Christian Pulisic makes Chelsea debut in defeat to Kawasaki Frontale

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Brazilian striker Damiao headed Chelsea to a 1-0 defeat in Japan as J League side Kawasaki Frontale claimed a famous pre-season scalp.

The substitute’s late effort in Yokohama settled a game into which Frank Lampard’s men had gradually grown, but the Premier League outfit, who handed a debut to Christian Pulisic as a second-half replacement, could not make the breakthrough.

A Chelsea starting line-up which included Willy Caballero, Mason Mount, Kenedy and Michy Batshuayi, struggled to break the hosts down with Pedro forcing an early save and sending another shot just over the bar before Kenedy blasted just wide from distance.

However, Caballero had to make a late save to deny the J League champions a half-time lead.

Lampard made changes at the break with Davide Zappacosta, Andreas Christensen, Emerson, Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud replacing Cesar Azpilicueta, Kurt Zouma, Marcos Alonso, Pedro and Batshuayi, but it was Mount who came close to opening the scoring with a curling effort within three minutes of the restart.

Giroud was denied by a solid save from a 75th-minute free-kick, but Damiao, who had earlier sent a diving effort just wide, headed the home side in front with two minutes remaining and his contribution proved decisive.

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Pep Guardiola happy with defensive options at Man City amid Harry Maguire links

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Pep Guardiola claims it is not vital Manchester City sign a new centre-back before the start of their latest Premier League title defence.

The back-to-back champions have a central defender less following the departure of Vincent Kompany at the end of last season.

City have been linked with Leicester’s Harry Maguire but, even if a new face does not arrive, Guardiola feels he is well covered in the position with Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.

The City boss said: “We are so happy with the squad we have. I don’t know if the players here will stay or new players will come, but I am delighted with the players we have.

“Maybe (we will buy) but we have three incredible central defenders and Fernandinho can play in that position. We will see.”

One player continually linked with a move away from City is winger Leroy Sane, with Bayern Munich making public their interest in the player.

Guardiola, a former Bayern manager, said: “For a long time they are talking about (it) but Leroy is our player. Hopefully he can stay here and the next season, and the next season.”

Guardiola was speaking at a press conference in China where City are involved in the Premier League Asia Trophy. They face Wolves in the final in Shanghai on Saturday after beating West Ham in Nanjing on Wednesday.

It has been a difficult trip for City so far after their flight from the UK was twice delayed due to an administrative problem. Consequently they had little time to acclimatise or overcome jetlag before facing the Hammers after they arrived on Tuesday.

Guardiola was asked bluntly if he was happy to be in China. He replied equally firmly with “yes” but was cryptic when asked how seriously he was taking the tour.

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Mauricio Pochettino makes Tottenham revelation about Champions League

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Pochettino masterminded a stunning turnaround.

Mauricio Pochettino admits he would probably have quit Tottenham had they won the Champions League.

The Argentinian has been in the hot-seat since 2014 and led the club to their first Champions League final in the summer.

Spurs lost 2-0 to Liverpool in June’s Madrid showpiece – an outcome that seemingly prevented Pochettino moving on to pastures new.

“It was an amazing period,” he said. “After five years in a difficult project at Tottenham we talk a lot about perception and reality, how we fight and all the energy we expend trying to get Tottenham fighting with the best teams in Europe and England.

“Of course it’s always in your head, you never know. With the way I am, I am always going to prioritise the club over myself.”

Copy provided by Press Association Sport

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