LONDON (REUTERS) - Tottenham Hotspur's winless run in the Premier League stretched to five games as George Baldock's equaliser earned an impressive Sheffield United side a 1-1 draw on Saturday (Nov 9).
It was the least the visitors deserved as they were comfortably the better side before halftime and were victims of a highly-dubious VAR decision after it.
The hosts were fortunate to go ahead in the 58th minute through Son Heung-min's goal - Tottenham's first shot on target - and even more so when David McGoldrick's apparent equaliser soon afterwards was ruled out for offside by VAR.
Tottenham could not capitalise, though, and Chris Wilder's United side kept plugging away, earning their reward when Baldock's miscued low cross sneaked in at the back post and the goal was allowed to stand after another anxious wait for VAR.
Tottenham finally began to display some urgency late on and they almost snatched victory in stoppage time when substitute Lucas Moura's piledriver was tipped over by Dean Henderson.
Sheffield United are now unbeaten in five Premier League games and moved up to fifth with 17 points.
Tottenham, who are yet to win consecutive matches all season, slipped to 12th, three points worse off as their season continues to splutter.
"When you don't win you are disappointed and it's impossible to be happy," Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino told reporters.
"We didn't start the game well. We knew we were up against an energetic, well-organised team, probably the worst kind of team after a long trip in the Champions League.
"The last 15 minutes we dominated but from the beginning we suffered a lot."
Pochettino's side were as dreary as the north London rain in a dreadful first-half display in which their prosaic build-up play rarely troubled the visitors.
The sides had not met in a league clash for 12 years and you have to go back to 1991 for the last United won at Spurs.
But they should have been ahead by halftime.
Oliver Norwood and John Fleck both forced Paulo Gazzaniga into saves and John Lundstram failed to connect with a gilt-edged chance in front of goal before rattling the post.
Tottenham's Harry Kane was a virtual spectator although he should have done better from Serge Aurier's low cross.
There was little evidence of an improvement after the break but Tottenham went ahead when Enda Stevens inadvertently played in Son who fired through the legs of Henderson.
Two minutes later Stevens made amends when his slide-rule cross was tapped home by McGoldrick.
But after a near four-minute delay for a VAR check, prompting a chorus of boos around the ground, referee Graham Scott disallowed it for an offside in the build-up, although video replays were inconclusive.
When Baldock's cross-shot ended up in the net the travelling fans again feared the worst as the video screen displayed "checking goal". But this time they could celebrate a hugely impressive performance.
"I'm proud of the players, the performance, and I thought we took the game to the opposition from the off," Wilder said.
"I believe we were the better side today."