Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has unearthed a new gem in his exciting squad after Wednesday’s 3-0 friendly win against Lyon in the Dubai Champions Cup. Tournament rules saw the match go to penalties, despite the one-sided scoreline, which let a Gunners prospect make a name for himself in stunning fashion.
Arsenal are facing Lyon, AC Milan and Juventus in the Middle East to prepare for the return of Premier League football on Boxing Day. And Arteta’s side didn’t look like they had any rust to shake off ahead of resuming their title challenge, brushing the Ligue 1 outfit aside.
First-half goals from Gabriel Magalhaes, Eddie Nketiah and Fabio Viera were enough to record a comfortable victory before Arteta made 10 changes after the break. The only player to feature for 90 minutes was 20-year-old goalkeeper Karl Hein, who wasn’t content with solely keeping a clean sheet to leave a lasting impression on spectators.
Hein was also the hero of the penalty shoot-out, unbelievably saving four spot-kicks to guide the English top-flight leaders to a second triumph of the evening. Arsenal’s youngsters also forgot their shooting boots, missing three of their own in a 2-1 shoot-out win, but Hein’s heroics were the deciding factor.
READ MORE: Man Utd made Louis van Gaal ‘ashamed’ by cash offer as details emerge
Marquinhos calmly netted Arsenal’s opening penalty into the bottom right corner before Hein produced his first save to deny Hale End graduate Jeff Reine-Adelaide low to his right. Matthew Smith joined Marquinhos in making no mistake before Thiago Mendes netted Lyon’s only successful effort.
Six misses incredibly followed. Lyon stopper Kayne Bonnevie read Catalin Cirjan’s bluff, saving his panenka effort, Amario Cozier-Duberry saw his poor penalty stopped, and Reuell Walters skied his effort over the bar. But Hein secured the victory, denying Tete to his left, Bradley Barcola low to his right and saving a panenka of his own from Rayan Cherki.
DON’T MISS: Robbie Williams inundated with backlash as he flogs Qatar gig tickets