Ange Postecoglou dismisses Tottenham set-piece concerns and says players need to be more like Cristian Romero

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ange Postecoglou says Tottenham's north London derby defeat was about more than their weaknesses at set-pieces and called on the rest of his players to be more like Cristian Romero.

Arsenal remained in the hunt for the title with a 3-2 win, the visitors racing into a three-goal lead by half-time before Spurs launched another spirited second-half comeback.

Two of Arsenal' goals came from corners, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg heading into his own net to break the deadlock and Kai Havertz rising unmarked to meet Declan Rice's dead ball.

In between, Bukayo Saka scored a brilliant breakaway goal.

"If I thought fixing defensive set-pieces was the answer to us bridging the gap then I'd put all of my time and effort into that," Postecoglou said afterwards. "But that's not where we're at.

"For us it's about, when I was focused on the details of, not just set-pieces but a lot of moments in games where we don't sense that you give good opposition the time and the space to do things then they're going to hurt you.

"I think they maybe had four attempts on goal in the first half and they conceded three. I don't think it's about one part of it, I think it's a bigger, broader picture than that, but our defensive set-pieces for those two were very poor. But there's a lot more than that to fix.

"There are thousands [of details]," Postecoglou continued. "It's the little details like you can't give time and space to the opposition, you can't make decisions or lose focus in any given moment.

"The transition goal we were focused on a decision at the other end when we should have been thinking about the danger that was potentially at the other side."

Cristian Romero pulled a goal back for Spurs, having already hit the post and sent two headers wide, before Heung-min Son converted from the penalty spot to set up a tense finale.

"He was outstanding," Postecoglou said of Romero.

"He's a World Cup winner and I've just got to get some of what's in him into some of the others."

Spurs thought they had equalised at 1-1 but Micky van de Ven's strike was ruled out for a fractional offisde, while there was also controversy ahead of Saka's goal with Dejan Kulusevski stumbling in the Arsenal box before the visitors countered.

"I've said all along, games are not refereed in the stadium any more," said Postecoglou, when asked about the VAR

"They are refereed somewhere else and no one will convince me otherwise. It's not even re-refereed, it's refereed somewhere else. That's why I don't celebrate goals any more. I wait for somebody down the road.

"I just don't think referees in the stadium any more have that authority they used to make decisions. They just go 'you know what, I'll just wait and see what the bloke down the road thinks'. It's a shame, I don't like it but it's here to stay and I've got to accept it like everyone else."