VAR hogs the headlines again but Sheffield United showcase their determination once more

Sheffield United's John Lundstram hit the woodwork in the first half
Sheffield United's John Lundstram hit the woodwork in the first half
0
Have your say

“It has been talked about far too much in my opinion,” Chris Wilder said of VAR this week.

Perhaps it was inevitable, then, that we were talking about it again on matchday at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Video assistant referee Darren Cann denied David McGoldrick his first goal of the season and Sheffield United a famous win, but could not stop them extended their unbeaten run to five matches.

When McGoldrick's 60th-minute goal was ruled out after a trial by replay which went on for around three minutes but felt like more, it looked like being a hard-luck story for the Blades and Enda Stevens in particular. Instead, it was just another opportunity to showcase the determination which allows them to make the most ability which is much higher than Neil Warnock's well-meaning “bang average” comment gave them credit for this week.

If the first half was about midfield runners, it looked like the second would be about strikers until the Blades's forward-thinking defenders conjured an equaliser.

John Lundstram struck the upright in one of two good first-half chances.

Spurs, with their wealth of talent between Harry Kane and the back four, had plenty of opportunities too but the fact Sheffield United matched such exalted company was a huge compliment.

Chris Wilder's men had been quicker out of the blocks, and Eric Dier's sluggishness could have cost him dearly. The centre-back was booked for a foul on Lundstram in the second minute, and fortunate not to receive a second caution for his challenge on Lys Mousset after 14 minutes.

Lundstram was not the only Blade causing problems from deep, and Paulo Gazzaniga was forced to tip over a John Fleck shot which took a touch off Kane after just three minutes. Fleck also forced a good low save from Spurs's stand-in goalkeeper.

Kane ought to have done the same in the 16th minute, but put Serge Aurier's cross wide under pressure as the hosts had their first note of chance in the 16th minute. Shortly afterwards Giovani Lo Celso then curled wide from outside the area.

But United withstood the pressure and reasserted themselves. McGoldrick's long-range shot was too straight, and Lundstram was unable to capitalise on two good chances.

His touch from Steven's excellent curling cross had Gazzaniga in a panicked scramble across his goal, but went just wide and three minutes later he hit a pull-back against the crossbar. His next shot, when teed up by McGoldrick, was just wild.

Spurs brought on Harry Winks for Tanguy Ndombele at half-time to try to close things up, and the focus switched to the frontmen and Son Heung-min in particular.

He curled wide in the 50th-minute after shifting the ball into space and forced a good save from Dean Henderson shortly afterwards when Alli slid a gorgeous ball through. Henderson did well to push the shot so wide.

Either side of it, Mousset twisted himself into a shooting opportunity, only to put his shirt over his head after dragging it wide.

Son was only playing because his Sunday red card was overturned, but he pounced on a Stevens mistake to score his third goal since. Stevens tried to nudge the ball to John Egan in a dangerous area, but paid the price for his inaccuracy.

He looked to have made amends two minutes later, crossing low for McGoldrick to tap in. After an inordinate delay with the players all lined up expecting a goal, it was chalked off because Lundstram's big toe had been ahead of the last defender when the ball was on the other side of the field in the build-up.

The Blades, though, refused to accept their fate and when when George Baldock's cross found the net after 78 minutes after another delay to see if Chris Basham had touched it in from an offside position. He had not.

It took a brilliant Henderson tip-over from substitute Lucas Moura to protect the Blades's point, but it was well-deserved.

Tottenham Hotspur: Gazzaniga; Aurier, Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Ndombele, Sissoko; Lo Celso, Alli, Son; Kane.

Unused substitutes: Alderweireld, Winks, Vorm, Sessegnon, Foyth, Eriksen, Moura.

Sheffield UnitedL Henderson; O'Connell, Egan, Basham; Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens; McGoldrick, Mousset.

Unused substitutes: L Freeman, McBurnie, Sharp, Robinson, Jagielka, Moore, Besic.

Referee: G Scott (Oxfordshire)