FROM TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR STADIUM – Tottenham scored goals in the 98th and 101st minute to come from behind and beat Sheffield United on Saturday.
Ange Postecoglou’s men were frustrated throughout by dogged defending and endless time-wasting but they were eventually rewarded for their endeavours with a grandstand finish.
The Blades were stubborn throughout but finally wilted under the pressure and head back north without even a point to show for their efforts.
How the game unfolded
After a quiet opening period, Tottenham carved out the first chance of the afternoon midway through the first half, with Yves Bissouma tip-toeing his way past three Sheffield United defenders and into the penalty area, only for Wes Foderingham to smother his close-range effort.
Foderingham was called into action again soon after to push away a curling strike from Son Heung-min as Spurs started clicking into hear.
Sheffield United then had an opening to take the lead. Anel Ahmedhodzic’s long ball over the top was hooked back across by Jayden Bogle and stuck goal-wards by James McAtee, with Guglielmo Vicario producing a fine save to deny him.
Next to go close was Manor Solomon, who wriggled away from the imposing presence of Ahmedhodzic and fired a shot through a crowd of bodies towards the near post, but Foderingham shifted back over his line well to get a glove on the ball.
Tottenham should have been awarded a penalty when James Maddison was clipped by Chris Basham just inside the box, but referee Peter Bankes and the VAR decided against awarding a spot kick.
Sheffield United managed to slow the game down after the break and frustrate their hosts, with Spurs having to wait until the 67th minute to get another clear sight of goal – Foderingham tipped over a fierce strike from Solomon on this occasion.
The visitors took the lead against the run of play when a long throw-in was allowed to bounce all the way to Gustavo Hamer, who smashed in at the back post.
Tottenham eventually had the ball in the net through debutant Brennan Johnson, but he was flagged for offside after shifting himself half-a-yard too early to meet Bissouma’s ball.
Eight minutes into stoppage time, Spurs found their equaliser. Ivan Perisic’s corner found the run of Richarlison, who headed in with ease from close range.
But that was not the end of it for the hosts, who won the game in the 101st minute. Richarlison again found a pocket of space and had time to swivel and set through Dejan Kulusevski, who found the top corner with his weaker right foot to send Tottenham Hotspur Stadium into bedlam.
Oliver McBurnie was sent off for a second bookable offence while Sheffield United tried to create another opening as Spurs held on to secure a memorable victory.
GK: Guglielmo Vicario – 6/10 – Produced some decent saves when called upon but not much he could have done for Hamer’s goal.
RB: Pedro Porro – 6/10 – Kept Thomas quiet but was unusually uninvolved out of possession in the second half.
CB: Cristian Romero – 8/10 – Effortlessly won the ball back and progressed it into midfield and beyond.
CB: Micky van de Ven – 7/10 – Held his own against the physical McBurnie, though his limitations in passing the ball were clear.
LB: Destiny Udogie – 6/10 – Like Porro was lesser seen as the game progressed and got tighter.
CM: Pape Matar Sarr – 7/10 – The calmest head in midfield for Tottenham, breezing into space with his gangly frame.
CM: Yves Bissouma – 6/10 – Broke up play but held onto the ball a little too long at times and slowed the game down.
RM: Dejan Kulusevski – 8/10 – Let the ball bounce leading to Hamer’s opener, but did not let deter him, keeping his cool and popping up with the winner.
AM: James Maddison – 6/10 – Guilty of trying too hard when the going got tough, forcing crosses and trying to create chances that weren’t on.
LM: Manor Solomon – 5/10 – Shrugged out of the game too easily, though did make a couple of chances despite this disadvantage.
CF: Son Heung-min – 4/10 – His lack of physical presence was glaringly obvious and shows why it’s harder to play him centrally against such a stubborn backline.
SUB: Richarlison (80′ for Sarr) – 9/10 – One goal, one assist. Job done.
SUB: Ivan Perisic (80′ for Solomon) – 7/10 – Grabbed an important assist of his own.
SUB: Brennan Johnson (80′ for Son) – 6/10
SUB: Emerson Royal (90′ for Porro) – N/A
SUB: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (90′ for Van de Ven) – N/A
Subs not used: Forster (GK), Dier, Davies, Skipp
Ange Postecoglou – 7/10 – Tottenham kept their heads and stuck to their gameplan, eventually being rewarded with a win.
GK: Wes Foderingham – 7/10 – The pantomime villain of the day. Escaped a red card, time-wasted whenever he pleaded and came up with some huge saves.
CB: Anel Ahmedhodzic – 7/10 – A rock at the back. Relished his duels against Solomon.
CB: Chris Basham – 6/10 – A little fortunate not to have conceded a penalty. Otherwise held his own at the heart of defence until the bitter end.
CB: Jack Robinson – 6/10 – Got the better of Kulusevski time and time again before popping up with an assist.
RM: Jayden Bogle – 6/10 – Wasn’t to be outfought by Udogie. A useful outlet to start counter attacks.
CM: Gustavo Hamer – 8/10 – Quiet for the most part before coming up with the crucial goal.
CM: Vinicius Souza – 5/10 – Put to work by Sarr and Bissouma but put in a shift regardless.
CM: James McAtee – 5/10 – A late runner into the box but spurned his only opening.
LM: Luke Thomas – 5/10 – Hardly managed to get a foot in the game.
CF: Oliver McBurnie – 4/10 – His life was made difficult by Van de Ven’s tenacity. Sent off in stoppage time.
CF: Cameron Archer – 4/10 – Quietened by a combination of Romero and Van de Ven.
SUB: Oliver Norwood (69′ for McAtee) – 5/10
SUB: Tom Davies (80′ for Hamer) – 4/10
SUB: Auston Trusty (86′ for Trusty) – N/A
Subs not used: A. Davies (GK), Larouci, Seriki, Ben Slimane, Traore
Paul Heckingbottom – 6/10 – Sheffield United did their job well for 97 minutes. Sometimes football’s just like that.