Arsenal vs Lyon Football Match 8 Dec 2022
About the match
Arsenal is going head to head with Olympique Lyonnais starting on 8 Dec 2022 at 15:30 UTC . The match is a part of the Club Friendly Games.
Barring an early EFL Cup exit to Brighton & Hove Albion, defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford and a somewhat disappointing draw away at Southampton, the start to the 2022-23 season has been a better one than many Arsenal fans could have ever envisaged.
Mikel Arteta’s side are guaranteed to be top of the table at Christmas for the first time since the 2007-08 season as they hold a five-point lead over reigning champions Manchester City, whom they were due to meet prior to the World Cup break before the death of Queen Elizabeth II threw the footballing calendar into disarray.
A straightforward 2-0 success over Wolverhampton Wanderers came in the same weekend that Man City were stunned 2-1 by Brentford at the Etihad Stadium, allowing Arteta to steer his current team out of sight over his former employers, but all eyes will be on whether they can maintain a title charge in the New Year.
News of a serious injury to Gabriel Jesus has already led some Arsenal fans to concede defeat in the title race – similar to the 2007-08 season, when the Gunners fell off the pace after Eduardo da Silva’s horrific leg break – but victory over West Ham United on Boxing Day could go a long way to holding their place at the summit.
Following Thursday’s contest with Lyon, Arsenal will round off their warm-weather training camp in Dubai with a fixture against AC Milan on Tuesday before returning home, where Juventus will be waiting at the Emirates for another tantalizing exhibition encounter on December 17.
Amid his perennial struggles to force his way into the France setup – even one that has been decimated by injuries – former Arsenal captain Alexandre Lacazette is set for a swift reunion with the team he served for five years, but his impressive form back in his homeland has left some questioning where that ruthlessness was during his final days in red and white.
Having immediately been handed the captain’s armband upon his return to Les Gones, Lacazette has rediscovered the form that caught the eye of Arsenal in the first place, already scoring nine goals and setting up three more in 15 Ligue 1 outings during a new era for Lyon.
Peter Bosz’s departure was a case of when and not if for a number of months, but Laurent Blanc has overseen a steady period since replacing the Dutchman back in October, picking up seven points from his first five Ligue 1 games after masterminding wins over Montpellier HSC and 2020-21 champions Lille.
Just before the World Cup break, former Arsenal striker Lacazette and current Gunners loanee Nicolas Pepe both scored from the spot as Lyon and Nice played out a 1-1 draw, one which leaves Les Gones eighth in the table with 21 points from their opening 15 games, and they ran out 5-3 winners over OH Leuven in a friendly at the start of the month.
Blanc therefore has plenty of work to do if he is to steer Lyon back into Europe, with Les Gones seven points adrift of the European spots and 10 behind third-placed Rennes, and they are no strangers to friendly wins over Arsenal, who lost to the French side 2-1 in the Emirates Cup following a brace from Moussa Dembele.