Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou quips 'armless defenders' are the only way to avoid giving away penalties for handball after Cristian Romero incident in the North London Derby draw at Arsenal
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Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou quipped that ‘armless defenders’ are the only way to avoid conceding handball penalties.

At 1-1 in the North London derby, the ball struck Spurs defender Cristian Romero’s arm from a Ben White shot and handball was given after a VAR intervention. Bukayo Saka converted the penalty. Postecoglou was baffled by the handball rule, citing the penalty given to Luton on Saturday against Wolves.

He said: ‘I couldn’t see it but I’ve got no idea about the handball rule. I really don’t. I saw the one at Wolves and it just seems if it hits your hand it’s a penalty, and then other times if it hits your hand, it isn’t a penalty. I’ve got no idea. It is the one rule in the game I just don’t understand.

‘You kind of hope these things even themselves out over the course of a year but I don’t understand the handball rule. I have said that to referees in the past and I don’t know how they see it to be honest.’

Ange Postecoglou quipped that ¿armless defenders¿ are needed to avoid conceding penalties

Ange Postecoglou quipped that ‘armless defenders’ are needed to avoid conceding penalties

The ball struck Cristian Romero¿s arm from a Ben White shot, and VAR gave a handball call

The ball struck Cristian Romero’s arm from a Ben White shot, and VAR gave a handball call

Spurs came from behind twice, thanks to Son Heung-min’s goals, to secure a draw against their arch-rivals and Postecoglou was full of praise for the fight his side showed in the face of adversity.

‘I’m really pleased,’ he said. ‘It’s a tough place to come. Not much went our way today, we conceded an unlucky own goal and a VAR penalty, so not a lot falling in our favour.

‘I’m pleased with the real character and resilience we showed, the belief in the team we want to be, even though at times today it was difficult to do that.

‘They kept persevering and persevering and that’s a credit to them.’

Mikel Arteta was left ruing the timing of conceding the second goal, and a Gabriel Jesus miss in the first half.

‘We are very disappointed not to earn the three points,’ said Arteta. ‘We had control of the game, could have made it 2-0 and then concede the goal and you have to bounce back.’

Mikel Arteta was left ruing the timing of conceding the second goal, and a Gabriel Jesus miss

Mikel Arteta was left ruing the timing of conceding the second goal, and a Gabriel Jesus miss

So should it have been a penalty? 


The moment the first replay was shown, fans around the world will have known a penalty was coming. The current version of the handball law has been in place long enough to know that the VAR will view that as Cristian Romero’s hand being in an unnatural position. His hand ultimately stops the ball from going in the back of net. If that’s not a handball, I don’t know what is. 


I’m sure all Arsenal fans will say this was a penalty but Martin, as a former defender, where is Cristian Romero supposed to put his arm when he’s throwing himself at a shot like this? It’s last ditch. It’s three yards out. It’s split-second stuff. Romero’s arm is in a natural position for the block he is trying to make. Ben White is shooting from an incredibly close distance. This was harsh on Tottenham.

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