Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho vented his frustration at multiple officials on duty during their defeat to Arsenal, and accused several important Spurs players of “hiding.”
Tottenham succumbed to a damaging defeat in their quest to secure Champions League qualification against Arsenal.
The visitors took the lead in spectacular fashion through a wonder goal from substitute Erik Lamela.
Arsenal got level through Martin Odegaard before taking the lead mid-way through the second-half after Alexandre Lacazette converted a penalty he won.
Harry Kane came close to snatching a draw on two occasions late on, but time would ultimately run out on any potential Spurs fightback.
FULL MATCH REPORT: Arsenal fightback sinks Tottenham after Lamela goes from hero to zero
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Mourinho said: “No post-match interviews for referees? That is a pity.
“We played really bad in the first half. The 1-1 was not a fair reflection of the first-half. We were poor. Defending bad. No intensity or pressing. Some important players hiding. Really bad.
“In the second half we only had space to improve which we did and then it is a question – but an impossible one as they don’t speak – for the referee Michael Oliver to answer. Probably Paul Tierney too as he was the VAR. According to Kevin Friend, the referee told him he had a clear decision and the VAR does not want to go against.
“The game was under control in the second half so we recovered. We made changes to try and win and then it is a penalty and after that a second yellow for Lamela. It mean the last 20 minutes 11 v 10 the team try to get the result.
“What I see from the bench is just a feeling at first. I am 40-50 Metres away. I saw it on the iPad. Referees have a difficult job sometimes.
“I did not complain but when I watch back on the iPad it is what it is. If somebody has a different opinion it has to be one of the big Arsenal fans with a season ticket. It is the only one I accept as it is the passion speaking. Other than that I don’t accept a different view as it is obvious.
“If the players don’t do better it is because they can’t do better. I belong to the team so I am as guilty for the first half as the players but the best thing is we improve in the second half.
“Players get tired, coaches get tired, maybe referees get tired too. My record with Michael Oliver on penalties with Chelsea, United and Tottenham is unlucky.”
Tottenham captain highlights extra Arsenal aggression
Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris also spoke to the press, telling Sky Sports: “The feeling is that in the first half they were much better than us, more aggressive.
“We scored a goal and I think we should have managed the game better and not conceded just before half time.
“In the second half it was a bit better but we had to wait to get a red card to increase our intensity. Then we were close to coming back, but at the end it’s a loss and a big disappointment.
“There’s still 10 games to go and a lot of opportunities ahead of us, but of course losing a derby is a big frustration, even though we won the first one at home.”
On the penalty decision: “I haven’t seen the images to be honest. I think as a player when you analyse the game you analyse it as a whole, it is too easy to go deep on one or two actions. Generally we have to do better.”