LONDON, Sporting Alert – Arsenal hammered Lyon 6-0 in their opening game of the Emirates Cup at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Six different scorers were on the sheet this evening for the Gunners, who were without a few key players, including Alexis Sanchez and Jack Wilshere , while new summer recruit Petr Cech started the game on the bench.
Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alex Iwobi and Olivier Giroud scored in a dominating first half of action for Arsenal, before Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla completed the rout with second half strikes.
“It was a good, dynamic, collective performance where we could see that many players scored goals,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said on Arsenal.com.
“Overall it’s in the continuity of what we did at the end of last season, and we’ve taken that form into pre-season as well. There’s a good team dynamic and we’ve shown again that we can score goals, which is what everybody expects from us.
After a scoreless opening half-hour, Arsenal took the lead through Giroud, who expertly guided home a header over goalkeeper Anthony Lopes after Ozil had sent in a delightful delivery off a free-kick.
Shortly after that Giroud turned provider to make it 2-0.
Ramsey wiggled his way out of trouble inside his own half with some fancy foot work and then found the Frenchman with a nice through ball that he held up very well before teasing it off to the speed Oxlade-Chamberlain, who buried his shot past Lopes into the bottom right corner in the 34th minute.
The goals kept coming after that and the English Premier League side increased its lead one minute later with Alex Iwobi putting his name on the scoresheet this time.
Another team build up saw Ramsey feeding another pass through to Iwobi and the Nigerian smartly turned home past the keeper into the roof of the net to make it 3-0.
He said on the Gunners website: “When Aaron passed me the ball I couldn’t believe it. I just swung my left foot at it and fortunately it went in and I was like ‘oh my gosh.’
“I couldn’t believe it, I was in shock. I didn’t know what to do or how to celebrate but I enjoyed it!
“I have dreamt about it so many times but I never thought it could feel as good as this.
“My family, my friends, my close friends even my uncle was here today so I was glad to get a goal for them.”
Seven minutes before the half time break Ramsey finally put his name on the scoresheet with a cheeky looking finish off the post.
Ozil broke away down the left side and patiently waited on his fellow midfield teammate Ramsey to work his way into the box before playing him through with a ball that the Wales international slipped around Lopes and off the right post in the 38th minute.
With the victory already protected and Lyon seemed focus on playing their second game of the tournament on Sunday, Arsenal found a way to net twice again in the second with Ozil firing low into the bottom corner in the 62nd minute and Cazorla beating the keeper with a low free-kick in the 85th minute.
Wenger was delighted to see six different goalscorers on the stats sheet.
Football is subtle. It’s not mathematics. There’s a logic in the game that means that you create chances when all of your quality players play for each other,” the Frenchman said on Arsenal.com.
“Every game is different. I still say that after the game tonight we are open-minded but we are not in a desperate need, because we were missing [Danny] Welbeck and Alexis who are big players.
“We did not have Wilshere who is a creative player as well. That means we have a good squad.”
The opening Emirates Cup game Villarreal picked up a narrow 2-1 victory over Wolfsburg.
Arsenal will next face Wolfsburg on Sunday, with Lyon going up against Villarreal.