FIVE things we learned from Arsenal's win over Lyon

Eddie Nketiah makes a case to fill Gabriel Jesus’ shoes, Mikel Arteta means business in the Gunners’ mid-World Cup friendlies… and Alexandre Lacazette can only chase his former team-mates’ shadows! FIVE things we learned from Arsenal’s win over Lyon

  • Arsenal cruised to a 3-0 win over Lyon in their opening Dubai Super Cup match
  • Eddie Nketiah was among the scorers as he aims to step in for Gabriel Jesus
  • Alexandre Lacazette failed to make an impact against his former side
  • Summer signing Fabio Vieira showcased his talent throughout the first half 

Arsenal enjoyed a confidence boosting 3-0 win on their first outing at the Dubai Super Cup against Lyon as the Premier League leaders prepare for the domestic season’s resumption later this month.

The display will have given Mikel Arteta optimism ahead of the restart despite being without 10 players, who have been with their respective national sides at the World Cup in Qatar.

Several of Arteta’s squad will hope to have given the Arsenal manager food for thought during the first of two matches they are due to play as part of a warm-weather training camp in the UAE.

Here Sportsmail takes a look at what we learned from clash with Lyon.

Mikel Arteta’s side began the Dubai Super Cup with a comfortable 3-0 win over Lyon

Eddie Nketiah made his case to step into Gabriel Jesus’ shoes 

Arteta admitted post match that the absence of Jesus would have an impact on his team, with no clear timescale on the forward’s return from the knee injury he sustained at the World Cup.

With Jesus having undergone surgery to correct the problem in his right knee, Arteta said the club would have to look at the options available to them, having been asked whether the injury has impacted the club’s transfer plans.

Nketiah is best placed to step into Jesus’ boots when the Premier League season returns – despite suggestions Gabriel Martinelli could move into a central role.

Nketiah’s display in Dubai was always going to be scrutinised following Jesus’ injury and 23-year-old produced an impressive showing. Nketiah was involved from the start, setting up Reiss Nelson for an early chance when the fellow academy graduate struck the upright.

Arteta would undoubtedly have been pleased to see Nketiah get on the scoresheet as he finished off a counter-attack from Fabio Vieira’s pass. With Jesus likely to be on the sidelines for an extended spell, these warm-up matches could be vital in filling Nketiah with confidence ahead of a potential run in the starting line-up.

Eddie Nketiah scored Arsenal’s second as he prepares to replace the injured Gabriel Jesus

Arteta wants to maintain momentum by naming a strong side

Arsenal’s increased strength in depth was shown by Arteta being able to name a strong side, despite 10 of his players being away at the World Cup.

The Arsenal boss selected a familiar team for the first-half against Lyon, with third-choice goalkeeper Karl Hein the only starter without Premier League experience.

Arteta’s decision was justified as the Premier League leaders raced into a 3-0 advantage before half-time.

The opening hour appeared the perfect tune-up for the restart of the season, with Gabriel and Rob Holding’s strong displays in central defence preventing Lyon from having any clear cut openings, while captain Martin Odegaard was free to create and Mohamed Elneny and Sambi Lokonga offered midfield security.

The dominance allowed Arteta to freshen the side up in the second half. He made 10 changes to rest his starters and give academy players a taste of the action.

The Arsenal manager’s task over the World Cup break has been to ensure his side do not lose their momentum after powering into a five-point lead after 14 matches – and went some way to achieving that with Thursday’s comfortable win. 

Arteta was rewarded for naming a strong team with an impressive first-half showing

Lacazette leads Lyon but struggles against former team-mates

The friendly offered Arsenal a quick reunion with Alexandre Lacazette following the Frenchman’s departure on a free transfer in the summer. Lacazette had a frustrating end to his five-year spell in North London, contributing just four goals during his last season in the league.

The 31-year-old has been reinvigorated on his return to his boyhood club, scoring nine times in 15 Ligue 1 appearances. The Frenchman is fourth in the Ligue 1 scoring charts behind Paris Saint-Germain stars Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, and Terem Moffi of Lorient.

Lacazette greeted his Arsenal team-mates prior to kick-off but the Lyon captain endured a difficult afternoon in Dubai before being substituted in the second half. He was well marshalled by Gabriel and Holding throughout, and gave the ball away in the build-up to Nketiah’s goal.

Lacazette, who scored 71 goals in 206 games at the Emirates Stadium, produced one typically powerful effort seconds after the restart but saw his effort sail over the Arsenal crossbar. The forward could point to a lack of service from his team-mates, with Lyon carrying little threat during the contest.

Former Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette failed to make an impact during the friendly

Summer signings Fabio Vieira and Marquinhos have the talent 

Fabio Vieira has largely been seen in the Europa League since signing for the Gunners from Porto in the summer. The £30million man has made just one start in the Premier League but came off the bench to provide an assist in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Wolves before the mid-season break.

Vieira was able to showcase his abilities during the first half against Lyon, linking impressively with Odegaard throughout. The Portugal under-21 international could have given Arsenal the lead when sent through by Odegaard but was denied by Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.

Operating on the right, Vieira regularly cut inside onto his left foot, skewing an effort wide of Lopes’ post after an Odegaard dummy, before laying on Nketiah’s strike.

Vieira’s final act of match was his best, his curling left footed effort into the top corner crowning a free-flowing Arsenal move and dominant half of football.

Fabio Vieira’s stunning goal capped an impressive first-half showing for the midfielder

His half-time replacement Marquinhos went close to matching Vieira with his first contribution as the Brazilian saw a powerful strike turned onto the crossbar by Lopes. Marquinhos – like Vieira – joined Arsenal in the summer and will be hoping to push for further first team chances. 

The 19-year-old was lively during the opening stages of the second half, but had less impact when the raft of substitutions disrupted the flow of the game.

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Marquinhos calmly slotted in his penalty at the start of the shoot-out, which marked the high point in a low-quality affair. 

Karl Hein stars during a penalty shootout where few others did

Arsenal secured a bonus point in the Dubai Super Cup but winning a penalty shoot-out at the end of the 90 minutes.

Marquinhos and Matt Smith gave Arsenal the perfect start to the shootout before the quality of spot-kicks deteriorated significantly.

Catalin Cirjan saw an attempted Panenka comfortably stopped, before Amorio Cozier-Duberry had a penalty saved and Reuell Walters blazed over.

Estonian goalkeeper Karl Hein was one of few to emerge from the shootout with credit after the Arsenal stopper kept out four Lyon penalties. The 20-year-old, who had little to do throughout the match, guessed correctly to save from former Arsenal youngster Jeff Reine-Adelaide, before stopping Kenny Tete and Bradley Barcola.

Hein had the simplest task of keeping out Rayan Cherki’s woeful penalty, with the Frenchman’s Panenka effectively being chipped into the goalkeeper’s grateful hands.

Hein was making a rare appearance for Arsenal with Aaron Ramsdale and Matt Turner having been called up to England and the United States’ World Cup squads, respectively. 

Karl Hein saved four Lyon penalties to earn Arsenal a bonus point in the Dubai Super Cup

 


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