Jose Mourinho also admitted that in the first half Tottenham were “really bad” and that they were fortunate to be level at the break.
Spurs started the game slowly but they did take the lead against the run of play. The goal came in sublime fashion via a rabona from inside the area by Erik Lamela.
Arsenal did grab a deserved equaliser before the break, though. Kieran Tierney’s cross was diverted into the net by Martin Odegaard via a deflection off of Toby Alderweireld.
The Gunners completed their fight back in the second half as Alexandre Lacazette converted his penalty after he was brought down in the area by Davinson Sanchez.
Lamela was sent off in the 76th minute after being shown a second yellow card. Despite this, Spurs finished the game well. Harry Kane came closest to scoring as he struck the post with a free kick late on.
It finished 2-1 and this result ends Tottenham’s run of five straight victories in all competitions. They remain in seventh spot and they are six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand.
Mourinho told Sky Sports, as cited by BBC Sport, after the game that it was a “pity” that Michael Olivier did not give a post-match interview:
“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 meant the last 20 minutes 11 v 10 the team try to get the result.
Mourinho added: “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.”