Sharp Spurs secure fifth

Sheffield United v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – Bramall Lane – Premier League – Report

Sheffield United 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur 

Dejan Kulusevski netted twice as Tottenham Hotspur concluded their season with a 3-0 win at already relegated Sheffield United to clinch a fifth-place FA Premier League finish and at the same time confirm their spot in next season’s Europa League. 

Ange Postecoglou made just the one change following Spurs’ 2-0 home loss to Manchester City on Tuesday with Kulusevski coming in to replace Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the starting line up and it was the Swede who gave the North Londoners the lead after only fourteen minutes when Micky van de Ven’s cross found James Maddison and Heung-Min Son to link well before the ball came through to Kulusevski to sweetly rifle home via Wes Fotheringham’s far post.

With Spurs buoyed by the goal, they pushed forward confidently and were unfortunate not to add to their tally when Rodrigo Bentancur’s low shot struck the upright before just minutes later, Son forced a smart save out of Foderingham after being cleverly teed up by Brennan Johnson.

Unmarked Cristian Romero had a wonderful opportunity to add a second – only to prod Pedro Porro’s cross wide from just eight yards out.

Spurs constant pressure was rewarded in the fifty-ninth minute, when after Fotheringham pulled off yet another fine save to deny Micky van de Ven, Johnson laid the rebound off to Porro to spectacularly hammer home his third goal of the season. 

Just six minutes later, Maddison’s first-time low cross was turned in by Kulusevski for his second of the afternoon and Spurs third.

Following a melee in the Blades box that saw Son go to ground, Andre Brooks was shown a red card – only for this to be rescinded shortly after when referee Andy Madley was called to review footage of the incident on the pitch-side monitor.

Sub Rhian Brewster had a chance to pull one back for Sheffield United in the eightieth minute only to drag his effort well wide of the post, while at the other end, Son’s dipping cross from the left found Johnson to fire over the crossbar from short range.

With the game long won, Postecoglou introduced Mikey Moore and Dane Scarlett for short cameos at the end with both players taking advantage of the opportunity by displaying great attacking flair and a willingness to take on the home defence.

Postecoglou spoke to after the match: “I thought it was good. It was important we finished the season off with a positive performance and a positive result and we did both.

“It was a good way to sign off. I was pleased with our general focus. It isn’t easy, last game of the year, Sheffield United nothing to play for… potentially you could get dragged away from your own ambitions but, for the most part, I thought we were really focused and scored some good goals, probably should have had more, but their goalkeeper was outstanding. We also kept a clean sheet, so a few things there that were positive for us.”

Following the game, Spurs were scheduled to travel to Australia where they are due to play Newcastle United in a post-season friendly at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday.  The game kicks off at 7:45pm local time (10:45am UK time).

Sheffield United: Foderingham, Ahmedhodzic, Trusty, Robinson (Capt) Bogle, Hamer, Arblaster (Brooks 62′) Osborn (Souza 5′) Lowe (Holgate 69′) Archer (Brewster 62′) Brereton Diaz (Jebbison 70′) Subs not used: Davies, McBurnie, Larouci, McAtee

Tottenham Hotspur: Vicario, Pedro Porro (Royal 76′) Romero, Dragusin, van de Ven, Bentancur (Skipp 76′) Sarr (Hojbjerg 66′) Maddison (Moore 88′), Johnson, Son (Capt) (Scarlett 88′) Kulusevski Subs not used: Austin, Whiteman, Donley, Bryan

Referee: Andy Madley

Assistants: Harry Lennard and Nick Hopton

Fourth Official: Tom Nield

VAR: Tim Robinson

Assistant VAR: Mark Scholes

Attendance: 29,116