Premier League: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits Tottenham deserved derby victory

Arsene Wenger and Mauricio Pochettino
Image: Arsene Wenger and Mauricio Pochettino

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admitted his side were deservedly beaten by Tottenham in the north London derby - but saved a gripe for the referee.

Two second-half goals from Harry Kane at White Hart Lane saw Spurs recover from a goal down to win 2-1 and secure their third league win in a row, climbing above the Gunners - for a few hours at least - into the top four. 

Arsenal had led through Mesut Ozil's smartly-taken 11th-minute opener, but Wenger felt his side did not do enough to maintain their unbeaten start to 2015. 

“The only regret I can have today is that we gave two cheap goals away, but Tottenham deserved to win this game,” the Frenchman said.

“I’m disappointed with our offensive performance today because we didn’t produce enough and I think technically we were short in many aspects of our game.

“I feel we gave away balls in some areas that despite the pressing we should not lose, and some players were well below par today on that front.”

Wenger was left less than impressed by the performance of referee Martin Atkinson, feeling several fouls went unpunished.

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"I felt he was a little bit like us - not at his best," the Arsenal manager added.

The visitors were forced to withstand lengthy spells of home pressure, with Gunners 'keeper David Ospina required to make a string of saves.

But though a sixth league defeat of the season puts a dent in their Champions League qualification hopes, Wenger remains upbeat about his side's chances. 

“It’s a significant day because we lost, but we’ve played 13 away games and 11 at home, so we’ve now got a good home run.

“I felt (Hugo) Lloris made some great saves and every time we went in their half we looked quite dangerous, but once again the regret is that in decisive moments in the game we couldn’t keep our defensive focus.

“It’s time to recover from that disappointment and prepare for the next game now.

"It (the top-four challenge) will be a battle until the end. It has been every year with Spurs. We just have to focus on us, because there are many teams fighting to get in there."

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