Essien returns, scores | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 19, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 19, 2010

Essien returns, scores

Premier League champions Chelsea kicked off their pre-season preparations with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday, while there were also wins for Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton.
Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien made a goalscoring return after missing Ghana's World Cup campaign with a knee injury, netting the winning goal in the 60th minute with a crisp shot from the edge of the Palace area.
"It was an important return, he came back very well and played very well," said Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti.
"He is a fantastic player, we missed him last season and we hope he can do the best for this season."
Summer signings Laurent Koscielny and Marouane Chamakh both made their debuts as Arsenal cruised to a 4-0 win in their traditional pre-season curtain-raiser against English fourth-tier side Barnet.
Russian attacking midfielder Andrey Arshavin put Arsene Wenger's men 1-0 up after dancing around the goalkeeper in the third minute, before a neat brace by young striker Jay Simpson put the game beyond Barnet.
France international Samir Nasri scored Arsenal's fourth in the 75th minute when he seized on a mistake by a Barnet defender before calmly beating the goalkeeper.
Manchester United, who finished second behind Chelsea in the Premier League last season, began their North American tour with a 3-1 defeat of Scottish giants Celtic in Toronto.
Dimitar Berbatov put United ahead in the 34th minute, burying the ball in the bottom-right corner with his left foot after controlling Mame Biram Diouf's left-wing cross.
Celtic drew level just after the hour when Giorgios Samaras netted a penalty following debutant Chris Smalling's foul on Celtic new boy Joe Ledley, before Danny Welbeck restored United's lead from Berbatov's cutback.
Berbatov then teed up Tom Cleverley, whose shot in the 86th minute deflected off a Celtic defender to leave Celtic keeper Lukasz Zaluska stranded.
"I enjoyed the whole game," said Berbatov.
"We have started well with a win. We have a lot of games before the season starts so I think we will be fully prepared."
Liverpool's friendly against Al-Hilal in Switzerland was called off after the pitch was deemed unplayable following heavy rain.
It means new Reds boss Roy Hodgson will have to wait until Wednesday, when they face Swiss side Grasshoppers, for his first game since taking over from Rafael Benitez.
Everton rounded off their Australian tour with a third straight win thanks to a goal eight minutes from time against Brisbane Roar from new signing Magaye Gueye.
The Frenchman latched onto an inviting low cross from Jose Baxter to tuck the ball home at the back post and give the Toffees a 2-1 victory.
Highly rated English midfielder Jack Rodwell gave the visitors the lead with a delightful 20-yard shot in the 49th minute, before Kosta Barbarouses drew the Roar level in the second half.
Elsewhere, Bobby Zamora earned last season's Europa League runners-up Fulham a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth while promoted Newcastle won 3-0 at Carlisle thanks to goals from Leon Best, Nile Ranger and Haris Vuckic.
Sunderland saw off Darlington 1-0, Wolves beat Bohemians 3-0 while Blackburn enjoyed a 2-0 win over non-league Fleetwood Town.

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