Oliver McBurnie

Sheffield United - Tottenham recap
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Blades cut through Spurs after early VAR controversy

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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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Barnes thumper sees Leicester City past Sheffield United

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Jamie Vardy and Oli McBurnie cancelled each other out, but young Harvey Barnes produced a moment of brilliance to see Leicester City through for their first win of the young season.

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Barnes’ second career Premier League goal was an absolute stunner, coming just six minutes after he entered the fray at Bramall Lane off the bench. The 21-year-old unleashed a rifling volley that saw the Foxes through, with Kasper Schmeichel and the Leicester City defense preserving the lead over the final half-hour.

Another youngster, Hamza Choudhury, covered himself in glory across the 90 minutes in a defensive midfield position, covering the back four well and keeping Leicester City comfortable in defense as Sheffield United looked for an equalizer down the stretch.


Three things we learned:

  1. Poor touches in midfield can be dangerous. Chris Basham will be kicking himself for a cheap giveaway right on the halfway line that directly lead to Vardy’s opener. It came out of nothing more than slight pressure from behind, and put the Foxes in with Sheffield United’s back line pressing higher on the ball. Midfielders have to be better, especially if Sheffield United has any long-term prospects of staying in the Premier League next season.
  2. Boy can Leicester City run a scything counter-attack. The goal came on a gifted counter, but they ran others that deserve plaudits as well, including one just after halftime that saw Vardy combine well with James Maddison and new boy Ayoze Perez, with the latter ending up with just too tight an angle to finish from. Do not give the Foxes any opportunities to break, because it will not end well for you.
  3. Leicester City continues to be the sum of its parts. Some teams repeatedly struggle to implement quality brought in via the transfer window, but the Foxes have been one of the best and adding talent that truly improves the club as a whole. James Maddison is a brilliant addition, Ayoze Perez is contributing up front, and Harvey Barnes – brought in from West Brom last winter – is making his presence known. 21-year-old Choudhury, a recent youth team promotion, also performed fabulously at the back to preserve the victory.

Man of the Match: Hamza Choudhury.


The first 20 minutes of the match were incredibly sloppy, with Leicester City holding the majority of possession but doing very little with the ball in an attacking sense and unable to put anything together going forward. The first chance of the match fell to Sheffield when George Baldock rifled a one-time volley towards the top corner a half-hour in but it had little movement and Kasper Schmeichel collected easily despite solid pace on the effort.

Leicester City went in front out of relatively nothing seven minutes from halftime as Chris Basham lost the ball in midfield leading to a vicious counter from the Foxes. James Maddison sent through a ridiculous ball forward with the outside of his boot, lofting it over the scrambling defenders to Jamie Vardy, and the England striker made no mistake with a thumping finish at the near post.

The Foxes looked more likely to score a second than Sheffield United did an equalizer, but against the run of play McBurnie bagged his first Premier League strike. Baldock came good from his earlier mistake with a fabulous delivery from extremely deep on the right flank and it found the head of the former Swansea man who buried the chance to level the scoreline.

That wouldn’t last long, however, as Barnes was on hand to collect the ball off the head of Caglar Soyuncu and rifle it one-time before it hit the ground, delivering an absolute howitzer into the top corner for a moment of brilliance that put Leicester City in front for good. Schmeichel was required to preserve the three points with 15 minutes to go, somehow parrying a close-range effort by John Lundstram he should have scored from. Sheffield pressed for an equalizer but Leicester City’s defense was up to the task, locking things down for the win.

Watford 1-2 Swansea: Carvalhal gets shock comeback W

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  • Swans win Carvalhal’s debut
  • Watford led 1-0 into 85th
  • Ayew, Narsingh score late

Luciano Narsingh was on the doorstep to poke home a late rebound as Swansea City came back to beat Watford 2-1 in Carlos Carvalhal’s first match as Swans manager.

Andre Carrillo put Watford ahead at Vicarage Road, but the Hornets found another way to lose when Jordan Ayew and Narsingh both scored in the final five minutes.

Swansea is in 19th place with 16 points, just two back of safety, while Watford’s 25 points have them 10th.

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It didn’t take long for new boss Carlos Carvalhal to feel what Paul Clement, Bob Bradley, and Francesco Guidolin have felt: concession.

Richarlison forced Lukasz Fabianski into a save, but Carrillo was right there to deposit the rebound for 1-0 after 11 minutes.

 

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Molla Wague looked to have a goal in his second-straight match, but his headed goal was nullified by a borderline foul in the 18.

And Richarlison cued up Andre Gray for a late 1v1 that he cranked directly at Fabianski.

That’s about when Swans started Hornets heads spinning, with Ayew tapped in from Oliver McBurnie‘s assist and Narsingh passing a rebound home four minutes later.