“Based on this shambolic display, the closest Tottenham will get to the Champions League is watching it on telly,” writes David Anderson for the Mirror.
“Jose Mourinho’s side were humbled by Sheffield United and instead it will Chris Wilder’s Blades who go to bed dreaming of competing against Europe’s elite.
“The turning point was Harry Kane’s disallowed effort at 1-0, which was ruled out by VAR for handball against Lucas Moura, and Spurs never recovered from this disappointment.
“But Mourinho will still be shocked by the manner of their collapse and their defending for United’s goals was woeful.
“Huge credit must go to United for the way they rescaled their pre-lockdown heights and their display in the final hour was as good as any they have produced this season.”
“It is the Laws and not VAR itself, of course, that mean such nonsense has invaded and vandalised our game. Sadly, common sense is not included in the rulebook,” writes Craig Hope for the Mail.
“Mourinho said: ‘I would be in trouble if I said what I feel. I never complain with the referee anymore, because he is not the referee. He is only the assistant referee. The referee is in the office and that is not good for the game.’
“Kane did eventually score with what was nothing more than a consolation in injury-time. At least the boys in the VAR studio have a sense of humour, for it brought a collective laugh inside the ground when they checked it for offside. Kane, for the record, was clearly on as he finished from close range.
“By then, though, the damage was done for Spurs, in part because of VAR, but a large chunk of it self inflicted.
“If they had huffed and puffed before Kane’s lost goal, they simply seemed to huff thereafter.
“They were awful. Champions League finalists last season, they are now level on points with Burnley, scrapping it out for ninth position, nine points behind Chelsea in fourth.”
“The opener was then totally overshadowed by VAR controversy when Spurs went up the other end and Kane had the ball in the net,” writes Mike McGrath for the Telegraph.
“In the build-up, Moura had been fouled and, as he fell to the floor, Egan’s clearance unintentionally struck him on the top of the arm, with Kane dancing around Basham and finishing.
“That Moura had no control over his “assist” meant nothing to Oliver sat in front of his screen looking at the replays. The ball had touched the Brazilian’s arm and the goal was chalked off.
“Chris Kavanagh, the referee, was urged to look at replays on the big screen but the decision had been made. Blades would have known that frustrating feeling.
“Mourinho was understandably livid in the technical area, receiving a warning his behaviour could see him sent to the stands.
“His mood did not get better after Oliver Norwood, already booked, caught Heung-Min Son with an elbow but did not pick up a second yellow card.”
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“19/20’s worst VAR call?
“Berge scored for the home side, thought it looked as if the lead had lasted only seconds, as Steven Bergwijn blazed a trail through the centre of the park, got a fortuitous bounce of the ball toward Harry Kane and he scuffed in a left-footed finish,” writes Karl Matchett for the Independent.
“Two minutes of deliberation later and Jose Mourinho was fuming on the touchline; as Bergwijn was bundled to ground—surely a foul in the normal course of events—the ball was whacked against him from two yards away in an attempted clearance and rebounded to Kane—apparently off the Dutchman’s arm.
“No longer does intent (or even awareness) come into the reckoning.
“Any touch of the ball by an arm in the build-up to a goal is, by the new law, a foul, so Kane’s goal was rightly chalked off—but by all sporting fairness and common footballing sense, it feels incredible that, somehow, Tottenham are penalised from that situation.
“And, are we absolutely sure it hit the arm? There’s at least a few angles on the replays which suggest the clearance clattered Bergwijn’s side or back, instead.”