Emery defends officials after late penalty drama

Unai Emery refused to criticise the match officials after Harry Kane's controversial penalty rescued a 1-1 draw for Tottenham against Arsenal on Saturday.

The Gunners were leading at Wembley thanks to Aaron Ramsey's early opener when, 16 minutes from time, Spurs were awarded a spot-kick for Shkodran Mustafi's foul on Kane.

Replays showed Kane had been offside before Mustafi's transgression, but Emery was not pointing any accusatory fingers at referee Anthony Taylor and his team, the Spaniard's stance perhaps softened after Arsenal were awarded a late spot-kick of their own.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was ultimately denied by Hugo Lloris but had gone down under minimal contact from Davinson Sanchez, while Jan Vertonghen appeared to encroach before denying the Gabon striker on the rebound and, with VAR set to be introduced in the Premier League from 2019-20, Emery acknowledges the officials' jobs should become easier.

"For us it is not a good result because we can win. But I think it can make us stronger in our mentality for the next matches," he told BT Sport.

"One month ago I said to everybody my opinion. VAR is coming for the referees. It is very difficult for the referees.

"You can analyse with the TV and it is very easy. VAR is for them and, with it, maybe the match is different.

"For me the referee had a big personality for two teams. I like this man here to be the referee."

The result keeps Spurs four points ahead of their rivals in the race for Champions League qualification.

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