Arsenal vs Lyon. The Emirates Cup.
Lacazette was pictured wearing protective boot after being taken off in first half, but Unai Emery says it was more of a precaution
Sunday 28 July 2019 19:56, UK
Alexandre Lacazette was forced off with an ankle injury as Arsenal were beaten 2-1 by Lyon in the Emirates Cup, but Unai Emery insists his departure was just a precaution.
Arsenal, who had been unbeaten in normal time throughout pre-season, went ahead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the first half, but two second-half strike from Moussa Dembele gave the French side victory.
Concern lay with Lacazette, Arsenal's player of the season last term, having being forced off after just 15 minutes, but Emery said after the game that the injury was "not important."
"We are thinking it is not important. He decided with the doctor and with me that it was better not to risk. The doctor said to me he is going to check tomorrow, but we are thinking it is not important."
Leno, Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Sokratis, Monreal, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Willock, Aubameyang, Lacazette
Arsenal head coach Unai Emery opted to rest both Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac; the pair were involved in a car-jacking attempt on Thursday and, despite the club and both players insisting they were fine following the ordeal, neither were part of the matchday squad.
Emery also decided to start with new signings Gabriel Martinelli and Dani Ceballos on the bench as Granit Xhaka captained the side.
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There was bad news early on for the hosts as Lacazette limped off with an ankle issue, to be replaced by Reiss Nelson having earlier had treatment on the touchline. Lacazette was later pictured on the bench with a protective boot around his left foot.
Arsenal took a deserved lead 10 minutes before the interval as Aubameyang turned home Henrikh Mkhitaryan's cross.
Dembele came off the bench at half-time and headed Lyon level with a little over a quarter of the game remaining after Arsenal's own substitute, Eddie Nketiah, had missed a great headed chance minutes before.
Emery introduced new boys Martinelli and Ceballos, as well as Shkodran Mustafi, for the closing 20 minutes - the two new signings given a rousing reception by the home fans.
Martinelli looked as though he had marked his maiden Emirates Stadium appearance with a quickfire goal but his tap-in was ruled out as he caught the ball with his hand before prodding home.
Lyon then went straight down the other end and took the lead as Dembele beat the offside trap before coolly slotting past the onrushing Bernd Leno.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles was also brought off with strapping around his ankle, as Arsenal's bid to find an equaliser failed.
Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac were rested by Arsenal days after they were confronted by a knife-wielding gang, and Unai Emery confirmed neither were "100 per cent here" and need more time to feel calm and safe.
"They are very important in the team, but also each moment and some circumstance give us that decision, between the player and us, is not the good moment to play, because their mind is not now 100 per cent here, and is a very personal circumstance.
"The most important thing now is that they can feel good, can feel safe, can feel with their family calm, and they came this morning but after I spoke with them we decided it is best to continue resting with the family and waiting hopefully for a few days to come and start normally with the team."