Mourinho livid as Blades boss Wilder enjoys a lucky break
Sheffield Utd 3 Tottenham Hotspur 1
Chris Wilder has been due some luck with technology and the video assistant referee (Var) could not have been kinder in getting Sheffield United's bid for European football back on track, while denting the hopes of Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho was predictably and understandably furious with the call from Michael Oliver in Stockley Park, disallowing Harry Kane's goal with the match in the balance when the ball had been kicked against Lucas Moura's shoulder in the build-up while the Brazilian was prostrate.
It mattered little to Wilder, who exacted revenge after his team were denied a win at Tottenham by the finest of offside calls when John Lundstram's toe denied David McGoldrick, with replays looking inconclusive.
They were also denied when Hawkeye technology failed completely at Aston Villa when they had the ball in the net in their first game of Project Restart. At last fortune went their way, with Sander Berge and Lys Mousset scoring either side of their reprieve and Oli McBurnie adding a third.
"We are the unofficial champions of Europe for decisions against us, so I totally understand their manager's frustration," said Wilder. "It wasn't intentional, but we had the same with John Egan at Brighton. We've had the rub of the green; it's well overdue."
Mourinho's chances of reaching the Champions League places were always slim, while Sheffield United may have regained some of the momentum lost during the break. They have returned with their passionate fans no longer in the stands, technology failing them and a crippling injury list.
To emphasise how badly Wilder's squad has been hit, only seven of the allotted nine substitutes were named. Wilder spotted ex-Tottenham and Sheffield United midfielder Michael Brown in front of the media seats and asked if he fancied a game.
Jack O'Connell has been the biggest loss at the heart of Wilder's defence, while Lundstram and John Fleck were the midfield heartbeat.
In their absence, it was down to Berge to announce himself with his first goal since his club record £22 million arrival from Genk. The Norwegian was playing Champions League football earlier in the season and his goal finished off a sweeping move fit to grace Europe's elite.
The opener was totally overshadowed by the Var controversy when Spurs went up the other end and Kane had the ball in the net.
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. That Moura had no control over his "assist" meant nothing to Oliver 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.
Mourinho was livid, receiving a warning that his behaviour could see him sent to the stands.
His mood did not get better after Oliver Norwood, already booked, caught Son Heung-min with an elbow but did not pick up a second yellow.
Ricardo Formosinho, Mourinho's assistant, led the protests to Kavanagh at half-time.
The second goal came from a similar position to the first, with Spurs' concentration going as Ben Osborn raced into a dangerous position. He released Enda Stevens, who crossed for Mousset to tap in. McBurnie scored at the near post from Berge's fizzing cross.
Kane pulled one back at the end when he finished from close range. (© Daily Telegraph, London)