Arsenal hit Lyon for six in Emirates Cup
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal racked up the biggest win in Emirates Cup history as they began the two-day pre-season tournament in style by thrashing Lyon 6-0.
Olivier Giroud, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alex Iwobi – with his first senior goal for the club – and Aaron Ramsey were all on target inside a frantic nine-minute spell during the first half.
Mesut Ozil and substitute Santi Cazorla added further goals after the break to eclipse the Gunners’ previous best victory in the tournament, when they beat Benfica 5-1 a year ago.
Emiliano Martinez, who started between the posts in place of Petr Cech, was soon called into action, blocking with his legs when Cameroon international Clinton N’Jie breached the Gunners’ back line.
But Giroud broke the deadlock at the end of a relatively tame opening half-hour – albeit meeting Ozil’s free-kick with his shoulder as he evaded his marker to find the net.
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That was the trigger for a flurry of free-flowing goals and Arsenal blitzed their opponents twice within 90 seconds, as Ozil and Giroud combined to set up Oxlade-Chamberlain, who drilled a low finish into the far corner.
Oxlade-Chamberlain played a key role in the next, which also involved Ozil and Ramsey, whose pass was tucked first time into the net by the left foot of Iwobi.
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Lyon looked shell-shocked and the Gunners took advantage to go 4-0 up with seven minutes remaining in the first half, Ozil playing a pass to the near post, where Ramsey nipped in ahead of Samuel Umtiti to score.
Martinez ensured that the four-goal margin remained intact at the break with saves to deny Alexandre Lacazette and Ulrich Jenssen, but Arsenal were soon back in the ascendancy after the restart.
Oxlade-Chamberlain carved through the Lyon defence and fired a shot that looked on its way into the corner before it struck Mehdi Zeffane and spun past the opposite post.
Instead it was Ozil who added his name to the scoresheet just after the hour mark, collecting a lay-off from Giroud to rifle an unstoppable drive beyond the hapless Anthony Lopes.
At the other end, N’jie grazed the side netting and Lacazette went close with a volley – but Arsenal had the final word five minutes from time when Chuba Akpom was brought down and Cazorla buried the resulting free-kick into the bottom corner.
The Gunners are in action again on Sunday when they face Wolfsburg, who lost 2-1 to Villarreal in the opening game of the tournament.
Arsenal: Martinez; Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Ramsey (Arteta 63), Coquelin (Hayden 79); Oxlade-Chamberlain (Reine-Adelaide 71), Ozil (Cazorla 63), Iwobi (Akpom 63); Giroud (Walcott 71).