Mauricio Pochettino admitted he substituted Davinson Sanchez for fear of the Colombian being sent off in Tottenham's 2-0 win at Swansea.
Fernando Llorente - with his first Premier League goal for Tottenham - and Dele Alli were on target as Spurs hurdled Arsenal into fifth place in the table.
But Tottenham's fifth win in six league games was mired in controversy as Llorente was clearly standing in an offside position when he nodded home Christian Eriksen's free-kick.
Sanchez also was fortunate not to be sent off 10 minutes after half-time for scything down Martin Olsson after being booked in the first half.
"We were all worried about the second yellow card," Pochettino said about Sanchez's withdrawal four minutes after his foul on Olsson.
"The first half yellow card wasn't bad, but the fans started putting pressure on the referee (Bobby Madley) and it can become a problem. So I decided to take him off the pitch."
Llorente had not started a Premier League game following his £12million move from Swansea in August.
But the Spain striker led the Tottenham line on his old Liberty Stadium stamping ground, with Harry Kane nursing a cold and warming the bench.
And it took Llorente just 12 minutes to claim his second Spurs goal as assistant referee Marc Perry failed to spot him standing a yard in front of the Swansea defence.
"I didn't see the goal - people say it was offside, maybe," Pochettino said about the incident in a game played in stormy conditions.
"But always in football, you need some luck to open the games up.
"It's true that Swansea can maybe complain and it's right to complain, but in football this can happen.
"I am very pleased because the conditions were very difficult, but we deserved the victory."
Carlos Carvalhal refused to criticise the officials at the end of his first home game as Swansea manager.
But Carvalhal - whose side remain bottom and four points from safety - said Perry had owned up to his mistake.
"I've arrived in the Premier League and I will not start talking about referees," said Carvalhal, the former Sheffield Wednesday boss who began his Swansea reign with a 2-1 win at Watford on Saturday.
"There are two points I can talk about. One, the linesman (Perry) apologised at the end of the game.
"I understand it's a mistake. I make mistakes, all of us make mistakes. It's OK.
"Second point, Pochettino is a clever manager because he substituted Sanchez in that moment.
"He's clever, he knows why he substituted him. After this I don't want to talk about nothing."
But Carvalhal did praise his players, adding: "I'm not happy with the score, but I am happy with the commitment in a difficult situation to prepare for this game.
"My players were very brave from the beginning of the game, and this is the way to try and win more points in the future."