• Premier League

Arsenal lift trophy as Reading hit seven

ESPN staff
July 14, 2012
Henri Lansbury opened Arsenal's account © Getty Images

Arsenal started their pre-season by picking up an early piece of silverware, lifting the Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup on Saturday.

Facing Anderlecht and Southampton in two 45-minute encounters, the Gunners won their first match and then lost their second on penalties, which proved enough to win the competition.

Anderlecht opened the tournament with a 1-0 win over Southampton, the Belgians netting the winner through Tom de Sutter after superb work by midfielder Kanu.

Arsenal then opened their account by defeating Anderlecht, Carl Jenkinson forcing his way up the right flank before delivering a low cross, dispatched by Henri Lansbury.

In the final encounter, Southampton's Jay Rodriguez powered home a header to stun Arsenal early, but the lively Gervinho equalised with a solo effort to force penalties, won 5-4 by Saints with Kyle Ebicilio the guilty party for Arsenal.

Nevertheless, Arsene Wenger's men earned a point for forcing penalties, meaning they took home the trophy.

Earlier in the day, new signing Brett Holman netted a second-half winner as Aston Villa battled back from behind to beat Burton Albion 2-1 in Saturday's friendly at Pirelli Stadium.

Australia international Holman, a summer arrival from AZ Alkmaar, struck the deciding goal for Paul Lambert's side in the 83rd minute of their opening pre-season fixture.

Hosts Burton had earlier taken a ninth-minute lead through a long-range effort from Robbie Weir before Villa drew level just before half-time following an own goal by triallist Marcus Holness.

Everton beat Morecambe 4-1 with Francisco Junior, Apostolos Vellios and Jack Rodwell all netting in the first half before Victor Anichebe added a fourth after the break at the Globe Arena.

The match was a testimonial for Morecambe manager Jim Bentley and some charitable Everton defending allowed him to net a late consolation for the Shrimps after appearing as a substitute.

Top-flight newcomers Reading were among the goals as they thrashed AFC Wimbledon 7-0, with Simon Church leading the way with a 15-minute hat-trick in the second half.

His fellow striker Adam Le Fondre had notched twice to give Reading a 2-0 half-time lead, with the Royals' other goals coming from Michail Antonio and Jordan Obita after the break at Cherry Red Records Stadium.

And Sam Baldock scored his third goal in as many pre-season matches as West Ham beat Southend 3-0 at Roots Hall. Nicky Maynard and Jordan Spence also registered but there was an injury worry for the Hammers with young left-back Dan Potts stretchered off after an aerial challenge.

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