas Kraft produced a wonderful save to keep out his header, after John-Anthony Brooks had earlier nipped in when the striker looked certain to tap into an empty net.

Norwich replaced their entire team at half-time, and just three minutes after the interval Anthony Pilkington set Vaughan free to slot home through the legs of Kraft.

However, any hopes of a comeback were quickly extinguished when Daniel Ayala sent Kachunga tumbling in the area, who brushed himself off and sealed his treble with a powerful effort past Declan Rudd from the spot.

Ayala went some way to making up for conceding the penalty when he knocked down a corner for Vaughan to head in his second just before the hour.

Vaughan twice went close to notching a hat-trick of his own, but first could not connect with Korey Smith's cross before heading over when unmarked from a corner, as Norwich's pre-season campaign began with defeat.
Evian 0-1 Southampton

Premier League new boys Southampton claimed a narrow victory over Ligue 1 side Evian thanks to a goal from Jason Puncheon.

The Saints fielded a side full of attacking talent, with last season's top scorer Rickie Lambert joined by recent record signing Jay Rodriguez up front.

In a game short on clear-cut chances, Rodriguez had the first effort on goal, as his header was well saved by Evian goalkeeper Bertrand Laquait.

But Puncheon made no mistake ten minutes before the break, moments after hitting the crossbar, running on to a through-ball from Morgan Schneiderlin and firing in a low effort.

Despite making eleven changes at half-time, Southampton maintained their attacking threat, and Richard Chaplow was the next to go close as he drew another save from Laquait.

The home side finally created a chance midway through the second period, but Daniel Wass saw his strike from the edge of the area saved. Billy Sharp had the Saints' final chance when he was denied by Laquait, but they were still able to hold on to the win.

CDR Quarteirense 1-1 Reading

A late equaliser denied Reading victory over Portuguese third division side Quarteirense after Ian Harte had given the away side the lead.

The Royals fielded new signings Adrian Mariappa, Danny Guthrie and the returning Nicky Shorey, and they were the first to go close when Jason Roberts headed Michail Antonio's cross against the post.

Hal Robson-Kanu saw a header tipped over from Jimmy Kebe's cross as both sides struggled to create chances in a scrappy first-half.

Reading made nine substitutions at the break, and one of the new men Harte curled in a trademark free-kick to open the scoring early in the second half.

Noel Hunt went close to doubling their advantage a few minutes later, but instead saw his header cleared off the line.

Jordan Obita and Jobi McAnuff both had chances to add to Reading's lead, but late on the Portuguese side grabbed a goal to nick a surprise draw.

Related

From the web