Sheffield United overcame VAR controversy to grab a 1-1 draw at Tottenham after having a goal ruled out for John Lundstram’s big toe being offside.
Despite being second best for the majority, Spurs took the lead through Heung-Min Son (58) but the Blades thought they had equalised when David McGoldrick struck two minutes later. However, after a four-minute wait at the centre circle, VAR overturned the goal as it was deemed Lundstram’s big toe was offside in the build-up.
Chris Wilder’s men were right to feel hard done by but remained the more creative team and found a way through when Baldock’s cross from the right flew straight in (78) as Spurs just could not match United’s intensity and willingness to press in midfield.
The result means the Blades remain unbeaten away from home this season and keeps a disjointed Spurs in the bottom half.
Tottenham: Gazzaniga (7), Aurier (6), Dier (4), Sanchez (7), Davies (6), Sissoko (6), Lo Celso (7), Ndombele (5), Son (7), Alli (6), Kane (6)
Subs: Winks (6), Moura (6), Foyth (6)
Sheffield United: Henderson (7), Basham (7), Egan (7), O’Connell (7), Baldock (8), Lundstram (8), Norwood (7), Fleck (7), Stevens (7), McGoldrick (8), Mousset (8)
Subs: Robinson (N/A), Freeman (N/A)
Man of the match: David McGoldrick
VAR: Friend or toe? How the Blades battled back…
Tottenham kicked off in the Premier League’s bottom 10 teams for the first time since 2014 after a poor opening quarter of the season, while the Blades were in the European spots. Those particular places in the table looked no fluke judging from this encounter.
There were 18 shots on goal in a breathless opening 45 minutes – a match that was certainly bossed by the visitors.
After a booking for Eric Dier after 75 seconds, the Blades set up camp in Tottenham territory. Oliver Norwood had a brilliant half-volley tipped over the crossbar by Paulo Gazzaniga, John Fleck struck straight at the goalkeeper from 15 yards and Lundstram turned an Enda Stevens cross inches wide from close range.
Giovani Lo Celso made his first Premier League start in one of three changes from the 1-1 draw with Everton as Eric Dier also returned for just his second Premier League start of the season. The Blades were unchanged from their 3-0 win over Burnley.
Lundstrum then fired an effort back off the upright on 30 minutes as Spurs continued to be bewildered by Sheffield United’s energy and bite in midfield.
A similar pattern remained after the break with the brilliant McGoldrick and Mousset linking up to great effect but the Blades could not quite find the final finish. They were punished on 58 minutes.
Stevens played a poor ball back towards his own goal inside the box and Son seized upon the error from a tight angle, putting the ball through Dean Henderson’s legs.
The Blades thought they levelled two minutes later when McGoldrick tapped home Stevens’ cross to send the away end wild. However, replays deliberated whether Lundstram’s big toe was offside in the build-up and after nearly four minutes of waiting, the VAR eventually ruled out the goal to the delight of the home fans.
An incident like that would usually deflate teams but not the Blades, who continued to probe and press. Wilder’s men got a slice of luck with the eventual equaliser but it was one they richly deserved. Baldock’s cross from the right was aimed at Chris Basham but missed everyone and ended up nestling in the bottom corner. VAR took a look at whether Basham’s toe was in an offside position – but this goal stood.
Man of the match: David McGoldrick
The Sheffield United attacker has taken the step up a level in his stride and in this type of form, he has to enter conversations as being one of the best in the Premier League at linking the play. His movement and intelligent use of the ball completely bamboozled the Spurs backline, especially Dier, who was given the run-around by the Sheffield United front two. McGoldrick made four key passes in the game as the Blades created ample opportunities.
McGoldrick and Mousset complement each other’s game brilliantly – it’s a strike force that Premier League defences will have to take very seriously. They are a joy to watch.
Phil Thompson on Soccer Saturday: “Spurs are so disjointed on the pitch. We know them for great fluidity, playing through the lines. But it was awful. Some of the passes going astray were dreadful. It’s not what we know of Spurs.
“After Son’s goal you thought now they’d be composed. Now they can start passing. Sheffield United might run out of legs. That wasn’t the case.”
“What has happened to the game!” 😡
More VAR drama as Sheffield United are disallowed an equaliser at Spurs after a delay of over three minutes
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After the international break, Spurs have a trip to West Ham to look forward to on November 23 while the Blades welcome Manchester United, live on that weekend’s Super Sunday.