Tottenham draws Sheffield in VAR drama

George Baldock, Sheffield United
George Baldock’s fortuitous strike salvaged a point for Sheffield United at Tottenham

George Baldock’s fortuitous equaliser saw Sheffield United stretch their unbeaten run to five games with a deserved draw at Tottenham, who remain without a win in the league since September.

He then capitalised on Stevens’ error and drilled home his eighth of the season, via the tiniest of deflections, under the Blades keeper.

However, the South Korean’s performance did little to mask the shortcomings of Pochettino’s side, who gifted the visitors possession on numerous occasions.

The Blades failed to capitalise on their hosts’ generosity until 12 minutes from time, when Baldock’s cross-shot found its way into the far corner.

The result means Spurs remain without a win in the league since beating Southampton at home on 28 September.

Man of the match – George Baldock (Sheffield United)

George Baldock, Sheffield United
The Blades full-back was a constant threat down the right-hand side and deserved the slice of good fortune that led to his second-half equaliser

Blades stay unbeaten on the road – the stats

  • Sheffield United are only the third newly-promoted side to avoid defeat in each of their opening six away games in a Premier League season, after Blackburn Rovers (first 8 in 1992-93) and Nottingham Forest (first six in 1994-95).
  • Tottenham’s tally of 14 points is their lowest after 12 games to a Premier League season since 2008-09 (12).
  • Tottenham have lost more points from winning positions than any other Premier League side this season (12).
  • Sheffield United are unbeaten in 15 away league games (W5 D10), a run stretching back to January of last season, equalling their club record previously set in April 2009 (also 15 away league games unbeaten).
  • Tottenham failed to register a single shot on target in the first half of a Premier League game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first time, and the first in any home league match since January against Man Utd at Wembley.
  • Son Heung-Min has scored five goals in his last five games for Tottenham in all competitions, as many as he had in his previous 18 appearances for the club combined beforehand.
  • Baldock scored his first goal in 38 appearances in all competitions for Sheffield United since finding the net against Swansea City in the Championship in August 2018, one year and 97 days ago.

‘We are not showing the performances that we expect’ – what the managers said

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino, speaking to the BBC: “It was an even game, difficult for us – they are a very good, organised team. It was difficult to play in the first half. We were better in the second half, but overall it’s a fair result.

“We knew very well how they play, they got a draw at Chelsea and they are playing so well. The most difficult thing for us was to match their energy. In the second half we were much better and matched them.

On the disallowed goal: “It happened with us against Leicester, similar to today. This type of situation is difficult to talk about but I think in every single fixture we are talking about the VAR”

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder, speaking to the BBC: “I’m proud of the players, the performance, and I thought we took the game to the opposition from the off.

“We feel we have identity. We defend from the front, we all have jobs to do. We’ve restricted world-class players to very few opportunities. You know that they will, through natural ability and talent, create, but we stuck in there. I believe we were the better side today.

On the disallowed goal: “If they’re looking at lines and magnifying it and getting it right then fine… of course the length of time is disappointing for everybody, but if it’s offside, it’s offside. The thing I didn’t get is the reset – I thought it would get reset and then away you go for the second phase.”

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November 2019