Mourinho mad at VAR as Spurs ‘mentally died’ after call

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An atrocious reading of the laws took Harry Kane’s early equalizer off the board at Bramall Lane in what would become a 3-1 Tottenham loss to Sheffield United on Thursday.

Sheffield United had taken a 1-0 lead when Spurs struck off the restart to tie the score through Kane’s low drive past Dean Henderson.

SHEFFIELD UNITED – TOTTENHAM FULL MATCH REPLAY

But VAR’s reading of the rulebook adjudged that the ball ricocheting off a falling Lucas Moura’s arm while he was facing the opposite direction was reason to pull it off the board.

There’s letter of the law, yeah, but even Blades boss Chris Wilder is going to stand with infuriated Spurs boss Jose Mourinho on this one.

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Mourinho, for what it’s worth, was angry with the call and did deploy his usual referee name drop, but critiqued his team’s response or lack of it.

From Football.London:

“We have to be mentally stronger to cope with what happened in the game. We cannot mentally die after Michael Oliver’s decision. I know it’s difficult to take, In the second half we had ball but we didn’t have chances to change the game.”

He, of course, did have plenty to say about Oliver’s decision.

“I think I cannot say what I feel,” Mourinho said. “It’s not the referee anymore. The man on the pitch is the assistant referee, The man and lady with the flags are now the assistants of the assistant referees.”

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.

Here is his post-match presser before he issued the above comments with the assembled media.

 

Blades cut through Spurs after early VAR controversy

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

Sheffield United - Tottenham strean
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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.

Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks

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EPL betting odds for the Premier League have been released but we know the bookies don’t always get it right.

Here are the latest Prince-Wright’s Premier League score predictions as the Premier League return has the EPL betting odds all over the place.

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The Premier League score predictions below encompass the remaining eight games of Matchweek 32. Here we go.

If you, like me, love to dissect all the games and predict what the score will be and which team will win, I encourage you to get involved in the comments section below. Let’s have a bit of fun with these Premier League games.

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Okay, so I’ve consulted my crystal ball and here’s how we see things panning out. Listen carefully, because this is very specific.

While you can download the NBC Sports Predictor app (below) and play the Premier League Pick ‘Em game yourself to predict the scores and win the prizes.

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With the first section labelled “basically, free money” for the picks I think are dead certs. The section labelled “don’t touch this” means if you’re betting I advise you to stay clear, while the “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” section are the long shots. If it is better odds you are after, those are the picks to go for.

Check out our Premier League score predictions below.


BASICALLY, FREE MONEY

Arsenal 3-1 Norwich – (Wednesday, 1 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Brighton 0-2 Man United – (Tuesday, 3:15 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

West Ham 1-3 Chelsea – (Wednesday, 1 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM


DON’T TOUCH THIS…

Crystal Palace 2-1 Burnley – (Monday, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Man City 2-2 Liverpool – (Thursday, 3:15 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Sheffield United 1-2 Tottenham – (Thursday, 1 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM


“SO YOU’RE TELLING ME THERE’S A CHANCE…”

Everton 2-1 Leicester City – (Wednesday, 1 p.m. ET, Gold/Peacock) – [STREAM]

Bournemouth 2-1 Newcastle – (Wednesday, 1 p.m. ET, Gold/Peacock) – [STREAM]

Transfer news: Tagliafico, Onana to Chelsea; Vazquez to Tottenham

Tagliafico Chelsea
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The latest transfer news from the Premier League sees Andre Onana and Nicolas Tagliafico linked with Chelsea again, while Lucas Vazquez is could head to Tottenham.

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First up, starting in west London it appears Chelsea are not slowing down anytime soon when it comes to buying new players and an Ajax duo could be heading to Stamford Bridge.

Ajax boss Erik ten Haag told Dutch radio station Het Parool that Tagliafico will be leaving this summer, while Andre Onana and Donny van de Beek have agreements with the Dutch giants that they can leave if an acceptable transfer offer comes in.

Tagliafico, 27, has been targeted by Chelsea and Arsenal as a possible left back option but it appears that Chelsea are now the frontrunners. Frank Lampard wants Ben Chilwell but that could be too expensive and Tagliafico would be a very good option to add experience to his defense. Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmeri have been switched time and time again this season and neither have impressed Lampard.

After signing Hakim Ziyech from Ajax, Timo Werner from RB Leipzig and being linked with Kai Havertz, Chelsea aren’t messing around. With left back a weak spot in their squad, Chelsea probably need a new goalkeeper too. They’ve been linked wit Onana on multiple occasions and with Kepa doing okay, would Onana be an upgrade on the Spanish goalkeeper? Reports suggest that Kepa could head to Valencia on a two-season loan and that could be a good option for Chelsea. Onana, 24, has shown his class in the Champions League for Ajax and as Lampard continues this squad overhaul, it appears he could be heading back to Ajax a few more times over the summer.

Vazquez
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Switching from west to north London, Tottenham could bring in Lucas Vazquez from Real Madrid as he’s out of contract next summer.

Vazquez, 28, has been linked with an $18 million move this summer, according to Mundo Deportivo, and the Spanish winger has real quality but may struggle to get into Zinedine Zidane’s team on a regular basis considering their incredible strength in depth in the attacking areas of the pitch. Mourinho worked with Vazquez when he was manager at Real Madrid and injuries have plagued the Spanish international in recent seasons.

Do Tottenham need another attacking midfielder? That is the one area where they are set. With Heung-min Son, Dele Alli, Erik Lamela, Steven Bergwijn, Giovanni Lo Celso and others around, why sign Vazquez?

Unless he can play at the back or as a holding midfielder, this doesn’t seem like a good move for Tottenham. Vazquez is a quality player and if he can stay fit, $18 million would be a bargain. With Jose Mourinho’s transfer funds set to be limited this summer, he should probably focus on buying a new holding midfielder over everything else. Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez have formed a surprisingly strong partnership at center back and Toby Alderweireld is a back up option. Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko can get by in central midfield but an extra player is needed in that area.