Friday, April 23, 2021
Home Game Blades back on form as Spurs fume at VAR

Blades back on form as Spurs fume at VAR

Sander Berge, Lys Mousset and Oli McBurnie fired Sheffield United to a 3-1 win over Tottenham, as Spurs were left fuming after a VAR call denied Harry Kane an equaliser.

Sheffield United were infamously denied a goal at Tottenham in November when John Lundstrum’s toe was judged offside but roles were reversed on Thursday when, trailing to Berge’s opener (31), Kane’s strike was disallowed by VAR for a Lucas Moura handball in the build-up.

It was a decision Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp labelled as “horrendous” and Spurs never really got back on track, with Mousset (69) and McBurnie (84) capitalising on defensive lapses in the second-half before Kane (90) eventually tapped-in a consolation.

Sheffield United were without a number of first-team players due to injury but their impressive return to form – and their first Premier League goals and points since the restart – lifted them up to seventh with six games to play, five points behind Manchester United in fifth. Meanwhile, Spurs’s hopes of a Champions League qualifying spot are fading away as they slip to ninth.

Player Ratings

Sheffield United: Henderson (7), Basham (8), Egan (7), Robinson (7), Baldock (7), Berge (8), Norwood (6), Osborn (6), Stevens (8), McBurnie (8), McGoldrick (7).

Subs: Mousset (8), Freeman (n/a)

Tottenham: Lloris (5), Aurier (6), Sanchez (4), Dier (5), Davies (4), Sissoko (6), Lo Celso (7), Lucas Moura (7), Bergwijn (6), Kane (8), Son (6).

Subs: Lamela (6), Alli (6), NDombele (6), Vertonghen (5)

Man of the match: Oli McBurnie (Sheffield United)

How Blades got back to winning ways…

Sheffield United had conceded six in their last two games but were far tighter in the opening period, limiting Spurs to half-chances for Heung-min Son and Kane early on before Moussa Sissoko fired a tame shot at Dean Henderson after the drinks break and Kane blasted a free-kick over from a good position.

Sander Berge scores against Tottenham
Image:
Sander Berge fired into the far corner against Tottenham

The hosts then made that defensive work count when record signing Berge picked up Chris Basham’s cut-back and angled his first Premier League shot on target and his first goal for the club past Hugo Lloris into the far corner.

Team news

  • Five changes for Sheff Utd, with Dean Henderson, Oliver McBurnie, Sander Berge, Ben Osborn and John Egan in.
  • Sheff Utd named just seven substitutes due to injuries, with Jack O’Connell, John Fleck and John Lundstram out.
  • Steven Bergwijn replaced Dele Alli in the Spurs starting XI.

Then came controversy just two minutes later when Lucas Moura burst forward and the ball broke to Kane when the Brazilian was tumbled. Despite Kane clipping a left-foot shot past Henderson the effort was ruled out when a VAR check determined Lucas’ arm had brushed the ball as he hit the deck.

Image:
Lucas Moura was tumbled in the build-up to Kane’s strike
Image:
…and his arm brushed the ball as he fell…
VAR tottenham sheff utd
Image:
…with VAR eventually ruling out Kane’s effort as a result

Jose Mourinho was less than impressed on the touchline – feeling his side should have had a free-kick at least – and was given a warning from the fourth official for his protests. Moments later his mood wasn’t improved when Oliver Norwood escaped a red card when he caught Son with his arm as they challenged for a high ball.

Tottenham finished the half on the front foot, with Norwood blocking Giovani Lo Celso’s shot, but the visitors struggled to find a way through after the interval, with Sheffield United close to doubling their lead on 61 minutes when David McGoldrick fired into the side-netting.

That was McGoldrick’s last act before being subbed off for Mousset and his replacement was perfectly placed in the six-yard box to turn in Enda Stevens’ pass moments after coming on, as Spurs left the striker completely unmarked.

Kane had the ball in the net twice more, first when he was rightly flagged offside and then after the whistle had blown for his push on a defender, but at the other end more woeful marking allowed McBurnie to clip home Berge’s ball across the box to make it three.

Kane finally got on the scoresheet in injury-time, prodding home from close range, but it had come far too late.

Opta stats

  • Sheffield United have extended their unbeaten run at home to Tottenham in the top-flight to six games (W4 D2) since their last defeat in December 1975 (2-1).
  • Tottenham have lost their first Premier League away game against a newly promoted side since a 1-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers in April 2012, ending a run of 23 such matches (W19 D4).
  • Sheffield United have gained their first league victory since the Premier League restart in June, with more shots on target today (5) than they managed in their previous three such games combined (3).
  • Jose Mourinho has lost seven Premier League games as Tottenham manager, one more defeat (6) than he suffered in his first two seasons in the competition as Chelsea boss (2004-05/2005-06) combined.
  • No team have scored more goals via substitutes than Sheffield United (7) in the Premier League this season, while no player has scored more as a substitute than Lys Mousset (3).
  • Sander Berge has scored his first goal for Sheffield United in the Premier League on his eighth appearance, with his first shot on target in the competition.
  • Sheffield United’s Chris Basham has registered his first Premier League assist since August 2010 for Blackpool, 9 years and 323 days ago. This is the fourth longest gap between assists in the competition, and longest since Robbie Blake went 10 years and 1 day between October 1999 and October 2009. 
  • Tottenham’s Harry Kane has now scored against all 29 of the Premier League teams he has faced – he is the only player to face more than one club in the competition and score against all of them.

What’s next?

Wilder’s men play Burnley on Sunday (kick off 12pm) whilst Tottenham are back in action on Monday evening against Everton, both games are live on Sky Sports.

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