Arsenal: Martinez, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Coquelin, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Iwobi, Giroud
Subs: Cech, Gabriel, Monreal, Chambers, Bellerin, Hayden, Arteta, Cazorla, Reine-Adelaide, Walcott, Akpom
Arsenal hit Lyon for six in their first game of the Emirates Cup 2015.
The opening 10 minutes were fairly uneventful, brightened by some nice touches by youngster Alex Iwobi, but definitely not by Arsenal’s new away shirt which looks like somebody washed a real away kit in charcoal then turned the contrast down by 75% before rubbing it with engine oil and the blood squeezed from nits that live on a street urchin.
The first big shot of the game from the visitors after a Lacazette flick and an N’Jie shot which Martinez parried away. At the other end Ramsey fired over the bar. Then nothing much happened for a bit before some bloke called Lindsay Rose – whose name sounds like the title of a Nick Cave song – got booked for clobbering Coquelin.
Then Lyon had to make a sub when Grenier kicked the ball like a doleful mule and hurt his hip, he was replaced by Nabil Fekir (like most of their side linked with Arsenal in the not too distant past).
A Ramsey pass found Ozil who got behind the defence but he pre-seasoned it after a nice turn inside the defender, but after Debuchy was fouled out wide Ozil turned provider. He took a free kick into the box, Giroud did a Mertesacker in the FA Cup final impression by pretending to head but looping it into the top corner with his shoulder. 1-0.
The lead was doubled two minutes later when Arsenal broke from deep, Ramsey played it Giroud who held it and laid the ball off perfectly into the run of Oxlade-Chamberlain. He stormed into the box and lashed a low shot into the bottom corner. 2-0.
And a minute later the Gunners made it 3, with another fantastic break from midfield, Ramsey’s pass to Iwobi in the box allowed the youngster to hit the ball into the net from close range to make it 3-0.
The Arsenal juggernaut was going full steam so it was no surprise when we scored again. Ozil picked it up down the left hand side, waited, saw Ramsey’s run and played the ball with the perfect weight, allowing the Welshman to poke the ball home at the near post for 4-0.
There wre some moments from Lyon afterwards when Lacazette saw a shot palmed away, and some other fella had a follow-up but Martinez held onto it in the end. Coquelin got himself booked before the whistle bur the Gunners took the impressive lead into the break.
Arsenal began the second period on the front foot, Oxlade-Chamberlain denied a goal by a deflection in the opening minutes, while a good Lyon break saw N’Jie shoot wide when he really should have hit the target.
A good Gibbs crossed found Giroud at the near post but he volleyed just wide, Debuchy forced a save from Lopes, before some nice combination play saw Giroud tee up Ozil who drilled a shot across goal and into the bottom corner for 5-0.
That was the precursor for a trio of Arsenal subs with Ozil, Ramsey, Iwobi taken off, with Arteta, Cazorla and Akpom coming on. There followed more changes with Theo Walcott and Jeff Reine-Adelaide replacing Giroud and Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 70th minute.
Nothing else happened until Isaac Hayden was introduced for Francis Coquelin with 12 minutes to go. Lacazette fired a volley wide, and a good run from Akpom won a free kick just outside the box. Santi Cazorla stepped up, drilled it cheekily under the wall with his left foot and into the bottom corner with the keeper grasping at fresh air. 6-0.
It was almost 7 when Akpom hit the post after some impressive work from Reine-Adelaide in midfield, before Lopes made a good close-range save from Walcott who had been set up beautifully by Cazorla.
In the end a comfortable win, some impressive individual performances, and that word cohesion springs to mind once again.