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How did Pablo Mari fare in his first game back in an Arsenal shirt last night?

Arsenal v Charlton Athletic: Friendly
(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

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How did Pablo Mari fare in his first game back in an Arsenal shirt last night?

Arsenal defender Pablo Mari made his long-awaited return from injury with a 45-minute showing for the Gunners Under-23s on Friday night.

The 27-year-old, who joined Arsenal permanently in June from Brazilian club Flamengo, sustained an ankle ligament sprain against Manchester City the same month.

Mari duly underwent surgery to fix the problem and has undergone rehabilitation, returning to training earlier this month.

(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

According to Football London, Arsenal had set themselves the aim of getting him back into training once the latest international break was over.

While last week’s Premier League meeting with Leeds and the Europa League trip to Molde this week came too soon for Mari, he made Steve Bould’s starting line-up for Friday night’s game against Derby U23s.

The Spaniard featured alongside Calum Chambers, William Saliba and Ryan Alebiosu at the back, and played the first half before being replaced by 16-year-old Brooke Norton-Cuffy in a game which Arsenal won 3-1.

Admittedly, Mari should have done better for Derby’s goal, as a mix-up between him and goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo – the latter hesitated in dealing with a cross, while the former was poorly positioned and didn’t head away – led to Jordan Brown netting from close range.

However, a mistake in a player’s first game back after injury isn’t something to overly worry about – as he gets more minutes under his belt he’ll become more match-sharp and tuned in.

 

Besides that error, he did fairly well, and some Arsenal fans were pleased with his display:

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