Fergie checks out Ozil at the Cottage

Although the Manchester United boss has claimed he is happy with

his current squad, the opportunity to take a look at Germany

playmaker Mesut Ozil was too much to resist. Ferguson even swerved

United’s annual public training session at Old Trafford to see Ozil

in action and given the 21-year-old has said previously how much he

admires United, the Scot’s presence will only fuel rumours of an

imminent transfer. Not that Ozil will have been too pleased about

the result though as Fulham strode to an impressive 5-1 win, with

Zoltan Gera netting a hat-trick. Prospective England striker Bobby

Zamora was also on target, offering a further nudge to national

team manager Fabio Capello. Manchester City defeated Valencia 2-0

in their final warm-up clash. Goals from Gareth Barry and Jo saw

off their Spanish oppostion at Eastlands. Also making their mark

this afternoon were Arsenal duo Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere, who

were involved in a quite extraordinary encounter with Legia Warsaw.

Gibbs was among those on target in an 11-goal thriller the Gunners

managed to edge despite falling 3-0 down. Marouane Chamakh began

the comeback, although it was not until Emmanuel Eboue scored twice

in eight second-half minutes that Arsene Wenger’s men managed to

draw level. Gibbs’ effort put them in front but it took late goals

from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Samir Nasri to ensure victory in a

pre-season encounter that will live long in the memory. The high

point of Everton’s trip to Germany to face Steve McClaren’s

Wolfsburg was undoubtedly confirmation that Mikel Arteta has signed

a five-year contract extension with the Goodison Park outfit.

Little went right once the match began as the Toffeemen fell to a

2-0 defeat, which included a Tim Howard penalty save from

highly-rated striker Edin Dzeko. Robbie Keane’s return to

prominence at Tottenham continued as the Irishman bagged a

second-half brace to seal victory over Fiorentina at White Hart

Lane. Roman Pavlyuchenko did tap home one equaliser but Harry

Redknapp’s men were behind until Keane took centre stage, grabbing

an injury-time winner to leave Tottenham to head into a crucial

two-week period in positive mood. Mame Biram Diouf scored on his

debut for Blackburn to give Sam Allardyce’s men a share of the

spoils at Hearts. Diouf has moved to Ewood Park on loan from

Manchester United and quickly made an impact after Suso Santana’s

deflected effort had given the Scots a first-half lead at

Tynecastle. West Ham beat Deportivo La Coruna on penalties, Pablo

Barrera converting the winner for Avram Grant’s men, who had

finished goalless after 90 minutes. Birmingham lost their unbeaten

record in pre-season as Emilio Nsue’s second-half effort proved

enough for Real Mallorca at St Andrew’s. It was not the way Ben

Foster wanted to mark his home debut in the Blues goal, although

fellow new boy Nikola Zigic did come close to an equaliser late on.

West Brom suffered a blow before the start of their clash with

Osasuna as summer arrival Pablo Ibanez was forced to pull out

through injury. It didn’t stop Roberto Di Matteo’s men turning in

an impressive performance, with Scotland international James

Morrison putting them in front. However, it did not last and Oier

equalised five minutes from time. Wolves ran out 2-1 winners at

Molineux against Athletic Bilbao after an impressive performance.

Steven Fletcher and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake were on target for Mick

McCarthy’s men. Aberdeen’s toughest test of their pre-season

programme proved too much as the Scottish Premier League outfit

lost 2-0 to Kaiserslautern in Germany. Seven days before their

opening SPL fixture with Celtic, Inverness had marginally more joy,

Richie Foran returning from injury to grab the goal that earned a

home draw with Royal Antwerp.