Ange Postecoglou hailed Tottenham’s bravery at Arsenal, but expressed his bemusement at the handball rule and joked “armless defenders” will be required after Cristian Romero gave away a penalty in the 2-2 draw.
Spurs grabbed a share of the north London derby spoils after captain Son Heung-min struck either side of half-time.
An own-goal from Romero in the 26th minute broke the deadlock at the Emirates, with the Argentina defender deflecting Bukayo Saka’s shot beyond team-mate Guglielmo Vicario.
Son fired home before half-time from James Maddison’s cross, but Arsenal made the perfect start following the restart when Romero was penalised for handball after he blocked Ben White’s shot from close proximity.
Saka rolled home the 54th-minute spot-kick but 108 seconds later Tottenham were level when Maddison won possession from Jorginho and played in Son, who netted his 150th Spurs goal.
“It’s not about being happy with the result, for me it was about the performance,” Postecoglou said.
“You can get a result here, a draw, and like I said before you can walk away knowing that ‘you know what, we escaped’, but I don’t have that feeling now.
“I think we went toe-to-toe with a top team and at times I thought we really asserted our dominance on the game. At times they did but that’s what happens when you face top sides.
“Even if we had lost today, and I don’t like losing, but for me to keep pushing these guys, they need to feel that out there that what we talk about and work on, they can see it come to fruition and when it does against a top team, being brave with our approach, that’s the key thing. For me I’m pleased.”
Postecoglou was less enthusiastic about the decision to award a penalty for Romero’s close-range block on White and likened it to the handball given against Wolves’ Joao Gomes at Luton on Saturday.
He added: “I’ve got no idea about the handball rule. I really don’t. I saw the one yesterday at Wolves and it just seems if it hits your hand it’s a penalty and then other times if it hits your hand, it isn’t a penalty.
“I’ve got no idea. It is the one rule in the game I just don’t understand.
“Unless we start developing armless defenders I don’t know how you are supposed to block things and be in a natural position.
“It is what it is. You kind of hope these things even themselves out over the course of a year but I don’t understand the handball rule.
“I think any clarity would be good because I have got no idea.”
Opposite number Mikel Arteta was disappointed Arsenal failed to make it three wins in a row over their rivals.
A key moment occurred after Romero’s own-goal when Gabriel Jesus won back possession from Maddison inside the area, but his 14-yard effort was blazed over the crossbar.
Arteta said: “We are very disappointed not to earn the three points, that’s for sure, and especially when you go in front twice in the game and have the opportunity to win it.
“We had control of the game, could have made it 2-0 with Gabi and then you concede the goal and you have to bounce back. We did and scored the goal but it’s a shame that within a minute you concede the other one.
“I think that affected the team emotionally quite a lot and we lacked some composure to make more passes in the final third.”
Arteta also leapt to the defence of Jorginho, who was introduced at half-time in place of the injured Declan Rice, after the ex-Chelsea midfielder was robbed of possession by Maddison for Tottenham’s second goal.
“What happened is I love him and we love him,” the Arsenal boss insisted.
“Errors are part of football. They’re allowed to make errors because they play and we don’t play. We are all with him.”