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'That was my first time at Wembley!'

To see Rob Holding’s composed performance in the Emirates Fa Cup semi-final against Manchester City, you’d have thought he’d been playing at Wembley all his life.

But in fact, the Arsenal centre back admitted he had never been to the national stadium before his arrival on Sunday afternoon.

“It’s the first time I have ever been here!” Holding told Arsenal Player. “Well, coming inside it anyway, I have been past it a few times.

“I have never been there even as a fan, I was living in Manchester before so it was a bit of a trek down, so this was the first time. I loved it, I can’t wait for the final now - hopefully I’ll be involved.

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“It was a bit nerve racking at the start [of the match] with both sets of fans screaming, so it was a bit crazy but I settled down after a shaky first 10 minutes and it was all okay.”

Holding came close to opening this account for the club with a close-range header in extra-time that just went over - and he admits he could not believe it when it flew over.

“I was gutted when that went over,” he said. “I thought that was my chance - I’m sure a goal will come eventually!”

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