Tottenham produced yet another limp Premier League display as they stumbled to a 1-1 draw with Sheffield United that was marred by more VAR drama.
Spurs have endured a miserable start to their league campaign and it got no better against the Blades after Son Heung-min’s opener was cancelled out by George Baldock.
Baldock’s 78th-minute strike was the second time United had got the ball in the back of the net, but VAR scrubbed off the first after John Lundstram’s toe was ruled to be offside after a lengthy decision-making process.
It would not have been unjust if Chris Wilder’s men – still unbeaten away from home this term – had left the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with all three points as they created the better chances.
Mauricio Pochettino spoke in the build-up to the game that his side can still finish in the top four, but after only three wins in 12 games they are simply not looking good enough and this will do nothing to quell the suggestion that this Spurs team has run its course.
United on the other hand are loving life in the Premier League and are sitting in the top six going into the third international break of the season.
Given previous struggles in their new home this season, Spurs would have killed for a good start, but again they found themselves off the pace as United looked dangerous early on.
Paulo Gazzanigga was called into action twice, first to tip Oliver Norwood’s deflected effort over the crossbar and then getting down well to keep out John Fleck’s low shot.
Spurs began to click, and could have led had Harry Kane not fluffed a chance at close range, but it was still the visitors that continued to have the clearer openings and Lundstram could have scored twice.
The midfielder, who did score a double in last week’s win over Burnley, first failed to make proper contact with Enda Stevens’ cross and then was denied by the woodwork as his shot from a recycled corner thumped into the post.
Spurs were riding their luck and were inches from falling behind six minutes after the restart.
Lys Mousset wriggled free in the penalty area and sent a shot that left most people in the stadium waiting for the net to bulge but drifted just wide.
That miss proved pivotal as six minutes later Spurs were in front, though there was a large amount of fortune attached to it.
Stevens inexplicably played a loose ball in own area that went straight to Son and the South Korean’s deflected shot went through the legs of Dean Henderson.
Just 129 seconds later, though, Sheffield United were celebrating an equaliser as David McGoldrick converted Stevens’ cross at the far post.
However, after a painstaking check at Stockley Park that lasted longer than the time between the two goals, Lundstram’s toe was ruled offside.
Spurs did not make use of their reprieve, though, beginning to play progressively worse and United got a deserved leveller.
There was a huge amount of luck involved, but it was worthy, as Baldock miscued his cross but it ended up bending in at the far post.
Spurs had a late flurry in an attempt to take the three points, but Dean Henderson was on hand to tip over Lucas Moura’s effort and it ended all-square, much to the annoyance of the home fans who roundly booed their team.