The Arsenal supervisor, Jonas Eidevall, had stated that the staff’s Champions League crew degree opener in opposition to the reigning champions, Lyon, can be a “reality check to see where we’re at.” The small contingent of travelling Gunners lovers may well be forgiven for considering that they had stepped into another truth: the place they had been “at” used to be in 7th heaven, because the Ballon d’Or runner-up, Beth Mead, and Australian ahead Caitlin Foord each scored two times in a 5-1 demolition of the event’s maximum a success aspect.
It used to be the primary time Lyon had misplaced by way of a four-goal margin since April 2006 and the primary time that that they had conceded 5 since 2005.
Sonia Bompastor, the Lyon supervisor, stated her staff had now not been “killers” or “efficient” in opposition to a staff “as good as Arsenal,” including that her aspect had to analyse and concentrate on the teachings they are able to be informed from the bruising defeat.
“Many players remain off and we need to cope with that,” she stated of a hefty harm listing. “We need to draw the lessons, analyse and from the mental side we need to build trust to beat Juventus next week.”
After navigating qualifying, there have been fears for Arsenal after they had been positioned in Group C with Lyon, a fast-developing Juventus aspect controlled by way of the previous Arsenal supervisor Joe Montemurro and the Swiss champions, FC Zürich.
“It is a special night”, stated Eidevall after the win in France. “We were very effective tonight, but as I told the players after, they worked extremely hard to carry out the gameplan and looked after the details, when you do that sometimes these things happen.
“You’re not entitled to play like this every game you play, it starts with your preparation, with the way you train, with the belief in the gameplan and you have to do that every game, nothing comes for free in football, you’re not entitled to anything.”
Arsenal had now not controlled a unmarried win in opposition to a French staff in Europe previous to their commute to Lyon. In 8 fits in opposition to Ligue 1 groups, the Gunners had misplaced six occasions and drawn two times.
In entrance of a disappointingly small crowd of 8,012 on the Groupama Stadium, Bompastor made a number of adjustments, however Lyon had been ready to box an overly robust beginning XI regardless.
Eidevall has his personal harm worries, with the England captain, Leah Williamson, and her first-choice centre-back spouse, Rafaelle Souza, each out. Vivianne Miedema used to be at the bench and the scorer of Arsenal’s 2d, Frida Maanum, who Eidevall would describe as “brilliant” after the fit, used to be on in her position.
It took 13 mins for the Gunners to ship the primary blow, they usually deserved their lead. The captain, Kim Little, launched Mead into area at the appropriate and the ahead delivered a neat pass for Foord to transform on the again put up.
Ten mins later, Arsenal doubled their lead, the ahead Stina Blackstenius darting in from the left and forcing a wonderful save from the outstretched foot of Christiane Endler, however Maanum used to be there to side-foot within the rebound.
The makeshift central defensive partnership of Lotte Wubben-Moy and Steph Catley would fall quick now not lengthy after when Lindsey Horan became a nook off the crossbar with her thigh and Melvine Malard pounced fastest to poke in from shut vary, but it surely used to be a blip in an general robust appearing.
By half-time Eidevall’s aspect had restored their two-goal cushion. The Lyon captain, Wendie Renard, used to be penalised for a nasty on Blackstenius and Mead swept the ensuing free-kick across the wall and previous Endler, who were given a hand to the ball however may now not stay it out.
If there have been any fiery phrases stated in the house dressing room at half-time in a bid to up the depth of the staff’s efficiency, there used to be little proof of it at the pitch after the ruin, with Arsenal proficient area far and wide.
They had been rewarded for his or her dominance within the 67th minute when Foord intercepted a rogue move from Renard around the entrance of the field ahead of blasting previous Endler. A minute later it used to be 5, with Maanum liberating Mead and the Euro 2022 golden boot winner sweeping house.
Did they concern Lyon? “We were actually quite chilled about the game,” stated Mead. “There was no expectation on us this evening, and sometimes you can relish in those moments.”
Now, they’ll have to control sky-high expectancies.