Sheffield United snatch a point
Spurs 1-1 Sheffield United
Sat 09 November 2019, 17:01|Tottenham Hotspur
It ended all square at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday afternoon, Heung-Min Son’s goal cancelled out by Sheffield United’s George Baldock as we shared the points with a 1-1 draw for the third time in our last four league matches.
It was an entertaining contest played in constant rain, both sides creating opportunities throughout but only one taken each. After a goalless first half, Heung-Min Son broke the deadlock just before the hour mark when he snaffled up a chance presented to him by hesitation in the visitors' defence. The Blades thought they’d scored two minutes later through David McGoldrick only for VAR to rule it out for offside in the build up, but they did find an equaliser 12 minutes from time when Baldock’s cross flew straight in.
We applied some late pressure with Son and substitute Lucas Moura going close, but couldn’t find the elusive winner and had to settle for a point, our fifth league game without a win.
The Blades certainly started the brighter of the two teams with Ollie Norwood and John Fleck both testing Paulo Gazzaniga from distance inside the opening nine minutes as we struggled to get a foothold in the game. But after those early minutes, we grew into the contest and almost went ahead on 15 minutes following a lovely move, Dele releasing Serge Aurier down the right flank, Harry Kane reached his low cross ahead of the defender but couldn’t divert the ball goalwards. There was a real tempo to the game with both sides looking to play forwards at every opportunity, the visitors forcing another save from Gazzaniga after Davinson Sanchez gave the ball away and McGoldrick drilled in a 20-yard effort.
Then, on 28 minutes, John Lundstram steered the ball just wide from Enda Stevens’ fine cross and when the Blades’ defender cut the ball back from the byline moments later, Lundstram cracked a 15-yard shot against the post. From the rebound, Ben Davies was there to block Lys Mousset’s effort. Our best chance of the half came seven minutes before the interval when Davies found Son in the inside left position, he cut back for Giovani Lo Celso – making his first start in the league for us - on the edge of the area but he could only guide the ball just past the far post.
So it was goalless at the break but there was no let up to the pace of the game at the start of the second period, with chances coming at both ends. Son’s attempted curler was well wide but at the other end, Mousset got the better of Sanchez and hit a right-foot shot which whistled just wide. Our South Korean international then tested Blades’ goalkeeper Dean Henderson with a sharp drive which he kept out but, in the 58th minute, the deadlock was finally broken. Dele fed Kane on the edge of the area but Stevens intercepted and then he and John Egan left the ball for each other, allowing Son to steal in and slot home between Henderson’s legs.
The visitors thought they were level just two minutes later though, Stevens sliding in a cross which McGoldrick tucked home at the back post. United celebrated and the game was about to restart when a VAR check came on the big screens. Three minutes later, it was our fans celebrating as the goal was ruled out, Lundstram literally a matter of millimetres offside in the build-up to the ‘goal’.
Neither side saw any real clear opportunities over the next quarter of an hour as the game entered a bit of a lull, only to explode into life again in the 78th minute as the Blades this time got their goal. Baldock picked up possession out on the right wing and hit a cross which spun off his right foot, missed everyone in the box and nestled in the far corner of Gazzaniga’s net. The closing stages saw us push for the winner, Son having a glimpse of goal in the 90th minute but his shot from a tight angle was gathered by Henderson while substitute Lucas hit an absolute rocket from 20 yards which the Blades' goalkeeper did well to tip over the bar. Honours even at the final whistle.
Having taken the lead through Son’s opportunist strike in the 58th minute, we were given a let-off when VAR disallowed McGoldrick’s effort moments later and perhaps should have taken advantage of that and gone on to wrap up the points. But we failed to really test Henderson after the goal and instead it was the Blades who struck with the key moment, Baldock scoring the equaliser with 12 minutes left on the clock.
Speaking to Spurs TV, Mauricio reflected: "It was an even game. They started better than us, in the first half they were better, and we didn’t match their energy. It was difficult for us to play and create chances. In the second half I thought we were better. We were a little unlucky because we got the goal, broke them down and to concede after was tough to accept because the three points were important for us, but now we have to keep working. Of course, we’re disappointed because we needed the three points but at the end, a draw is a fair result."
Reaction on Spurs TV
Spurs 1-1 Sheffield United
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Gazzaniga, Aurier (Lucas 86), Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Sissoko, Ndombele (Winks 46), Dele (Foyth 72), Lo Celso, Son, Kane (c). Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Alderweireld, Sessegnon, Eriksen.
United (3-5-2): Henderson, Basham, Egan, O’Connell, Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood (c), Fleck, Stevens, McGoldrick (Freeman 90+5), Mousset (Robinson 87). Substitutes (not used): Moore, McBurnie, Sharp, Jagielka, Besic.
Goals: Spurs – Son 58; United – Baldock 78.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Dier, Foyth; United - Norwood, Basham.
Referee: Graham Scott.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Heavy rain, gentle breeze, eight degrees.