Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has spoken after a disappointing North London derby defeat, and commented on the game-changing red card for Emerson Royal in his post-match press conference.

Spurs were on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline at the Emirates this afternoon, with Arsenal taking all three points to remain top of the Premier League table.

With the scoreline perfectly poised at 1-1 at half-time, the game was there to be won for Tottenham. Unfortunately, the away side collapsed almost immediately in the second half and Arsenal capitalised with a Gabriel Jesus goal on 49 minutes.

Chasing the game, Spurs were then down to ten men when Emerson Royal was shown a straight red for a late challenge on the hour mark.

Before Spurs could even regroup and alter their shape to compensate for the Brazilian’s dismissal, Arsenal bagged the all-important third goal to kill the game.

Speaking to the media after the game (via Football.London), Spurs boss Antonio Conte reflected on the red card and how it changed the course of the match.

He said: “It was difficult after the red card because in the starting XI we played with three strikers. Then you have Perisic and to find the balance when you have 10 men and in this period they scored before we had made the substitutions. The red card killed the game.

“I don’t like to criticise the referee’s decision. I don’t want to comment. There are images and I think everybody can think what is the best decision but I don’t want to comment itself. If I have to compare maybe there was a yellow card in the first half.

“For sure [Emerson] is frustrated. He knows what happens and the difficulty we were after the red card. It can happen. Emerson is also a young player. He has to try to exploit this situation to be better and in the next situation to avoid the tackle. The player was really surprised about the decision as were all the players.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Emerson’s challenge was late, reckless, and showed a complete lack of professionalism which ultimately cost Spurs the game. It wasn’t a necessarily dangerous or malicious foul, but it’s the kind of challenge that’s asking for trouble and Emerson really should not have run that risk.

The red card caps a run of performances from Emerson Royal which have left many fans frustrated, and hopefully in his absence now, we can see Matt Doherty reclaim his place, or Djed Spence given a chance.

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