Rampant Arsenal hit Lyon for six
Arsenal made a stylish start to their Emirates Cup campaign as four goals in nine minutes inspired a scintillating 6-0 rout of Lyon on Saturday.
London: Arsenal made a stylish start to their Emirates Cup campaign as four goals in nine minutes inspired a scintillating 6-0 rout of Lyon on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger`s side demolished their woeful French opponents before half-time in their first match in the four-team pre-season tournament at the Emirates Stadium.
Olivier Giroud opened the scoring on the half-hour before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain doubled the lead.
Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey continued the remarkable goal spree, with Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla netting after half-time to cap a swaggering Arsenal display that suggested they are already approaching peak form with their Premier League opener against West Ham still two weeks away.
Although an Arsenal director this week claimed Wenger has been given a £200 million ($310 million) transfer warchest as the north Londoners aim for a first English title since 2004, the Gunners boss remains happy with the squad that won last season`s FA Cup and has so far signed only goalkeeper Petr Cech from Chelsea.
Arsenal fans arriving at the Emirates might have been disappointed to discover Cech had been left on the bench as Wenger, on the verge of loaning Wojciech Szczesny to Roma, took a look at Argentine back-up Emiliano Martinez.
But that was quickly forgotten as the hosts, despite the absence of Alexis Sanchez -- still resting after helping Chile win the Copa America -- tore apart last season`s Ligue 1 runners-up.
The first chance fell to Lyon when Alexandre Lacazette`s backheel set up a Clinton N`Jie drive that Martinez saved with his legs.
But Hubert Fournier`s team went into complete meltdown after France midfielder Clement Grenier was forced off in the 25th minute.
Grenier had clutched his left leg and collapsed to the turf while attempting a pass and appeared to wipe away tears as he limped down the tunnel.
To add insult to injury for Lyon, Wenger`s team took the lead in the 29th minute when France forward Giroud rose to direct a glancing effort off his shoulder and into the far corner from Ozil`s inswinging free-kick.Giroud turned provider when Arsenal increased their advantage five minutes later with the kind of rapier thrust that so often pierces opposing defences.
Breaking at speed from inside their own half, Ramsey led the Arsenal charge as he picked out Giroud, whose perfectly-weighted pass sent England midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain galloping clear to fire low past Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.
The rampant Gunners were almost unstoppable by now and added a third 60 seconds later after a bewildering blur of quickfire passes gave Iwobi the chance to finish emphatically.
Iwobi, a nephew of Nigeria legend Jay-Jay Okocha, has yet to make his competitive debut for Arsenal, but the 19-year-old winger impressed Wenger during the club`s recent tour to Singapore and his cool strike was the perfect way to announce himself to Arsenal`s fans.
Wenger`s men still weren`t satisfied with their half`s work and made it four in the 38th minute when Ramsey passed to Ozil before embarking on a lung-bursting run that ended with the Wales midfielder prodding past Lopes from close-range.
After that blitz, Arsenal took it easier in the second half, but they were still dominant enough to score twice more.
Ozil finished off a flowing move with a composed 62nd minute strike and Cazorla came off the bench to blast his 85th minute free-kick past the shell-shocked Lopes.
Earlier on Saturday, Villarreal kicked off the tournament with a 2-1 win over Wolfsburg.
On Sunday, Arsenal face Wolfsburg after Villarreal take on Lyon.