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Played
August 6, 2011 7:45 PM BST
 
49′ Pablo Aimar
60′ Nolito
 

Benfica 2-1 Arsenal: Van Persie strikes but Gunners end preparations for new season with defeat

The Gunners took the lead in the Eusebio Cup through the Dutch striker, but goals from Pablo Aimar and Nolito completed a second half turnaround for the Portuguese side

By Jamie Dunn

Emirates Cup : Arsene Wenger, Arsenal v New York Red Bulls
Getty Images
Arsenal suffered defeat in the final game of pre-season as Benfica came from behind to win the Eusebio Cup 2-1 in Portugal.

Robin van Persie opened the scoring with a simple finish after 33 minutes, but the home side recovered with an equaliser from Pablo Aimar following the interval, with the Gunners having made a string of changes.

With an hour remaining, second half substitute Nolito beat Lukasz Fabianski to complete the comeback for the Portuguese side.

Arsenal had the best chances of the opening exchanges, as new signing Gervinho, who has made an impressive start to his Gunners career with goals in pre-season, shot wide before Andrey Arshavin forced Eduardo into a save and Van Persie chipped narrowly past the post.

The Dutchman was on the scoresheet shortly after though, as Arshavin found Kieran Gibbs, who provided a pass for the striker to convert from six yards.

Van Persie, Arshavin and a handful of other first team players were replaced at the interval, and Benfica capitalised to level through Aimar.

The Argentinian, like Van Persie before him, slotted home from close range after Nolito presented him with the chance to equalise.

And it was Nolito who would score the winner for Benfica, beating Sebastien Squillaci before getting the better of Fabianski after a Joan Capdevila pass.

Fabianski made a string of saves late on to keep Arsenal in the game, but the visitors were unable to respond.

The Gunners begin their Premier League campaign with a trip to Newcastle on Sunday, before facing Udinese in a Champions League play-off at the Emirates Stadium the following Tuesday.


Benfica

-
Eduardo
Goalkeeper
45′
0.00
-
Emerson
Defender
0.00
4
Luisao
Defender
0.00
24
Ezequiel Garay
Defender
39′
0.00
6
Ruben Amorim
Midfielder
0.00
14
Javi García
Midfielder
0.00
30
Bruno César
Midfielder
0.00
21
Nemanja Matić
Midfielder
0.00
35
0.00
11
Franco Jara
Striker
0.00
7
Ó. Cardozo
Striker
0.00

Arsenal FC

0.00
1
0.00
3
0.00
28
0.00
5
0.00
5
Johan Djourou
Midfielder
45′
0.00
7
Tomas Rosicky
Midfielder
22′ 65′
0.00
17
Alexandre Song
Midfielder
45′
0.00
20
0.00
16
0.00
27
Gervinho
Striker
0.00
10

Substitutes

1
Artur
Goalkeeper
45′
0.00
3
Fabio Faria
Defender
0.00
11
0.00
10
Pablo Aimar
Midfielder
49′
0.00
28
Axel Witsel
Midfielder
0.00
10
Nolito
Midfielder
60′
0.00
30
0.00
-
David Simao
Midfielder
0.00

Substitutes

0.00
21
0.00
18
0.00
25
0.00
29
0.00
3
0.00
35
0.00
31
Ryo Miyaichi
Midfielder
45′
0.00
45
Henri Lansbury
Midfielder
65′
0.00
48
Miquel
Defender
85′

Coach/Manager

-
0.00

Coach/Manager

0.00
-
 
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