Arsenal player ratings: Rob Holding lets Mikel Arteta down as Spurs batter hapless Gunners

Tottenham v Arsenal: Pictures

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Arsenal were made to wait in their bid to secure Champions League qualification for next season as they were comfortably beaten at the hands of bitter rivals Tottenham away from home on Thursday evening. Rob Holding’s first-half dismissal after Harry Kane’s early opener gave the Gunners a mountain to climb before the England ace’s second goal and Son Heung-min’s close-range strike saw the hosts register a crucial win to maintain their hopes of securing a top-four finish.

Express Sport provides a full rundown of the Arsenal player ratings after Mikel Arteta’s side were dismantled under the lights at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Player ratings

Aaron Ramsdale – 5

Could not have done much about Kane’s first goal but was unable to get to the far post for his second of the night. Was let down by Eddie Nketiah, though, who was marking Kane but crucially failed to spot the run. Went on to make a stunning save to deny Emerson Royal shortly before the hour mark but was let down by his defensive team-mates over the course of the match.

Cedric Soares – 4

Was responsible for gifting Tottenham their early spot-kick when he clumsily stepped across Son Heung-min before Kane slotted home to open the scoring. Managed to stop the England man from finding the back of the net once again with an excellent covering tackle on the half-hour mark, but did little else to benefit the Gunners. 

Rob Holding – 2

Lost his head in the immediate aftermath of Kane’s first-half goal, picking up a yellow card for his troubles, and was later sent off for a totally brainless foul on Son after just 33 minutes. Did not impress during his brief stint on the pitch and ultimately let his team down by failing to avoid a second booking. A truly awful showing from the 26-year-old, who will be suspended for next week’s clash against Newcastle United.

Gabriel Magalhaes – 5

Was clearly up for the action from the first whistle and did okay in possession but, like so many of his team-mates, was fairly ineffectual at the back. Stood way too far off Son for Tottenham’s third goal of the evening but was probably Arsenal’s best defender in spite of his shortcomings. Went on to pick up an injury as the clock ticked down in another crushing blow for the Gunners.

Takehiro Tomiyasu – 4

Failed to stop the cross from Dejan Kulusevski that led to Tottenham’s spot-kick being awarded but prevented Kane from scoring another goal with a crucial block just minutes later. Was forced to fill in at centre-back after Holding’s dismissal but never looked entirely comfortable, which was to be expected given his usual role out wide.

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Granit Xhaka – 4

Did not do a great deal over the course of the match besides arguing with the match officials. Summed up Arsenal’s collective efforts when he lashed a speculative effort way over the crossbar as half-time approached. Moved into his side’s back four in the aftermath of Gabriel’s second-half injury.

Mohamed Elneny – 4

Gave the ball away with some lazy passing on a couple of occasions and, like Xhaka, was not firm enough in defence to stop Tottenham from breaking through with regularity. Gave Son plenty of time to slot home his side’s third of the evening and was anonymous in possession for large parts of the match.

Martin Odegaard – 5

Found joy in dropping deep to get on the ball early on but had a quiet game overall. Wore the armband for Arsenal but was unable to deliver a captain’s performance and failed to inspire in the middle of the park. Will be hoping for an improved showing against Newcastle on Monday.

Bukayo Saka – 6

Pressed well from the front to put the home defenders under pressure at times and showed flashes of brilliance with the ball at his feet. Was one of Arsenal’s better performers but was left unable to take the game by the scruff of the neck due to Tottenham’s utter dominance.

Gabriel Martinelli – 5

Dropped to a left wing-back role when Arsenal did not have possession and was one of his side’s main attacking outlets with the ball at feet. Saw his influence toned down after the opening minutes, though, as Tottenham quickly gained a stronghold on the contest. Was eventually replaced by Emile Smith Rowe on the hour mark.

Eddie Nketiah – 4

Has impressed in attack for Arsenal in recent weeks but was unable to replicate his goalscoring form against Tottenham. Got himself into a number of good positions early on but faded away as the game progressed. Was later caught napping at the back post as he failed to notice Kane’s darting run in behind for his second goal of the evening.


Emile Smith Rowe – 5

Was introduced in place of Martinelli and worked hard to make things happen for Arsenal but it was ultimately too little, too late for the Gunners, who were already down and out.

Nuno Tavares – 5

Did okay after replacing Gabriel but failed to set the world alight. Arguably should have started the match in place of Cedric at left-back with Tomiyasu moving over to his usual position on the right-hand side.

Alexandre Lacazette – 5

Came on for the last 20 minutes to lead the line but never looked like pulling back a late consolation for Arsenal in what could quite possibly be his last north London derby for the club.

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