OPPONENTS Sheffield United at Bramall Lane
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Thursday 2nd July 2020

No preview produced

PREDICTION Sheffield United    1        Tottenham Hotspur    1
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS : -  Juan Foyth and Japhet Tanganga could be out for the rest of the season, but are the only players unavailable for this match.

SHEFFIELD UNITED TEAM NEWS : - John Lundstram, John Fleck and Jack O'Connell are all absent from the Blades squad.  Dean Henderson returns in goal after being ineligible to play against Manchester United, the club he is on loan from.


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Premier League Kick off 18:00
Sheffield United  3 (1)  
Tottenham Hotspur  1 (0)

Berge  30m 40s
Mousset  68m 07s
McBurnie  83m 12s


Kane 89m 08s

Crowd :   0,000 Weather :  Cool, drizzly rain
Referee :  Chris Kavanagh (Manchester) Assistant Referees :  Mrs. Sian Massey-Ellis; Mr. Harry Lennard
Fourth Official :  Peter Banks Replacement Official :  Mark Jones
Video Assistant Referee :  Michael Oliver Video Assistant Referee Assistant :  Neil Davies
Sheffield United  kicked off and played towards the Kop end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 9 minutes.
Norwood (foul on Moura) 39
McBurnie (dissent) 89




Sheffield United : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit

  2  George BALDOCK
12  John EGAN
  Chris BASHAM
  3  Enda STEVENS

16  Oliver NORWOOD     
32  Sander BERGE 

17  David McGOLDRICK  (22  Lys MOUSSET  63  )
  9  Oli McBURNIE         (18  Kieron FREEMAN  90+1)

Unused subs: 
26  Jack RODWELL
  Richairo ZIVKOVIC
10  Billy SHARP

    1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

24  Serge AURIER  (28  Tanguy NDOMBELE  71)
15  Eric DIER
  6  Davinson SANCHEZ
33  Ben DAVIES

17  Moussa SISSOKO  (20   DELE Alli  71)
18  Giovani LO CELSO

23  Steven BERGWIJN
27  Lucas MOURA
  7  Heung-Min SON

10  Harry KANE 

Unused subs: 
30  Gedson FERNANDES
  8  Harry WINKS
29  Oliver SKIPP

Manager :  Chris Wilder Manager :  Jose Mourinho
Sponsor :   USG Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  adidas Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

It gets a little depressing writing match reports on Tottenham performances like this.  All the pre-match punditry was in favour of  a Spurs victory, on paper the Tottenham squad outnumbered that of the Blades and looked better in terms of quality.  But these things don't win football matches.  Neither does having nearly 70% of possession throughout the match and coming out of it with a 1-3 defeat.

Sheffield United have had success by being defensively sound (apart from their last two games) and being effective at set-pieces and on breakaways.  They are difficult to break down, as Tottenham found, but they are good in their build-up play, hitting the front man early and he helped hold the ball up for the midfielders (and even the defenders) to get up in support.

After nine days break, Jose Mourinho made only one change, with Steven Bergwijn coming in for Dele, while the home team were injury hit and could only name seven subs instead of nine.

From the start United were on Spurs players in possession very quickly and they nipped in to take the ball inside the first minute, allowing Baldock to have a shot from outside the box, but Hugo Lloris was down to his left to get his body behind it. Tottenham’s first attack came in the fifth minute, when Son won a corner on the Spurs left. It was played in by Sonny, flat and fast with Dier getting a flick on at the near post taking it to the far post, but Moussa Sissoko was too far beyond the far post to be able to knock it back. Son then broke forward from the halfway line, but his pass to Bergwijn outside him on the left was short. Another move foundered in the same way. When Sissoko took the ball forward but the ball to Bergwijn sold him short, before Aurier played a one-two with Bergwijn and his low ball into the box came off Basham and hit Son, who couldn’t react to meet it with a firm contact.

Tottenham’s domination of possession wasn’t bearing fruit, but Sissoko intercepted a loos United ball, setting Spurs away quickly and Bergwijn played it in front of Kane to his right, but, with a defender closing him, he sliced the ball and it flew to the right of the goal. When Davies won an aerial ball in the left back position, Tottenham moved it through the lines very quickly, with Son and Bergwijn combining to pull the ball behind the defenders in the box, but Lucas Moura couldn’t control it. It did fall into the path of Sissoko and his side-footed effort didn’t have enough weight on it to trouble goalkeeper Dean Henderson. When McGoldrick fouled Moura 30 yards out, Harry Kane had a goal, although his shot was off target as it swerved away from Henderson’s goal instead of towards it.

Totally against the run of play, United worked the ball across the pitch form left to right and Basham pulled the ball back from the dead ball line and Sander Berge took a touch and drilled it low across Lloris to find the net with his first goal for the Blades.  It was a well created goal, but nobody picked up Berge as he continued his run into the box and slack defensive work like this has cost Tottenham too often this season.

Just 82 seconds after the opening goal, Spurs attacked with Davinson Sanchez playing a long ball up to Kane, who didn’t win the ball but it was dropped to Moura who was bundled over and the ball kicked against him. It went right into Kane’s path, taking a touch inside and sweeping it left footed past the keeper. VAR kicked in to rule that the kick against Moura hit his hand. Well, firstly, it hit his shoulder and secondly, it was kicked at him deliberately from point blank range, which in the other penalty area would not have brought a penalty.

