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Arsenal thumping still hurts – Fournier

Lyon coach Hubert Fournier revealed his team is “still marked” by their 6-0 thumping at the hands of Arsenal last week ahead of Saturday’s Trophee des Champions.

Fournier’s side have claimed just one victory in five pre-season friendlies ahead of the 2015-16 campaign, with the demolition by Arsenal prompting president Jean-Michel Aulas to publicly criticise the coach in an interview with Le Progres.

While captain Maxime Gonalons and veteran defender Christophe Jallet played down Aulas’ comments and insisted Lyon will improve against Paris Saint-Germain in the Trophee des Champions in Montreal, Fournier conceded they were still hurting from last week’s debacle.

Arsenal scored four goals in the space of 10 first-half minutes in the Emirates Cup clash to destroy Lyon, with both Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud ending the game with one goal and two assists in the six-goal triumph.

“We are still marked by the defeat against Arsenal,” Fournier said on Friday.

“We don’t want to relive the same experience. And we will play against a team [PSG] with the same potential or higher than Arsenal.”

After the loss, Aulas questioned why international players were given an extra week’s break, which saw them miss friendlies against Sion and PSV Eindhoven on July 11 and 15, and the 66-year-old added that he would find out if Fournier “made a mistake or not” against PSG.

The Trophee des Champions is the traditional opening match of the French league season, with Ligue 1 and Coupe de France champions PSG taking on Lyon, who finished second in the league last term.

“It’s the president’s role to bang his gavel from time to time,” Jallet said, according to Ligue 1’s website.

“The players listen and they hear what he has to say. It’s perfectly normal: it’s the boss talking. We’re trying to patch up the shortcomings in our game, but over and above that, we want to honour the club by winning the Trophee des Champions.”

Gonalons added: “We’re not worried. The president said what he was thinking and feeling. From time to time it does you good to get a reality check like that.

“It put our feet back on the ground, helped us to focus on our values and got us back to work. We had a tough weekend in London and we want to bounce back as quickly as possible.”

Sat 1 Aug, 2015
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