Ndombele stunner caps great win at Bramall Lane - report and debrief
Sheffield United 1-3 Spurs
Sun 17 January 2021, 15:59|Tottenham Hotspur
Tanguy Ndombele scored a wonderful goal as we returned to winning ways away from home in the Premier League with a 3-1 win at Sheffield United on Sunday afternoon.
With the home side having just scored to get back into the game at 2-1, the French midfielder made sure there was to be no comeback with a magnificent lob over goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to restore our two-goal lead which we maintained to the end, our first league win on the road after three draws and a defeat.
We had earlier made a confident start which was rewarded with a goal inside five minutes. Steven Bergwijn’s fierce drive was tipped over the bar by Ramsdale and from Heung-Min Son’s right-footed corner, Serge Aurier beat Jayden Bogle to the ball to head home. We almost doubled our lead two minutes later when Son clipped the ball over Ramsdale only to hit the outside of the post, but we weren’t to be denied five minutes before the interval when Harry Kane provided a clinical finish from 20 yards to give us a 2-0 lead at the break.
The Blades had lost 15 of their 18 league games before this match but they came out strong at the start of the second period and that pressure paid off in the 59th minute when David McGoldrick glanced a headed home to put the game back in the balance.
Fortunately though, we didn’t give them time to build up a head of steam by grabbing our third just three minutes later with a superb goal. It was a real moment of magic as Bergwijn clipped a ball over the Blades' defence for Ndombele who, despite being under pressure from two United players and moving away from goal, managed to lob right-footed over Ramsdale and in off the far post, a sublime finish.
There wasn’t a great deal of goalmouth action for the remaining half-hour or so, as we dealt fairly comfortably with the home side’s attacks as they searched for a way back into the contest and we collected three well-earned points.
Confident display wins the points
Having let leads slip on a number of occasions in recent weeks, there was no repeat this time as we built on yet another early goal to pave the way for a big three points. Before this fixture, no side had scored more first-half goals than us in the Premier League this season (19) – including a league-high eight goals in the opening 15 minutes of games. And we continued that run on both counts with Aurier’s fifth-minute opener, his first goal since netting in the 6-1 win at Old Trafford in October.
When Son then hit the post moments later, there might have been fears of another game in which we spurned opportunities and let the opposition back in, but Kane’s strike shortly before half-time was a key moment in the game. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg won possession from Ollie Norwood and found Kane, who turned away from Chris Basham in one move and sent a low curling effort past Ramsdale from 20 yards out.
Bottom of the table and facing a fight to avoid relegation, the Blades needed a response and we needed some excellent defending to ensure we didn’t concede before the break, Joe Rodon cutting out a dangerous cross and then Eric Dier throwing himself in the way of Jayden Bogle’s shot from the rebound.
Early in the second period, Ndombele blocked Enda Stevens’ shot before Kane’s dipping long-ranger needed tipping over by Ramsdale. And then came the hosts’ goal, when John Fleck had time to measure a cross and he picked out McGoldrick whose glancing header nestled in the bottom corner.
United were just starting to get on top at that stage, but Ndombele’s stunning goal stopped them in their tracks. The midfielder was excellent throughout the match and this was the icing on the cake of a fine performance.
Victory a long time coming
Surprisingly, our record away from home against Sheffield United was poor before Sunday’s game, as we were without a win at Bramall Lane in the Premier League and in fact hadn’t won at the venue since a 2-1 win in December, 1975.
While we had gone four away games without a win, our away record in the league this season has been impressive and this victory means we have lost just once in 12 matches on the road, winning six and drawing the other five.
Kane’s goal was his 19th of the season in all competitions and he now sits just one behind Bobby Smith in our all-time goalscorers’ list.
Jose Mourinho made three changes to the team that started against Fulham on Wednesday night. Defender Rodon came in for his second start in the Premier League and was joined by Ben Davies and Steven Bergwijn, the latter back from illness. They came in for Davinson Sanchez, Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks. Davies was making his 300th club career appearance, having played 85 times for Swansea City and now 215 for us.
Reaction on Spurs TV
'Good energy from the team'
Jose said after the game: "I think it was a good performance. Again, 2-0 at half-time was not enough for what we built, for what we created and again, a very, very basic mistake, 2-1 and the game is open again but a great mentality and an amazing action and incredible goal, but it should be a bigger result.
"There was good energy from the team, consistent, strong-minded, dominant, pressing a lot and I’m very happy with this."
Sheffield United 1-3 Spurs
Sheffield United (3-5-2): Ramsdale, Basham (Sharp 74), Egan (c), Ampadu, Bogle, Lundstram, Norwood (Bryan 66), Fleck, Stevens, McGoldrick, Burke (Brewster 71). Substitutes: Jagielka, Foderingham, Baldock, Lowe.
Spurs (3-4-3): Lloris (c), Rodon, Dier, Davies, Aurier, Hojbjerg, Ndombele, Reguilon (Sanchez 90+4), Bergwijn (Lucas 87), Kane, Son (Vinicius 90+2). Substitutes: Hart, Alderweireld, Gedson, Sissoko, Lamela, Bale.
Goals: Sheffield United – McGoldrick 59; Spurs – Aurier 5, Kane 40, Ndombele 62.
Yellow cards: Sheffield United – Norwood, Lundstram, Egan, Ampadu.
Referee: Andre Marriner.
Venue: Bramall Lane, Sheffield.
Weather: Sunny intervals and a moderate breeze, six degrees.