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Spurs’ Champions League hopes fade against Sheffield United amid VAR controversy

Sheffield United and Spurs went into this game knowing that a win was vital if they wanted to keep up their push for Champions League football next year.

Wolves and Man United have been in fine form, so losing further ground on their rivals could be too much to overcome.

Line Ups:

Sheffield United: 3-5-2 – Henderson, Basham, Egan, Robinson, Baldock, Berge, Norwood, Osborn, Stevens, McBurnie, McGoldrick

Subs: 63′ Mousset for McGoldrick, 91′ Freeman for McBurnie

Spurs: 4-2-2-2 – Lloris, Aurier, Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Lo Celso, Sissoko, Lucas, Bergwijn, Kane, Son

Subs: 56′ Lamela for Bergwijn, 71′ Ndombele for Aurier, 71′ Alli for Sissoko, 81′ Vertonghen for Davies

First Half:

While the main talking point of the half and the game came from VAR’s decision to disallow a Spurs goal, it was Sheffield United who took the lead.

Sheffield United’s game revolves around overloading the wings and getting someone to the by-line, and it paid off here as the ball was cut back to Sander Berge who took a positive first touch and drove it back across Lloris and into the far corner:

It was only two minutes later when Harry Kane thought he had dragged his side back into the game, and it’s yet more VAR controversy that will take the headlines here.

In truth it’s an astonishing decision, Lucas Moura looks like he’s fouled and the ball is then thumped against him, but it was ruled as a handball against the Spurs man and the goal was chalked off:

This meant that Spurs went into the break 1-0 down, and Jose Mourinho would need to find a way to get that out of his player’s minds and get them reset for the second half.

Second Half:

Unfortunately it didn’t really work out like that, as it was Sheffield United who grabbed their second and took control of the game just after the hour mark.

Again they get some joy by getting to the byline and pulling the ball back, and it was Lys Mousset who was left with the simple task of tapping in from a few yards out:

It’s rare to see a Jose Mourinho team take a heavy beating, but the home side made it 3-0 when Oliver McBurnie sealed the victory in the 84th minute.

There are no prizes for guessing how the goal came about – Sheffield United get to the byline and a fine cross into the six yard box is converted by the Scotsman.

Spurs did manage a late consolation as Harry Kane tapped home after a fine first touch cross from Son, but it was too little too late.

Stats:

From Sky Sports

Post Match Thoughts:

If Jose Mourinho can’t win a game then he usually takes consolation in having something to blame, and that VAR decision will give him the perfect excuse to divert attention away from his team’s performance.

It’s a huge win for Chris Wilder’s men after a poor run of form since the restart, and they know they still have an outside chance of Champions League football next season.