JONAS EIDEVALL hailed a ‘special night’ that saw Arsenal cause Lyon mayhem and fire a warning to their Champions League rivals.

Beth Mead and Caitlin Foord bagged braces with Frida Maanum also on target in a blistering 5-1 Group C thrashing of their opponents.

Beth Mead, Caitlin Foord and Frida Maanum were on target as Arsenal brushed Lyon aside

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Beth Mead, Caitlin Foord and Frida Maanum were on target as Arsenal brushed Lyon asideCredit: Getty
Foord was on target in both halves as the Champions League title-holders were trounced at home

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Foord was on target in both halves as the Champions League title-holders were trounced at homeCredit: Getty

Eidevall was expecting a reality check from the contest’s reigning champs.

But his rampaging Gunners served one themselves in an enthralling group stage opener at the Groupama Stadium.

The result saw the injury-ravaged French giants beaten by four goals for the first time since 2006.

It also saw the side who have several aces crocked – including star striker Ada Hegerberg – suffer their first defeat on home turf since last April.

The Arsenal chief said: “Of course, it’s a special night, we know that as well we were effective. 

“Our win was well deserved but 5-1 is an unexpected result against a very, very strong team so I’m pretty happy about that. 

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“I’ve spoken before about doing the right things. It’s not all the time you get rewarded for that.

“But in this game, we got rewarded and that I think will increase the likelihood of us doing the right things again in the future.” 

The match saw Maanum find the back of the net with the midfielder given a starting spot ahead of Vivianne Miedema in a bold move by Eidevall.

The Gunners gaffer added: “Frida was brilliant both off the ball and on it. 

“She carried out a role that required an extreme amount of running because you basically have to defend against two players all the time.

“Frida is one of our players with the strongest running ability.”

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For much of the past 11 years, Sonia Bompastor’s Lyon have carried an aura of invincibility in the Champions League.

This is the tournament they have dominated with eight trophies wins since 2011.

But their group-stage qualification bid took an early blow as the Gunners deployed their counter-attacking flair to deadly effect.

Maanum saw a tame early effort claimed by goalkeeper Christiane Endler.

But Foord got the Gunners off the mark smashing in a 13th-minute opener following Kim Little’s classy long ball and a pass from Mead.

Wendi Renard came close to bagging a leveller with the Gunners forced to clear her header.

Mead bagged a brace for the Gunners who play Swiss side Zurich next in the tournament

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Mead bagged a brace for the Gunners who play Swiss side Zurich next in the tournamentCredit: Getty

But the visitors later doubled their lead with Maanum firing home in the 22nd minute after pouncing on a rebound after Stina Blackstenius shot.

The hosts pulled one back with Melvine Malard leaping high to nod home near the half-hour mark.

But a brilliant free-kick rocket from Mead saw Arsenal’s two-goal lead restored.

The second spell’s early stages saw Manuela Zinsberger comfortably save Eugenie Le Sommer’s header.

Maanum impressed in attack doubling the Gunners' lead against Lyon in the first half

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Maanum impressed in attack doubling the Gunners’ lead against Lyon in the first halfCredit: Getty

But then her Gunners pals cranked up the pressure with Foord’s walloped wonder goal from distance after a mishit from Renard.

Mead slotted home Arsenal’s fifth in the 69th minute to wrap up the hefty victory.

The result saw the Gunners go top of their group before their Emirates clash with Zurich next Thursday.



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