Arsenal should not have been awarded a penalty on Sunday – but Tottenham have no excuses for a lifeless performance.

That is according to ex-Premier League star Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Tottenham were beaten 2-1 in the North London derby.

Ex-Premier League official Keith Hackett told this site that 60 per cent of referees would have sided with the decision Michael Oliver made in the 62nd minute.

With the scores at 1-1, the ball fell to Alexandra Lacazette in the box who bungled his shot but collided with Davinson Sanchez in the process.

Oliver – who later sent off Spurs’ goalscorer Erik Lamela – gave the penalty which was duly converted by Lacazette and proved to be the game’s decisive goal.

Whelan claims that Tottenham have a right to feel aggrieved about the decision but a lack of intensity meant they were never likely to win the game anyway.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “They only have themselves to blame that they didn’t start the game quicker.

“You can grumble about the penalty and I didn’t think it was a penalty. I thought it was a bit of a coming together but I don’t think there was a clear and obvious foul there.

“The two players with their motion made it a 50-50 where no one was to blame. The decision went Arsenal’s way on that one but you can’t take away the fact that they didn’t deserve to win that football match.

“I think everyone was a bit off. There were too many six out of 10s on the day. When you drop to that kind of level, you’re going to struggle.

“If they played the way they did for the last 10 minutes all the way through the game, they may have come out with a victory and caused Arsenal some more problems.

“But you’ve got to say, if you’re only playing for 20 or 25 minutes of a game, you’re not going to get much out of it against a top side like Arsenal.”

The win brought 10th-place Arsenal to within five points of Tottenham in 8th in the Premier League table.

Spurs were triumphant in the reverse fixture in December, beating Arsenal 2-0.

In other news, a top pundit has urged Tottenham to sign two defenders if Davinson Sanchez is to be sold in the summer.