New Lyon manager Sylvinho guided his team to their first victory under his stewardship as they came through their toughest assignment so far this pre-season with an encouraging 2-1 win against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London.
The Gunners, who had recently beaten Bayern Munich and drawn with Real Madrid on their tour, fielded a strong starting eleven, including Lyon old boy Alexandre Lacazette, but shorn of Mesut Özil and Sead Kolasinac, who were victims of an attempted car-jacking a few days earlier.
Lyon were again without central defender Marcelo, due to injury, but welcomed back Lucas Tousart, Houssem Aouar and Moussa Dembélé, who had been playig for France in the UEFA European Under 21 Championships last month. New signing Joachim Andersen was also included in the match day squad.
Sylvinho opted for a 4-3-3 formation with new Brazilian signings Thiago Mendes and Jean Lucas in midfield alongside Cheikh Diop. Martin Terrier had been due to start up front but suffered a thigh strain in the warm up and will be out for a couple of weeks. Amine Gouiri replaced him in the line up. The full starting XI was as follows:
Lopes – Dubois, Yanga Mbiwa, Denayer, Marçal – Mendes, Lucas, Diop – Gouiri, Depay, Traoré.
Lyon started poorly and were under the cosh for long periods during the first half, having to thank Portuguese goalkeeper Anthony Lopes for keeping the deficit to a single goal at the interval. The brake-through came in the thirty fifth minute when Aubameyang converted a cross from Mkhitarian.
Aouar, Tousart and Dembélé replaced Diop, Jean Lucas and Gouiri for the second period and immediately changed the game in Lyon’s favour, with Memphis Depay moving to the left side of attack and causing Arsenal problems down that flank. Dembélé equalised with a header from a Depay cross in the 66th minute and was put through by Aouar in the 75th minute to complete the turn-around and snatch victory.
Andersen and Rafael came on for the last half hour, and there was also some game time for Tete and Fofana in the final fifteen minutes to complete a satisfactory afternoon for the Lyonnais