Sheffield United 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur
What a difference a few days make!
Spurs headed to South Yorkshire, criticism ringing in their ears from all corners. The players, manager no one escaped. Nothing less than three points and a positive performance would do as questions continued to be raised over the Lilywhites title aspirations.
As it transpired, relegation-haunted Sheffield United proved to be no match. A potential banana skin was avoided, the Mourinho roadshow back on track.
It took Tottenham just two minutes to breach the Premier League bottom side – Serge Aurier heading home Heung-Min Son’s flag-kick.
And it was 2-0 shortly before the break – Harry Kane adding to his impressive haul with a strike from just outside the box.
Of course, no Tottenham performance would be complete without a few minutes of trepidation. David McGoldrick headed home on the hour – concerned glances at the television from Lilywhitse fans everywhere. Not again, surely?
Well, it wasn’t. Tanguy Ndombele terrific lob secured the three points – the talented Frenchmans stock continuing to rise following an uneasy start under Mourinho.
“The performance was good,” the Spurs chief enthused.
“The team was very dominant, created enough chances to kill the game in the first half.
“In the second half, the intention was the same. A very basic mistake, very basic, gave them the goal with the only chance they had, but then we had a genius action to bring us again to a two-goal advantage.”
The win moved Tottenham back into contention – the gap between themselves and leaders, Manchester United just four points. Nevertheless, Mourinho insisted it is all about what his side do and that focus would be placed elsewhere: “I think that’s what we have to do,” he added.
“We have to do our season, we have to play our matches. We are in four competitions, we have a final to play.
“Unfortunately, we cannot do that next month, we have to wait until the end of April, we are going to fight in Europa League, we are going to fight in FA Cup, we have a lot to take.
“I think at the end of the season, with the right results, you realise how good your season was, how better it could be, how worse it could be, and where you can improve.
“As a stat, I think the last time Tottenham beat Sheffield United, I think was black and white television. So we managed to beat Sheffield with good TV colours.”
Tottenham Hotspur now turn their attention to the Emirates FA Cup where they will face Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park on Monday, January 25 (8pm).
Sheffield United: Ramsdale, Basham (Sharp 74’), Egan (Capt), Ampadu, Bogle, Lundstram, Norwood (Bryan 66’), Fleck, Stevens, McGoldrick, Burke (Brewster 71’) Subs not used: Jagielka, Foderingham, Baldock, Lowe
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (Capt), Rodon, Dier, Davies, Aurier, Hojbjerg, Ndombele, Reguilon (Sanchez 90+4’), Bergwijn (Lucas 87’), Kane, Son (Vinicius 90+2’) Subs not used: Hart, Alderweireld, Gedson, Sissoko, Lamela, Bale