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English Premiership

Liverpool & Gunners begin pre-season

LONDON, July 22- Roy Hodgson's Liverpool reign got off to a low-key start with a 0-0 draw at Swiss side Grasshoppers on Wednesday, while French star Samir Nasri scored twice as Arsenal defeated Sturm Graz 3-0.With new signing Joe Cole watching from the sidelines, and with the likes of Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano still on their post-World Cup breaks, Hodgson opted for an experimental side in Switzerland.

Lucas was skipper for the friendly match, David Ngog and David Amoo played up front while Diego Cavalieri started in goal.

Alberto Aquilani’s free-kick was saved by Ivan Benito in Liverpool’s best effort, while Ngog wasted two good chances.

"It was a good effort from the players against a side who have already started their season," said Hodgson.

"It was a remarkable effort to hold a side like Grasshoppers. We threw these guys into an arena which they weren’t quite ready for, but they didn’t let us down."

French international midfielder Nasri scored twice as Arsenal beat Sturm Graz 3-0 in Austria.

Nasri was on target with an accurate drive after 16 minutes to give Arsene Wenger’s side the lead before adding a second in the 43rd minute with a free-kick that curled into the top left-hand corner of the net.

The goal was Nasri’s third of the pre-season programme, as he also scored in the 4-0 defeat of Barnet on Saturday.

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Substitute Henri Lansbury added a third after 57 minutes to wrap up the win over the Austrian Cup holders.

On the day that Arsenal sold 27-year-old Croatian striker Eduardo to Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk, there was plenty of emphasis on youth for the Gunners, with Emmanuel Frimpong and Jack Wilshere driving midfield.

Nasri pushed forward in support of Arsenal new boy Marouane Chamakh, while Thomas Vermaelen was named as captain for the first time in his Arsenal career.

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