A clearly deflated Unai Emery says Arsenal might have come away with a win in the North London derby had VAR been available to the officials at Wembley
The Gunners had to settle for a point on an afternoon that saw Harry Kane’s spot-kick cancel out Aaron Ramsey’s strike before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a penalty in the 90th minute.
The sore point for the Spaniard was the awarding of Sp*rs’ penalty which came after a clearly offside Kane was pushed over by Mustafi. Referee Anthony Taylor went on to hand Lucas Torreira a straight red card deep into five minutes of stoppage time.
Asked by BT Sport whether video assistant referees, who will be available in the Premier League next season, might have altered the game’s big calls, Emery said, “One month ago, I said to everybody my opinion about VAR, it’s coming for the referees.
“It’s very difficult for the referees. You can analyse with the TV, it’s very easy, but the referees can’t use that now.
“When it’s arriving, VAR, it will help them. Maybe today, the match would be different. I understand it’s difficult for the referees.
“For me, today, the referee’s personality is big for the two teams and with this big atmosphere, it’s not easy to see all with the balance for the two teams. But I like this man who was the referee today.”
While the result may not have gone his side’s way, Emery was pleased with the way his side responded to his tactics and he thinks they can go from strength to strength.
“Yes [it was a cruel end to the game], you prepare one match thinking the best performance for here away, in a derby, where it’s very difficult. It can happen, different situations in the 90 minutes.
“After you can do one balance. And the balance, we are finding our way. Today, being competitive, adapting our performance against them in two directions, one offensively, the other defensively. It demands from us a lot of transitions.
“For us, it’s good, not the result, because we could have won, but because we can feel stronger after that match in our mentality for the next matches.”