Blades cut through Spurs after early VAR controversy

Sheffield United - Tottenham recap
Photo by JASON CAIRNDUFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
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Sheffield United – Tottenham Hotspur recap: Tottenham never recovered from a wildly controversial VAR decision, displaying miserable defense in a 3-1 loss to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Thursday.

Playing nothing like the European team they are increasingly unlikely to be, Spurs fell apart and sit ninth with 45 points. Harry Kane, whose early goal was ruled out by VAR, scored in the 90th minute.

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Blades got a goal and an assist from Sander Berge in moving into seventh. Oli McBurnie and Lys Mousset also scored for the hosts.

SHEFFIELD UNITED – TOTTENHAM FULL MATCH REPLAY


Three things we learned

1. Blades find their sharpness against sleepy Spurs defense: Raise your hand if you had Sheffield United taking four of six points from Tottenham Hotspur during Blades’ first season back in the Premier League? Okay, maybe, we believe you but keep that hand up if you though a late season win would boost Blades back over Spurs and into a top seven place. The first goal saw Blades move the ball through and to Berge like it was a training exercise. The second goal saw Spurs fast asleep when Enda Stevens drove deep into the box before cutting back to Mousset. The third goal? Somehow the worst of the bunch, as Davinson Sanchez had a day to forget.

2. VARroneous: An atrocious reading of the laws has taken Harry Kane’s equalizer off the board at Bramall Lane. Lucas Moura was nudged over by Berge while dribbling through the Blades defense. The ball ricocheted off his arm while he was falling and facing the opposite direction. That was enough to pull it off the board. Letter of the law? We guess, but even Blades boss Chris Wilder is going to stand with infuriated Spurs boss Jose Mourinho on this one.

Wednesday saw a silly VAR call that at least made a modicum of sense when a prone and technically offside West Ham’s Michail Antonio was stranded between goal scorer Tomas Soucek and would-be stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga. This took that to the next level.

3. Mousset rejoins the scoring ranks: The French playmaker had trouble living up to expectations at Bournemouth, scoring five times with one assist in 2146 minutes (71 appearances). Mousset now has six goals and four assists in his first season at Sheffield United, the production coming over less than 1200 minutes.

Man of the Match

Berge — The big Norwegian covered seemingly every blade of grass and won most of his duels (7-of-9) on an economical day that saw him grab his first PL goal. He’d late get his assist and was every bit the man they signed for big money this January.


Sheffield United – Tottenham recap

Spurs controlled play for most of the first 25 minutes, but Berge put the game on its ear by helping facilitate the opener he’d finish with class.

Berge moved the ball from left to right and stayed in the fray to make it 1-0 with a shot dragged across goal.

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Spurs scored within 30 seconds of restart, Kane slotting low past Dean Henderson in the 33rd.

But wait! The ball ricocheted off a falling Lucas Moura’s arm and VAR ruled it no goal.

Chances were few the rest of the way aside from two terrible bits of defending from Spurs.

Mousset’s sixth PL goal of the season came wide open in the six, while Berge cued up McBurnie for a similar goal toward the final whistle.

Heung-min Son set up Kane for Spurs’ last-minute concession, the Englishman’s 13th league goal this season coming on the South Korean’s ninth assist.

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