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ARSENAL SUFFERS DEFEAT IN FIRST PRESEASON ENCOUNTER

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Farouq Oduola A.

Arsenal’s pre-season preparations got off to a bad start at Easter Road, when they were defeated 2-1 by Hibernian.

The Gunners, who started with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Willian, Eddie Nketiah, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, fell behind in the 21st minute after Martin Boyle took advantage of goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo’s blunder to give Hibs the lead.

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In the early parts of the second half, half-time replacements Nicolas Pepe and Thomas Partey both came close to equalizing, but Hibs took advantage of further Arsenal defensive flaws as Daniel Mackay scored a second.

Arsenal missed a late chance when Kevin Dabrowski superbly saved Pepe’s penalty, but Emile Smith Rowe turned in Hector Bellerin’s cross to give the Gunners their only goal.

However, it wasn’t enough to prevent loss, as Hibernian hung on to win in a much-needed warm-up match for Mikel Arteta’s team.

Arsenal’s pre-season schedule resumes on Saturday when they face Rangers, the Scottish champions.

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