Bale treble and Son stunner see off Blades - match report and debrief
Spurs 4-0 Sheffield United
Sun 02 May 2021, 21:15|Tottenham Hotspur
A clinical hat-trick from Gareth Bale helped us to a 4-0 victory over Sheffield United as we climbed up to fifth in the Premier League table on Sunday evening.
Our Welsh forward produced three wonderful finishes to score his first treble in English football since our 4-0 win at Aston Villa on Boxing Day, 2012 – and in the process score his 50th Premier League goal - while Heung-Min Son added an excellent goal of his own to round off a great night’s work at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and restore the team’s confidence after last week’s Carabao Cup Final disappointment.
A dominant first half against an already relegated Sheffield United was rewarded with the opening goal in the 36th minute when Serge Aurier spotted the run of Bale and clipped a ball over the visitors’ defence for the Welsh forward, who flicked it past Aaron Ramsdale to put us in front. That was Bale’s 50th goal in the competition.
Son had a goal disallowed by VAR for offside six minutes after the interval, but we weren’t to be denied five minutes later as the South Korean international did superbly well to beat a couple of Blades players and then find Bale, breaking from inside his own half to latch onto the ball and he advanced on goal before producing an emphatic finish past Ramsdale.
United created their first shot on target on 65 minutes, Oliver Norwood firing straight at Hugo Lloris but Bale completed his hat-trick a few minutes later. Again Aurier was the architect, coming in off the right flank to lay a perfect pass across for Bale to stride onto and drill low into the net.
We completed the scoring 13 minutes from time after Dele Alli won the ball to find substitute Steven Bergwijn who in turn played in Son and he cut inside George Baldock before hitting a beautiful curling shot with his right foot which clipped the far post and nestled in the back of the net. The victory moves us to within five points of fourth-placed Chelsea with four games remaining.
Positive performance picks up the points
There was a certain swagger about our performance as we got on the front foot early on and continually pushed the visitors back, the 11 shots on target to the Blades’ single effort illustrating the dominance of our display. After David McGoldrick dragged wide early on for the Blades, our first attack of real promise came on 12 minutes as Harry Kane swept a delightful ball out to Bale flying down the right flank and he cut inside but blazed high and wide.
Son’s left-foot shot on 16 minutes was heading for the bottom corner before Ramsdale’s excellent save to push it around the post and just two minutes later, Son found Kane on the edge of the area, he twisted past Baldock and beat Ramsdale with his shot but Chris Basham was back to clear off the line. Kane then uncharacteristically fired well over the bar on 26 minutes as we continued to set the tone and, after Bale’s opening goal, the half ended with our fifth shot on target, Kane and Son linking up superbly to find Dele, whose right-footed curler was comfortable for Ramsdale.
We continued in the same vein early in the second half, Son finding the back of the net six minutes in after breaking clear of the visitors’ defence but he’d gone a touch too early and it was ruled out for offside by VAR, while Bale’s confidence was soaring enough to attempt a 35-yarder but it was straight at the Blades’ goalkeeper. Bale’s finish for his second goal was delightful as he slammed a shot past Ramsdale following brilliant build-up play from Son.
It was a tough night for the visitors but they never let their heads drop and carved out an opening on 65 minutes when John Fleck dummied Oliver Burke’s pull back so it ran to Norwood, but his first time shot was straight at Lloris. Aurier had never assisted twice in a Premier League game before this match but he put that right when he set up Bale to complete his treble, while we added to the scoreline thanks to another fine goal, Son producing a trademark curling effort to make it 4-0.
It was almost five deep into stoppage time when another well-worked move ended with Kane putting Sergio Reguilon in on goal but his hopes of a first Spurs strike disappeared as he lashed a shot wide.
Home comforts for Bale
Bale has scored nine Premier League goals this season, with every one of them coming at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – the most any player has scored in this season's competition with 100 per cent coming at a single venue. He now has 14 in all competitions for 2020/21.
We completed our first league double over Sheffield United since the 1975/76 campaign, following our 3-1 win at Bramall Lane earlier this season. We have now scored at least once in each of our last 11 Premier League games (W6 D2 L3), the longest current run in the competition.
In team news, Interim Head Coach Ryan Mason made two changes from the cup final last week with Dele and Bale coming in for Harry Winks and Lucas Moura, Dele making his first Premier League start since our win at Fulham on 4 March.
Reaction on Spurs TV
'This was the best way to respond'
Ryan was pleased with the reaction of the players following last week's defeat at Wembley, telling Spurs TV: "It was excellent. I’m really, really happy with the boys, I thought they were committed for 95 minutes, played some really good football, and most pleasing was our attitude to compete and to be brave. We’ve had a really good training week after a disappointing result last weekend, but this was the best way to respond, to put on a performance, to win, to score some good goals and play some good football."
Spurs 4-0 Sheffield United
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Lo Celso (Winks 70), Bale (Bergwijn 75), Dele (Lamela 78) Son, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Hart, Doherty, Sanchez, Ndombele, Sissoko, Lucas.
Sheffield United (3-5-2): Ramsdale, Basham, Egan (c), Stevens, Baldock, Norwood, Osborn, Fleck, Bogle (Berge 46), McGoldrick (Mousset 84), Brewster (Burke 46). Substitutes (not used): Foderingham, Lundstram, Lowe, Jagielka, Robinson, Gordon.
Goals: Spurs – Bale 36, 61, 69, Son 77.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Hojbjerg; Sheffield United - Egan.
Referee: Andre Marriner.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Partly cloudy, gentle breeze, 11 degrees.