Despite fielding a strong side, it was a calamitous opening preseason campaign for Mikel Arteta and his boys who lost 2-1 to Hibernian, a Scottish Premiership side at Easter Road.
Arsenal, which paraded a strong side that included the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Willian, Pepe among others, succumbed to the intrepidity of the Cabbages.
In the fifth minute of the game, Eddie Nketiah missed a glorious chance begging to be buried after Paul Hanlon was caged and forced to give a misplaced pass and Arthur Okonkwo gifted Hibs forward, Martin Boyle the opening goal with a miskick from Cedric Soares’backpass.
Despite having the better chances, Arsenal’s lack of lethality and definiteness upfront was punished when Daniel Mackay increased the host’s tally in the 69th minute from a corner.
Nicholas Pepe won a penalty but saw his spot-kick saved by former Gunners goalkeeper, Matt Macey, in the 72nd minute but Emile Smith Rowe’s 82nd-minute goal proved to be a consolation.
After the game, Arteta was asked whether the lack of preparation explained the poor performance and result.
“It does but there’s no excuse because we want to come here and win the match,” he said.
“They worked really hard, the boys worked really hard and you could see that some of them were not in the best condition, but we’re still very early in pre-season.
“It was great to see some of the young lads making their debuts here. We’ll keep working,” he said.
Arsenal are hoping to bounce back in the 2021/2022 season, after finishing eighth in the Premier League last term, with recent inclusion of Benifica’s left back, Nuno Tavares and possible transfer of Anderlecht’s Albert Sambu Lokonga and Lyon sensation Houssem Aoua to bolster the squad.