Arsenal: 5-star UWCL performance in Lyon

Stina Blackstenius of Arsenal high fives teammate Beth Mead.
Stina Blackstenius of Arsenal celebrates with Beth Mead and teammates after scoring. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Arsenal tore apart reigning UWCL champions Lyon in a six-goal thriller. It was the first game in Arsenal’s 2022/23 UWCL group stage campaign, where the club will also face Juventus and Zürich.

Jonas Eidevall’s team had to deal with several issues in the build-up to this game. For example, the defensive duo of Rafaelle Souza and Leah Williamson picked up injuries expected to keep them out for several weeks. However, this ultimate team performance got their UWCL campaign off to a winning start.

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Starting lineups

Arsenal: Zinsberger; McCabe, Catley, Wubben-Moy, Wienroither, Wälti (Nobbs, 77′), Maanum, Little, Foord (Hurtig, 80′), Blackstenius (Miedema, 80′), Mead.

Lyon: Endler; Jaurena (Damaris, 38′), Renard, Sombath, Bacha (Morroni, 81′), Henry, Van de Donk (Bruun, 80′), Horan, Cayman, Le Sommer, Malard (Becho, 87′).

Beth Mead continues her blazing form

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The visitors enjoyed the more electric start, as Frida Maanum—on her first start this season—forced Endler into an early save within the second minute.

A great ball down the line from captain Kim Little allowed Beth Mead acres of space. Mead used this to her advantage to send in a wonderful cross that was poked home by Caitlin Foord—one of Arsenal’s most in-form players.

Following the opening goal, a wave of pressure came from the French champions. But ten minutes after the opener, Maanum bagged her first goal of the season.

Despite Arsenal dominating the early periods of the game, Lyon gained one goal back through Malard after Horan hit the crossbar. The goal proved to be their only contribution to the evening’s scoreline.

Mead scored a free kick from the edge of the box shortly before the whistle was blown for halftime.

Arsenal secure their first-ever win against Lyon

The second half saw more intense pressure from the reigning champions. The home side increased their intensity to try and reduce the two-goal deficit.

Arsenal had the best chances in the second half. This was rewarded when Foord scored her second of the game in the 67th minute, following an error from Lyon captain Renard.

The 69th minute saw Mead score her second goal after a lovely threaded ball by Maanum.

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This match also marked Vivianne Miedema’s 150th appearance in red and white after being substituted on in the 80th minute.

The match was a night to forget for the hosts who have several injuries. It also marked the end of their unbeaten home run since April 2021. However, Arsenal’s performance was one to remember and will leave fans excited for their home tie against Zürich next week.

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