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Sheffield United 3-1 Tottenham: Berge and Mousset sink Spurs amid VAR controversy

By Patric Ridge

London, July 2: Tottenham were on the wrong end of a controversial VAR decision as Jose Mourinho's side slumped to a 3-1 Premier League defeat at Sheffield United.

Premier League Results | Premier League Points Table

Harry Kane seemed to have pulled Spurs level immediately after Sander Berge's 31st-minute opener, yet the visitors were to be denied by the technology.

Despite there being a clear foul on Lucas Moura in the build-up, VAR official Michael Oliver deemed the Tottenham attacker to have handled the ball as he fell.

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Tottenham's frustration was compounded midway through the second half as substitute Lys Mousset tucked into a gaping net.

Oli McBurnie made sure of victory six minutes from time, Kane's late effort the only blemish on a triumph that ended the Blades' four-match winless run.

Spurs could have been ahead inside six minutes – Moussa Sissoko just unable to get on the end of Eric Dier's flick-on from a corner.

Kane sliced a presentable chance wide soon after, and Tottenham were made to pay for his rare show of profligacy when Berge slammed home a low finish from inside the area.

Tottenham thought they were level a minute later as Kane calmly slotted in, only for the goal to be harshly disallowed for a handball by Moura, who only tripped onto the ball after he was fouled.

After a bright start to the second half, United could have been 2-0 up just after the hour, only for David McGoldrick to slice an effort into the side netting.

Yet McGoldrick's replacement Mousset made no such mistake with his first opportunity, the ex-Bournemouth striker provided with a simple finish after latching onto Enda Stevens' cross.

Kane had another goal rightly disallowed for offside soon after, though it was United who had their third next when Berge teed up McBurnie.

A defensive lapse from Berge allowed Son Heung-min to set up Kane in the 90th minute, though it was a mere consolation as Spurs suffered their first defeat since the restart.

What does it mean? Blades get back on track in style

A run of poor results since the restart had seen United drop to 10th prior to kick-off, yet they are now up into seventh place, which should be enough to secure at least a spot in the Europa League qualifiers.

Chris Wilder's side are two points above Tottenham, who will need a result against 11th-placed Everton next time out to propel themselves back to the top of the pack chasing the top six.

Berge off the mark for the Blades It has been a staggered start to life in the Premier League for Berge, who has struggled to show his best form either side of lockdown, but the Norway international displayed great poise and composure with his finish, netting his maiden United goal with his first shot on target in England's top flight, and to complete an impressive display, he provided the assist for McBurnie late on.

Defensive woes shake Spurs

Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld were on the bench on Thursday, yet the players preferred by Mourinho – Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez – both failed to cover themselves in glory, and would both be lucky to be in the side next time out.

What's next?

United are back in action on Sunday, facing Burnley at Turf Moor, while Spurs host Everton on Monday.

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Story first published: Friday, July 3, 2020, 0:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 3, 2020
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