Arsenal were soundly beaten by arch-rivals Tottenham
Arsenal were soundly beaten by arch-rivals Tottenham (Pictures: Getty/BBC)

Ian Wright believes Arsenal defender Rob Holding was ‘terrified’ of Son Heung-min during the Gunners’ north London derby defeat to Tottenham.

Mikel Arteta’s side were soundly beaten by arch-rivals Spurs on Thursday evening in a result that blows the top-four race wide open.

It was a night to forget for all of Arsenal’s players as Spurs won 3-0 to close the gap on the Gunners to just a point with two games left, but Holding will have particularly painful memories of the derby after being sent off in the first half.

The 26-year-old has impressed lately but was given a torrid time by the in-form Son, picking up two yellow cards inside 33 minutes to become the seventh Arsenal player to be sent off in a Premier League north London derby.

‘Rob Holding is terrified of Son’s pace,’ Gunners legend Wright said on Premier League productions. ‘In each instance, we are seeing Rob Holding trying to win the ball.

‘Especially after the first couple, you say okay it’s going into him. Let him get hold of it and maybe lay it back because you can’t afford to go down to ten men.

‘He has got no complaints [for the red card]. That right side has been a problem for us. It has been a mismatch. You can see how uncomfortable Holding was.

Rob Holding was sent off for two yellow cards
Rob Holding was sent off for two yellow cards (Picture: Getty)

‘In the end, the way he has been sent off, he has no defence of himself there.’

Arteta said he would be ‘suspended’ if he gave his honest assessment on the officiating during the north London derby, with Tottenham also benefiting from a penalty shortly before Holding’s dismissal.

‘If I say what I think I am suspended for six months,’ said Arteta. ‘I don’t know how to lie so I prefer not to say what I think.

‘I cannot say what I think. I am not unhappy with my players. I am proud of my players.

‘I want the referee to come in front of the camera and explain his decisions. It’s a shame because such a beautiful game was destroyed.

‘The decision was made. We can’t change it. The referee has to make a decision in football.’

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