Hibs 2 Arsenal 1 RECAP: Boyle and MacKay strike for hosts, Smith-Rowe on target for Gunners as Pepe penalty saved
Hibs host English Premier League giants Arsenal in a pre-season friendly this evening.
Mikel Arteta brings his star-studded Gunners north for a fixture that also marks the return of fans to Easter Road for the first time since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020.
It is the first time the two sides have met since 1955 when Lawrie Reilly and Eddie Turnbull were on target in a 2-2 draw at Easter Road. Hibs were actually leading 2-0 with around 15 minutes to play until Doug Lishman and Jimmy Bloomfield earned the Londoners a draw.
The match is the first pre-season fixture for the visitors while Jack Ross’ first team have already completed three friendlies with a 4-1 win over Dunfermline, followed by a 1-0 defeat to Accrington Stanley before a 1-1 draw with Stoke City last Friday.
Tonight’s game promises to be an intriguing one and you can follow all the action as it happens in our live blog:
Hibs 2 Arsenal 1 FT
Last updated: Tuesday, 13 July, 2021, 19:09
- Boyle gives Hibs 21st minute lead
- McKay nods home Hibs second
- Almost 2-0 as Bradley strikes post
- Pepe penalty saved by Dabrowski
- Smith-Rowe pulls one back for Gunners
21: GOAL Hibs 1 (Boyle) Arsenal 0
A howler from goalkeeper Okonkwo who fails to control a bouncing passback from Soares leaving Boyle free to tap into an empty net.
27: Hibs chance
A pinpoint cross from Allan finds the head of Nisbet in the box but the Scotland striker can only head straight at Okonkwo. Decent chance for Hibs to extend their lead.
31: Arsenal attack
Hibs survive a scare as a ball to the back post finds Kolasnic in space to knock-down for Nelson to send a volley towards goal that Hanlon manages to block near the line before McGinn boots clear. Hibs defence being tested by coping thus far.
38: Hibs attack
A period of Arsenal pressure is relieved by Nisbet who leads a counter-attack then waits for support, finding it in Boyle, who receives the pass 25 yards out and forces Okonkwo into a diving save with a powerful drive. Arsenal are dominating the ball more now but the home side remain a threat.
40: Hibs go close
Allan shows the difference he makes to this Hibs side with a glorious defence-splitting ball for Bradley to race into the box and smash a low effort against the near post. Great stuff from the home side who almost go two up.
41: Porteous cruncher
The Hibs centre-back goes into a typically robust challenge with Aubameyang that leaves Arsenal’s star man in a heap on the Easter Road turf. It leads to a talking to from the referee - but no card - with the Gabon striker refusing a handshake from the defender, leading to boos from the 2000 home fans. Ross and Arteta also appeared to exchange words on the touchline.
HT: Hibs 1 Arsenal 0
Warm applause from the 2000 Hibs fans inside Easter Road greets the half-time whistle after an excellent first half showing from Jack Ross’ men against the EPL side. While Arsenal have had plenty possession and a few chances, the home side have played some good stuff of their own, with Scott Allan back pulling the strings, and Martin Boyle carrying a threat. The opening goal may have been a gift from young goalkeeper Okonkwo but Hibs are decent value for their lead.
Return of fans
What a sight. Hibs fans are back inside Easter Road and they’ve enjoyed their team’ first half showing against Arsenal
A much-changed Arsenal side get the second half underway with Hein, Partey, Lacazette, Pepe, Balogun, Smith Rowe, and Rekik in for Okonkwo, Nelson, Aubameyang, Nelson, Nketiah, Maitland-Niles & Clarke. For Hibs one change sees Dabrowski replace Macey in goal. The outfield players remain unchanged for now.
50: Big save
Terrific goalkeeping from Dabrowski who moves quickly across his line and reaches up to his top left-hand corner to tip a Pepe free-kick onto the crossbar. A brillaint effort from the Arsenal sub matched by the save from the Hibs half-time arrival.