If this is the shape of things to come, then Notts County's bold signing of Sven Goran Eriksson as director of football could prove to have more legs than the publicity stunt that some dismissed his appointment as.
Queues of County fans down Meadow Lane trying to get their first glimpse of their League Two club's new era – Destination Championship: the five-year plan – meant a delayed start before a 12,000-strong crowd got in to see the Magpies beat Nottingham Forest 2-1.
The bigger brothers from across the River Trent began as if they were going to put their ambitious neighbours in their place, but by the end the European champions of yore, hoping to work their way back to the top flight, were left with the impression that County's plans could come to fruition under their well-heeled new owners after the Magpies claimed local bragging rights.
The sun shone on Meadow Lane as Eriksson, the former England coach, was introduced to the supporters but the home fans had little else to cheer in a scrappy first half. However, County started the second half as if they meant business. They took the lead when Luke Rodgers, one of their new signings, capitalised on a slip by Wes Morgan and beat Lee Camp in the Forest goal. Lee Hughes, another new arrival, made it 2-0 with a header after good work by Craig Westcarr. Forest made substitutions, but the best they could do was pull a goal back through Lewis McGugan thanks to a mistake by Kevin Pilkington, a second-half substitute in the County goal.
It was a day to remember of a different kind for those other Magpies from the North-east. Newcastle United took their relegated band of internationals to east London to continue their preparation for life in the Championship and were given a 6-1 thrashing by Leyton Orient.
The League One side quickly took a two-goal lead and were not knocked out of their stride when Joey Barton pulled a goal back after half an hour with a penalty, even if Newcastle did give Jamie Jones in the Orient goal a tough workout for the rest of the first half. The home side came out fired up after the break and although Glenn Morris was made to work hard after taking over in the home goal, Orient were unstoppable, racing to a humiliating defeat of Newcastle. Scott McGleish, Tamika Mkandawire, Ryan Jarvis and Harry Baker added to the early goals from Jimmy Smith and Sean Thornton, the latter's a penalty for handball.
Another of the relegated sides, Middlesbrough, had more joy in their outing away to League One side Carlisle, winning 2-0. Adam Johnson opened the scoring with a curling free-kick and Rhys Williams, a substitute, added the second with a shot on the run after beating three men.
West Bromwich, the third of the sides ousted from the Premier League in May, also travelled to face League One opposition and had to make do with a 2-2 draw. They had to recover from a two-goal deficit after sloppy defending had twice let Walsall in, but Luke Moore continued his good pre-season by pulling a goal back and winning the penalty from which Craig Beattie scored the equaliser.
Leeds United, still languishing in League One, put up an impressive performance against Blackburn in front of 12,000 at Elland Road, only a last-minute penalty by Paul Gallagher after a foul by Alan Sheehan depriving them of victory. Leeds had been hanging on to a 50th-minute lead given them by Jermaine Beckford after Luciano Beccio nodded on a corner by Robert Snodgrass.
Yuri Zhirkov, the winger signed from CSKA Moscow, scored the winner as Chelsea beat Milan 2-1 in Baltimore on Friday night. It was a satisfying victory for Chelsea's new manager Carlo Ancelotti against the team that he managed for nine seasons. "It was a difficult game because Milan played so well," said Ancelotti, who resigned as manager of the Italian club in May to take charge at Chelsea.
With the score 1-1, Milan goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac stopped two close-range shots before Zhirkov's low drive found the corner of the net. Didier Drogba had given Chelsea a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute with a rising shot, but Milan equalised in the 38th minute through the veteran Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf, who went off with a leg injury before the end.Reuse content