Recovering Lampard scores
Even with a recovering Frank Lampard, Chelsea looks potent heading into the English Premier League season. Lampard and Romelu Lukaku scored in the second half to lead Chelsea to a 2-1 victory over Roma in Washington, in the final friendly of its preseason US tour before its opening match at Hull City next Sunday. Lampard, who has been recovering from an Achilles injury this summer, scored on a 20m strike inside the left post to level the score in the 61st minute after Eric Lamela’s opportunistic 21st minute goal put Roma ahead. Chelsea created chances throughout Saturday’s match and was rewarded in the closing moments when Hazard rounded the Roma defense on the left side and drove a shot into goalkeeper Morgan de Sanctis’ body. The rebound fell to Demba Ba, who found Lukaku in front of the net for the game-winner. Roma, playing its last friendly of a three-match North American tour, had previously defeated the Major League Soccer All-Stars and Toronto FC.
Another record for Cardiff
English Premier League new boys Cardiff City have broken their transfer record for a third time in a matter of weeks by striking a deal with Sevilla for Chile midfielder Gary Medel. Cardiff said the 26-year-old had agreed a four-year deal, subject to obtaining a work permit, but did not say how much they paid for their record signing. British media reported a fee of ￡11 million (US$17.08 million). The Welsh side, owned by Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan, have been busy in the transfer market ahead of their first season back in England’s top flight since 1962. The Bluebirds had already broken their transfer record with the signing of Danish striker Andreas Cornelius last month, before they landed Tottenham Hotspur defender Steven Caulker for an even bigger fee four weeks later. Cardiff begin their Premier League campaign away to West Ham United on Saturday.
Wunderkind gets hat-trick
PSV Eindhoven’s 17-year-old wunderkind striker Zakaria Bakkali capped an unforgettable week with a brilliant hat-trick as the 1988 European Cup winners thumped NEC Nijmegen 5-0 in the Dutch championship on Saturday. Three days after the Belgian scored his first goal for PSV on his senior debut for the club in a Champions League third-round qualifying match, Bakkali repaid the faith of manager Phillip Cocu by finding the back of the net in the sixth, 47th and 82nd minutes. Georginio Wijnaldum, who at 22 was the oldest PSV player on the field on Saturday, added the other two goals in the 61st and 75th minutes to leave the 21-time former Dutch champions on top of the standings with six points from two games.
Striker punctures lung
Striker Simon Hedlund suffered a punctured lung after chesting the ball during Elfsborg’s 1-0 win over Kalmar in the Swedish championship on Saturday. Shortly after chesting the ball to teammate Marcus Rodhen, Hedlund had to be carried off the Boras Arena pitch on a stretcher and was taken to hospital after he complained of chest pains and breathlessness. He was diagnosed with a punctured lung in hospital, the club said. “He had pains in his chest when he took deep breaths, but nothing indicated that it was anything more serious,” Elfsborg’s physio Susanne Malby told Sportbladet newspaper.