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2 tackles, 2 interceptions, 64 passes – Arsenal’s ‘biggest leader’ wasn’t wearing the armband last night

Arsenal FC v Slavia Praha - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final: Leg One
(Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Arsenal

2 tackles, 2 interceptions, 64 passes – Arsenal’s ‘biggest leader’ wasn’t wearing the armband last night

Arsenal endured yet another frustrating night on the pitch as they had to make do with a 1-1 draw in their Europa League quarter-final first leg.

The Gunners hosted Slavia Prague at the Emirates Stadium in a game which didn’t see the deadlock broken until the 86th minute.

Arsenal, who looked timid and were wasteful for large parts of the match, took the lead when substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put Nicolas Pepe through on goal.

FBL-EUR-C3-ARSENAL-SLAVIA PRAGUE

(Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)

The Ivory Coast international kept his cool to dink the ball past the advancing Ondrej Kolar and give Mikel Arteta’s side what looked to be the winning goal on the night.

However, Arsenal have been their own worst enemies far too often this season, and this proved the case once again as they were caught out with just 60 seconds remaining.

From a corner, Slavia whipped the ball into the box and it bounced towards the far post, where Tomas Holes dove to head home, Bernd Leno unable to keep the effort out.

As difficult a watch as it was for Arsenal fans, there were a few positives on the night.

Bukayo Saka was superb once again, and Gabriel Martinelli immediately increased the tempo of the Arsenal attack when he came on.

At the back, Rob Holding put in a strong and vocal display, prompting football.london to call him “by far the biggest leader on the pitch for Arsenal” on the night.

The 25-year-old was the highest-rated Gunners defender last night, Whoscored giving him 6.83 out of 10, and in terms of defensive duties, he clocked up two tackles and two interceptions.

 

Holding also made 64 passes, delivered one cross and eight long balls, and had one shot on target.

And some fans were clearly pleased with his contributions:

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