United looked to make the most of their good fortune and McBurnie put an effort over the bar from a long throw-in. Norwood was booked for a trip on Moura, which saw the free-kick come off him for a corner. When it was cleared, Norwood then made contact with Son’s head with his fist, but this wasn’t reviewed by VAR.  Lo Celso made a great run from his own half, before Son was pushed wide by Basham, then Aurier crossed to the far post and Davies pulled it back, but Egan blocked Lo Celso’s shot.

Turning around a goal down, it could have been very difficult. A goal disallowed and a second booking (at least) for Norwood would have changed the face of the game.

Moura’s early determination won a corner, but it came to nothing, as Sheffield United defended the low ball to the near post. A needless corner to United from a loose touch from Sissoko brought a couple of high balls into the box, but Hugo punched the first and caught the second. Tottenham’s use of the ball wasn’t good enough, with the home side holding the ball better when it was played forward. Perhaps that it was why Mourinho sacrificed Bergwijn’s pace for Lamela’s ability to hold the ball.

Spurs regained their poise and were getting into good crossing positions, but not finding a light blue shirt when the ball was played in. Lamela ran straight at goal from 30 yards but ran into red and white shirts. On the hour, the action was around the Spurs goal when a low cross was knocked up into the air by Lloris and McGoldrick came in at the far post, but only put his shot into the side-netting.  When Tottenham tried to attack, they found a lot of Sheffield United players in the way, as they dragged men back behind the ball when they didn't have it.

Osbourn went running down the left and touched it back to the player he received it from, Stevens and it was the Irishman's low ball that was touched home by Mousset from a couple of yards out to double the home lead. It was shocking defending by Spurs, letting the scorer find space with three men around him and it came seconds before the drinks break. Jose had been about to make a double substitution, with Ndombele and Dele coming on for Sissoko and Aurier as he was going to push for an equaliser, which now became a need for two goals.

Spurs had a lot of the ball, but nothing accurate enough when the ball moved into the final third. Ndombele played a good pass through to Kane, who put it in, but was offside and he had it in the back of the net again three minutes later, but had pushed a defender to make that happen.  It didn't spark too much more of a performance, with possession without penetration.

Oli McBurnie finished the game off with a goal at the near post when Burge broke into the box, leaving the striker to convert it from three yards out. United are a hard-working side and one who can use the ball well, but the amount of the ball Tottenham had and the technical ability of our players, we should have been working their defence and goalkeeper more than we did in this performance. It wasn’t just a bad day at the office, it showed how ineffective our players can be when they meet a side who are willing to set up to frustrate. Decisions by the officials in the match aside, this match was one that the Blades deserved to win and we need to be stronger on the ball and be more aggressive when we haven’t got it. The service into Kane was shocking until the 90th minute when Lamela’s ball to Son inside the box on the left, playing a square ball first time to leave Harry Kane the easy task of putting it into the net from a couple of yards out.

The team who had lost two games heavily since the restart without scoring a goal, they found it too easy to ease to victory against a Spurs side who had done well in their two games and had a long rest. The slow build up allowed Sheffield United to regroup behind the ball and when the team made good space, the final ball was inevitably lacking.  Other than an attitude change among the players, there is not  a lot that will probably change this season, with the perhaps inevitable missing out on Europe as other clubs have overtaken us and have momentum moving up the table.

The VAR decision apart, there is not a lot to complain about when it comes to the result.  There may be a fair bit to debate when it comes to the team's performance though.

Stan Chun

Match facts

Harry Kane's goal saw him complete the full set of scoring against Premier League clubs he has played against ... the only player to do so.

Players ‘took the knee’ before kick-off.

Shirts bore the "Black Lives Matter" and "NHS" logos.

Match sponsors -
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Match programme sponsors -
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How the players did
Hugo Lloris -.
Ben Davies -.
Japhet Tanganga -.
Serge Aurier -.
Davinson Sanchez -.
Eric Dier -.
Giovani Lo Celso -.
Moussa Sissoko -.
Stephen Bergwijn -.
Tanguy Ndombele -.
Heung-Min Son -.
Lucas Moura -.
Harry Kane -.
Erik Lamela -.
Dele Alli -.
Jan Vertonghen -
Paulo Gazzaniga Unused.
Toby Alderweireld Unused
Gedson Fernandes Unused.
Ryan Sessegnon Unused.
Harry Winks Unused.
Oliver Skipp Unused.


What you thought
- -.
- -.


Other scores during this week :
Woolwich Wanderers 4 Norwich City 0 Wednesday
Aston Villa 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Saturday
Bournemouth 1 Newcastle United 4 Wednesday
Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Manchester United 3 Tuesday
Crystal Palace 0 Burnley 1 Monday
Everton 2 Leicester City 1 Wednesday
Manchester City 4 Liverpool 0 Thursday
Watford 1 South Coast Big Club 3 Sunday
West Ham United London 3 Frank Lampard's Chelsea 2 Wednesday


Position before match :  8th
Position after match :  9th

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