Lacazette admits Arsenal were lucky enough to get penalty as Mourinho hits officials
Alexandre Lacazette admits Arsenal were fortunate enough to secure the penalty he converted to win the North London derby on Sunday with Tottenham.
Referee Michael Oliver gave Arsenal a free kick for Davinson Sanchez’s awkward foul on Lacazette after the French striker failed to connect with a shot.
Lacazette finished beyond his compatriot and former Lyon teammate Hugo Lloris to seal a 2-1 comeback victory for Arsenal, Martin Odegaard having canceled Erik Lamela’s sublime first game on the rabona.
However, Lacazetted accepts that the Gunners were fortunate enough to be awarded the decisive penalty.
“We’re lucky to get the penalty, I think. Sometimes it’s good to have a good decision from the referee,” he told Sky Sports.
“Of course I’m happy. At the time, I took a lot of penalties against [Hugo] but I was confident. You have to be confident. “
Lacazette’s penalty was the 20th to be scored in a Premier League derby north of London, with the game now featuring the most spot goals in the competition.
Tottenham rallied late and nearly snatched a point thanks to a Harry Kane free kick that hit the post, while the Spurs talisman also had a header ruled out for offside.
Lamela was sent off with Spurs down 2-1 after receiving two yellow cards, the second for a transfer to Kieran Tierney.
In doing so, Lamela became the first player to score and be sent off in a Premier League game for Tottenham since Emmanuel Adebayor in November 2012, also against Arsenal.
The penalty awarded to Arsenal at a pivotal moment in the game was undoubtedly the big talking point, and Jose Mourinho was unhappy with the decision.
“No post-match interviews for the referees? It’s a shame,” he told Sky Sports. “We played very poorly in the first half – 1-1 was not a true reflection of the first half. We were bad. Defending poorly.
“No intensity or pressing. Some important players are hiding. Really bad. In the second half we only had room to improve, which we did.
“So that’s a question – but impossible because [the officials] don’t speak – for referee Michael Oliver to answer. Probably Paul Tierney too because he was the VAR.
“According to [fourth official] Kevin Friend, the referee told him he had a clear decision and the VAR don’t want to go against it. “
Spurs have conceded seven Premier League penalty goals this season, which is the most by a Mourinho side in a single campaign in the competition.
Mourinho added: “What I see from the bench is just a feeling at the start. I’m 40-50 meters away. I saw it on the iPad. The referees sometimes have a tough job.
“I haven’t complained, but when I look on the iPad that’s what it is. If anyone has a different opinion of me, it must be one of the big Arsenal fans with a season pass.
“It is the only one that I accept because it is the passion that speaks. Other than that, I do not accept a different point of view because it is obvious.
“If the players don’t do better it’s because they can’t do better. I belong to the team so I’m just as guilty in the first half as the players but the best thing is that we improved in the second half.
“The players get tired, the coaches get tired, maybe the referees get tired too. My record with Michael Oliver on penalties with Chelsea, [Manchester] United and Tottenham are out of luck. “
Tottenham have now dropped 45 points from their winning positions against Arsenal in the Premier League, the most of any team against a specific opponent in the competition.
“The game was under control in the second half so we recovered,” said Mourinho.
“We made some changes to try to win, then it’s a penalty and after that a second yellow for Lamela. It meant the last 20 minutes was 11-10 and we couldn’t get the result.”