By the time Arsenal suited up to take on Lyon in a friendly dressed up to be a part of the ‘Dubai Super Cup’, 26 days had passed since we last saw the Gunners in action.
Oh, how we’ve missed them!
With ten first-teamers out of action due to their participation in the World Cup, several fringe players got the chance to impress Mikel Arteta on Thursday afternoon.
They were 3-0 up inside 39 minutes.
Mikel Arteta’s Gunners remind us of their majesty in friendly win over Lyon
The Gunners dazzled in Dubai as Gabriel rose highest from a corner to give Arteta’s side the lead 19 minutes in. Eddie Nketiah kick-started his stint as the club’s leading man up top in Gabriel Jesus’ absence with a fine first-half showing that culminated in Arsenal’s second just after the 30-minute mark before Fabio Vieira rounded off a flowing move on the edge of the box to complete a near-perfect half of football.
No Jesus? No problem. Sounds like something Judas said way back when.
Arteta introduced Marquinhos for the impressive Vieira at the start of the second half and he came so close to adding a fourth for the north Londoners on several occasions. The boss then rang the changes and allowed a whole host of academy stars to shine at a senior level.
Ethan Nwaneri and Reuell Walters were among those introduced, but it was 17-year-old full-back Lino Sousa who particularly impressed in his cameo.
The kids were able to hold on to the 3-0 advantage before they had the responsibility of possibly earning the Gunners a bonus point in the post-match penalty shootout – only in Dubai, eh? While Arsenal were sub-par from the spot, FOUR saves from Karl Hein handed them a 2-1 victory in the shootout.
A rare four point outing.
For those that took the £5.99 hit to stream the contest on the club’s official website, the experience was undoubtedly an enjoyable one and a timely reminder of the football Arteta’s side can produce, even without a bunch of its stars.
AC Milan await the Gunners next Tuesday before Juventus visit the Emirates on 17 December for the club’s final official fixture ahead of the Premier League’s return on Boxing Day.
I, for one, cannot wait for West Ham to come to town.