Sander Berge

Sheffield United - Tottenham recap
Photo by JASON CAIRNDUFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Blades cut through Spurs after early VAR controversy

Leave a comment

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.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

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.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

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.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Sheffield United – Tottenham stream: How to watch, start time, odds

Sheffield United - Tottenham strean
Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images
1 Comment

Sheffield United – Tottenham Hotspur stream: There are European hopes dripping from Wednesday’s meeting of Sheffield United and Tottenham Hotspur at Bramall Lane (Watch live at 1pm ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com)

Blades’ European hopes have taken a big hit since the Premier League’s return from the coronavirus pandemic. They’ve lost two-straight league outings and have just one win from five.

SHEFFIELD UNITED – TOTTENHAM FULL MATCH REPLAY

Spurs have taken four of six points in just two matches since the end of the break and need a win to retake seventh place from Arsenal.

Team news

Japhet Tanganga and Juan Foyth remain out for Tottenham, who is otherwise as healthy as its been since the calendar turned to 2020. Jose Mourinho has made one change as Dele Alli is dropped and Steven Bergwijn comes in.

Jack O’Connell is getting closer to a return for the Blades but Chris Wilder says they “won’t make a high risk decision on him.” John Lundstram is out injured and is replaced by Sande Berge, while John Fleck is also out injured with Ben Osborn coming in for his first Premier League start.

 

What they’re saying

Chris Wilder on the evolution of big January buy Sander Berge: “Sander is going to be a really good player for us. He’s 21 [sic], we paid decent money for him. £20m is not an unbelievable number. It is for Sheffield United, I understand that. So Sander comes with that pressure. But he’s a grounded boy and he’ll eventually play as a sitting midfield player. He’s a proper midfield player, he’s a really good kid and he always will get mine and the boys’ full backing.”

Mourinho on the struggles of big signing Tanguy Ndombele“Football is full of players who have made difficult starts and then ended well. When Luka Modric arrived at Real Madrid after six months he was labeled the worst signing in their history by the fans and the press. A few months later he was a champion, then a few months later he was European champion and then a few months later he was voted the best player in the world. So when the talent is there many things can happen with adaptation and if the talent is there anything good can happen.”

Odds and ends

The bookies aren’t so sure about this one, with DraftKings having hosts Sheffield United +225 and Tottenham +130.

Heung-min Son and George Baldock traded goals in a 1-1 November draw in North London.

Sheffield United – Tottenham Prediction

Spurs have the benefit of rest and potency up top. It’ll be a grimy one — Chris Wilder deems it so — but Tottenham gets the points 2-1.

Sheffield United breaks club record to sign Sander Berge

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Sheffield United has announced the breaking of its club record transfer fee to sign Norwegian midfielder Sander Berge from KRC Genk.

The capture is considered a coup for the Blades after Berge had been adamant on only signing for a Champions League club. However, after nothing materialized over the summer for Berge in that market, Sheffield United was able to convince the 21-year-old of the move.

[ TRACKER: All Premier League January done deals ]

“I have gained a lot of experience playing in the Belgian league and the Norwegian national team but to come here to the best league in the world to play for such a strong side in Sheffield United this season, hopefully we’ll do even better now,” Berge told the official club release. “It’s been only one club for me and this is perfect.”

The BBC reports that the signing is for a total fee of $28.8 million, beating the previous club record of $26 million for summer signing Oli McBurnie. The interview with Berge seemed to confirm that the club had interest in him over the summer, and now completes the move. The club also confirmed that owner Prince Abdullah took a “personal interest” in the completion of the deal.

“When we sat down with Sander it was clear that he was really excited about coming here and that was great to see,” said manager Chris Wilder in the official release. “I think this signing just shows how far we have come in a short space of time, that we are now attracting the likes of Sander to the football club. It’s a brilliant signing for us.”

Berge joined Genk in January of 2017 from Norwegian club Valerenga and has made 113 appearances for the Belgian side, including six in Champions League play and another 16 in the Europa League. He is a do-it-all midfielder who can tackle, dribble, and pass at an exceptional rate.

He has 20 international caps for Norway, earning a consistent starting role throughout Euro 2020 qualification. He scored his first international goal in a qualifying appearance against Malta back in September and assisted the winner against Malta in the reverse fixture in November.

Sheffield United is a scary opponent for all Premier League clubs, sitting eighth in the league table and are pushing Wolves, Spurs, and Manchester United for a European place. As a slight longshot, they still remain in the mix for a top four spot, sitting seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Report: Sheffield United in ‘advanced talks’ for $22M Norway star

Photo by Martin Rickett/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Sheffield United is ready to add one of the game’s brightest young talents to its blossoming Premier League side.

Norway midfielder Sander Berge is the name, and he’s been linked with Liverpool amongst others over the past few months.

Berge turns 22 next month and already has 20 caps for Norway in addition to 113 senior appearances for Genk in Belgium and 43 more for Valerenga in his home country.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The defensive midfielder has chipped in six goals and four assists. He won the Belgian Super League with Genk last year and has a career-best four goals so this season.

It shows what success brings to a club, as Sky Sports reports that Berge turned down a move to Bramall Lane in the summer.

The fee is said to be $22 million, which isn’t small but completely reasonable given his stature for club and country.

This may move may join the Lys Mousset purchase as one of the Blades’ smartest bits of business, especially as Chris Wilder‘s men look for success on multiple fronts. Their success as a newly-promoted side is one of the great stories of the European season, and a place in Europe would be a fantastic achievement.

From The Yorkshire Post:

“It is going well, no doubt about it,” Wilder said. “On the Premier League front and in the Cup. You probably would not think it, but the win at Millwall has given me an enormous amount of pleasure in confirming, not even seeing, what my team is about. Players have come in with the likes of the skipper (Billy Sharp) and other players who are really driving it forward and want to produce individual performances and the atmosphere is good.”

Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.