Tottenham 'deserved more' against Arsenal - Mauricio Pochettino
LONDON -- Mauricio Pochettino said Tottenham passed up a "big opportunity" to win Saturday's North London derby against Arsenal but rejected any suggestion the visitors' late equaliser in the 2-2 draw was down to inexperience.
Arsenal led at half-time through Aaron Ramsey's clever flick but Spurs hit back after the break through Toby Alderweireld and Harry Kane, with both goals coming shortly after Francis Coquelin was sent off for two bookable offences.
With Spurs leading, the visitors equalised through Alexis Sanchez to secure a valuable point and keep their title hopes alive.
Pochettino admitted the draw was a missed opportunity but said the result was not down to immaturity from his young team.
"Yes, it was an opportunity," he told his postmatch news conference. "The way we played, I think we deserved more. We are still very young. This type of game, when you play in our position, it's important to have the experience.
"We have the youngest squad in the Premier League and we showed more than Arsenal in all aspects. For this, we need to be happy. If you focus only on the result, it's not so good because we needed to win.
"I'm very pleased with the effort of the players. We deserved much more. We were unlucky with the way we conceded the goal. It's frustrating when you are leading against 10 but we need to learn. It's not about maturity. It's not about character.
"I can show you a lot of examples of big clubs with experienced players that concede in the last minute. It's not about maturity. All teams sometimes concede goals like this. There are nine games ahead, a lot of points.
"It's true we missed a big opportunity, but Arsenal are a very good team."
Spurs' Eric Dier was fortunate not to be sent off after escaping a second booking for a foul on Olivier Giroud, while referee Michael Oliver also spared Hector Bellerin for a tug on Dele Alli's shirt when the Spaniard was on a yellow.
Pochettino felt the decisions had no effect on the result and praised Arsenal's stand-in goalkeeper David Ospina, who made nine saves.
"Ospina was one of the best players on the pitch," he added. "Bellerin maybe deserved a second yellow card too. I can't speak too much about the decisions of the referee because it did not affect the result."
Left-back Danny Rose was replaced by Ben Davies on 78 minutes and Pochettino added: "Danny felt a stiff calf, like a cramp. I think he will be OK.
"It's been a very busy period. I think we have played 41 official games, and some players are in the national team too. It's crazy and for that we feel very proud of the effort from the squad and the players."
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.