David McGoldrick

Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images

Blades earn point at poor Spurs

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Sheffield United overcame one VAR incident to grab a point from Tottenham Hotspur in North London on Saturday.

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George Baldock scored in the second half after snake-bit David McGoldrick had a goal pulled back for a toenail’s worth of offside. Fine margins.

Spurs were again quite poor aside from Heung-Min Son and some moments from Giovani Lo Celso. Son scored the goal.

Sheffield United remains sixth with 16 points, while Spurs also claim a 16th point but sit below their visitors on goal differential.


Three things we learned

1. VAR follows rules to perplex: Lundstram was offside by a toenail in the build-up, pulling back David McGoldrick’s goal that would’ve leveled the score at 1 (which of course it later was). The decision-making process slowed the game for several minutes, those thin lines calling back a goal that no team’s fans would feel was understandable. When is the moment the ball is struck, and how can you be certain enough to call it offside for centimeters.

2. Son continues to shine: Not only are puns really fun, but where would Spurs be this season without their South Korean star? Son scored a deserved goal and took six shots on the day, making three successful dribbles, and completing 21 of 23 passes.

3. Kane invisible: Maybe England’s star striker is still getting over the sickness that cost him a start against Everton, but Harry Kane was quite poor against the Blades’ disciplined back line. Good for just one shot and six of 12 passing. On a day when the two attackers underneath him were quite good, Kane was absent.

Man of the Match: McGoldrick — Should’ve had his first Premier League goal but will settle for the assist, we suppose. His day must be coming.


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Giovani Lo Celso and Heung-min Son both came close for Spurs in a lively start, though cagey Sheffield United wasn’t overwhelmed by the venue either.

John Lundstram scuffed a 27th minute chance wide of the frame. Soon after, he smashed a Jack O'Connell cross off the post.

Son curled wide in the 50th minute as both sides started their second frames well, and in-form Lys Mousset turned Davinson Sanchez around before firing wide of the far post.

Dean Henderson made a fine save on Son in the 54th, but was left in a bad situation when abhorrent inactivity from the left side of his line gave the South Korean a clear cut chance. Given the day he was having, a goal felt inevitable.

But Blades had the ball in the net for an equalizer soon after, McGoldrick knifing home. A long VAR review followed for an offside in the build-up, and the slimmest of margins made it “clear and obvious” to… someone… that Lundstram was offside.

Baldock’s goal also had to withstand VAR review — don’t they all — when his shot took a slight turn off Ben Davies‘ rear end to beat Paulo Gazzaniga.

Ireland 4-1 USMNT: A defensive nightmare from Klinsmann’s men

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A sloppy, mostly-inexperienced and out of sorts United States men’s national team made several momentous mistakes and only produced one goal in a 4-1 loss to Ireland on Tuesday in Dublin.

Hull City’s Robbie Brady scored a second-half brace against a United States defense that produced its worst showing in ages.

Anthony Pilkington and James McClean also scored for the Irish, while Mix Diskerud scored the Yanks only goal.

The USMNT out-possessed, out-attempted and out-cornered Ireland, but it mattered little considering how panicked they looked when Ireland got the ball.

[ USMNT: First half goal highlights | How worried should we be? ]

Brady put Ireland ahead in the 55th minute, when Fabian Johnson gave the ball away and David McGoldrick played set-up man for the second time to make it 2-1.

And James McClean of Wigan Athletic’s 82nd minute shot deflected off Geoff Cameron and past Bill Hamid to make it 3-1 late.

source: Getty ImagesThe breakthroughs came after the States played a sloppy first half that was saved by a Mix Diskerud goal (Video of both goals and a recap here).

Diskerud pressured Ireland into a giveaway before combining with Jozy Altidore and Chris Wondolowski to produce the equalizer after McGoldrick played Anthony Pilkington for the opening goal.

The first half was easier than Friday at Craven Cottage.

Plenty of Yanks fought the ball in the second half, but there were some bright spots when pushing forward, as Ale Bedoya and Fabian Johnson were a good combination.

[ USMNT: Defense is porous | Player ratings ]

Many USMNT players struggled, including Timmy Chandler in defense and Alfredo Morales. The young 2.Bundesliga midfielder looked out of his depth for much of the contest.

Shay Given denied Bobby Wood in the 67th minute, as the American forward looked to have Given beaten 1v1 only to have the keeper’s foot intervene to deflect the shot just wide.

source: Getty ImagesA 71st minute free kick provided a chance that Bedoya slipped to Garza, but his cross was cleared away.

Shane Long torched an otherwise-strong Greg Garza on the left before hitting the right post in the 81st minute, but moments later Ireland found its third goal through McClean.  And Brady added a goal off a freekick in the 88th minute to finish his brace.

The States are off for the rest of the year, with a January camp that normally features domestic players up next on the docket.

LINEUPS

Ireland: Given (Elliot, 85′); Christie, Pearce, Clark, Meyler; Quinn, Brady (Hendrick, 77′), Pilkington (McClean, 64′), Murphy; McGoldrick (Long, 77′), Stokes (McGeady, 60′).

Goal: Pilkington (7′), Brady 2 (55′, 86′), McClean (82′)

Unused: Randolph (GK), Keogh, Coleman, O’Shea, Walters.

United States: Hamid; F. Johnson, Cameron, Besler, Chandler (Morris, 76′); Beckerman (Ream, 88′); Bedoya, Diskerud (Rubin, 77′), Morales (Garza, 65′); Wondolowski (Wood, 46′), Altidore.

Goal: Diskerud (38′)

Unused: Johnson (GK), Ibarra, Green.