Ange Postecoglou referenced a handball decision from another match when making a point about the handball rule, and revealed what impressed him the most in the 2-2 draw between Tottenham and Arsenal.
Spurs twice battled back from being behind to secure a hard-earned 2-2 draw in the north London derby on enemy turf.
Bukayo Saka’s speculative shot gave Arsenal the lead when deflecting in off Cristian Romero. Son Heung-min – starting in the centre-forward position – levelled the scores just before half time when showing excellent movement to lose his marker and guide home James Maddison’s accurate cut-back.
Romero was in the thick of the action once again after the break when conceding a penalty after VAR adjudged the Argentine to have handled the ball. Romero’s hand was raised and outstretched and Saka made no mistake from the spot.
But the lead quickly evaporated when Maddison picked Jorginho’s pocket soon after the restart and raced towards David Raya’s goal with Son in support. Maddison drew the attention of Arsenal’s sole defender before squaring to Son who cooly finished into the bottom corner.
Both sides had opportunities to snatch all three points, though a 2-2 draw was a fair result in the end.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Postecoglou said: “I thought performance-wise we had to show a bit of everything that we’ve got.
“They’re a good team, a top team and we had to defend at times, but I thought we showed real courage and bravery to continue playing our football.
“We certainly pressed aggressively and were a bit unfortunate with their goals, an own goal and a penalty. But again great character to come from behind at a difficult place.”
Postecoglou baffled at handball rule
When asked how he saw the penalty decision given against Romero, Postecoglou replied: “I didn’t see it, but I saw the one given yesterday [Luton v Wolves] and I don’t know what the handball rule is.
“It’s pretty much ‘if it hits your hand it’s a penalty’ these days. Guys are shooting from a metre away… anyway, it is what it is, he gave it.”
On his side twice levelling the scores the Australian continued: “Brilliant. That’s four away games we’ve had at difficult venues and I think three of them where we’ve gone behind.
“A great response. [Arsenal] are a top team and here at home we know how hard they are to beat.
“So far this side is growing. In terms of our football we’re still at the beginning, but I’m so impressed with the character they’re showing already as a group.”
Postecoglou concluded by praising both full-backs – Pedro Porro and Destiny Udogie – who had “difficult opponents” to contend with.
Udogie in particular stood up tall after overcoming early scares against Bukayo Saka that saw him yellow carded after just 15 minutes.
“Both our full-backs had difficult opponents today. Destiny is still a young man, 20 years old, Micky van de Ven is 22, Pape Sarr is 20. Even guys like [Dejan] Kulusevski are in their early 20s.
“It’s a great experience for them to go through and I thought we handed it well, the whole group.
“They kept persisting and playing our football when it could have been easy to shy away from that.”