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Sheffield United v Spurs, 19.05.24


Kulusevski, 14, 65
Pedro Porro, 59

Attendance:- 29,116

Referee:- Andy Madley
Assistants:- Harry Lennard, Nick Hopton
Fourth official:- Tom Nield
VAR:- Tim Robinson
Assistant VAR:- Mark Scholes

Sheffield United (5-3-2):- Foderingham; Bogle, Ahmedhodzic, Trusty, Robinson (Capt.), Lowe (sub Holgate, 69); Hamer, Arblaster (sub Brooks, 62), Osborn (sub Vinicius Souza, 5); Archer (sub Brewster, 62), Brereton Diaz (sub Jebbison, 70)

Subs not used:- Davies; Larouci; McAtee; McBurnie

Booked:- Vinicius Souza (foul on Son), Robinson (foul on Van de Ven)

Spurs (4-2-1-3):- Vicario; Pedro Porro (sub Emerson Royal, 76), Romero, Dragusin, Van de Ven; Sarr (sub Hojbjerg, 66), Bentancur (sub Skipp, 76); Maddison (sub Moore, 88); Johnson, Kulusevski, Son (Capt.) (sub Scarlett, 88)
(Armband to Romero)

Subs not used:- Austin, Whiteman (GKs); Gil, Donley

No bookings.

All's well that ends well.

Bramall Lane

All's well that ends well. Spurs secured a comfortable win to guarantee fifth place and Group stage football in next season's Europa League. Elsewhere, Manchester City beat West Ham and won their fourth consecutive Premier League title, a feat never before achieved in English top flight football.

I have to report that Spurs fans were keeping a close eye on proceedings, taking every opportunity to bait Arsenal, who finished runners-up and who (like us!) are without a trophy this season.

The announcer at Bramall Lane spoke of the end of a fantastic season in the Premier League. I wondered what planet he was on, as Spurs' three goals maintained "The Blades" average of conceding three goals in every home league game. They have also conceded a record 104 Premier League goals and finished with a goal difference of -69, matched only by Derby in 2007-08.

Ange Postecoglou made one team change with Kulusevski starting in favour of Hojbjerg. Initially "Deki" played between Johnson and Son, but there was some fluidity between Kulusevski and Son.

There seems to have been a pattern to Sheffield United's play. They have tended to make bright starts to games, and their loan player Brereton Diaz (from Villarreal) has often been prominent in those opening phases. So it proved today, as the home side nearly took advantage of a short pass by Dragusin. Osborn sent Brereton Diaz away and he fired over from the right of the box. I was already worried that we might do something "Spursy."

Osborn took a knock when making that pass and had to be replaced early by Vinicius Souza. Brereton Diaz was fouled just outside the area, but Vicario comfortably collected Hamer's curled free kick to the far post. Brereton Diaz had another chance, fed by Hamer, but his stabbed shot from short range bounced away off the post.

At last Spurs began to exercise some control. Kulusevski then Maddison passed to Son who got to the bye line, but his cross was blocked and bounced off "Sonny" out of play. We scored in the fourteenth minute following good play from Van de Ven who crossed from deep on the left. Both Maddison and Son had touches before Kulusevski fired home with his left foot. The ball rebounded into the net off the inside of the keeper's left post.

There was a brief pause in play due to an incident in the crowd, where someone had fallen ill. It was a warm and sunny day. Once we restarted, Kulusevski had another chance. This one was on the right and with his right foot, but Foderingham saved. Romero and Maddison had provided the approach play in this move.

News came through that Manchester City were 2-0 up and the "Doo-doo-doo" chats began. Pedro Porro threatened the United area with another cross. Son won a corner on the right which was taken by James Maddison. Bentancur's shot hit the post, and somehow rebounded into play in front of goal. Son's shot was saved by Foderingham before Romero put a shot wide from close range after Pedro Porro's delivery.

Pedro Porro had a rocket shot well saved by the keeper. "The Blades" broke out and after a pass from Hamer, Archer had space to run and curl a shot towards Vicario's left post. They won a corner as Sarr had a slight touch.

Vinicius was shown the first of two yellow cards by referee Andy Madley, when he unfairly halted Son's breakout run. After good work down the left flank by Son and Van de Ven, it was Dragusin who got furthest forward, but his cross/shot was blocked.

Arsenal were losing at this stage to Everton, and again those chants came to the fore. In added time, Son passed inside to Maddison, whose shot was blocked. There was a bit of argy-bargy in the Spurs box as the home players tried to impose themselves at a dead ball situation. Vicario caught the kick.

The home side kicked off the second half. Vicario made a great one-on-one save from Archer before the offside flag was waved. Son appeared in the middle of our front three with Kulusevski on the left. Kulusevski was soon seen on the right, making a good run for Pedro Porro's pass, only to see his cross blocked.

Spurs increased their lead in the 59th minute. Son twisted and turned inside the box on the left and teed up Maddison. His shot was blocked, as was that of Van de Ven, before the ball ran to Pedro Porro, via Johnson. Pedro fired home a rocket shot for his third league goal of the season. There was a delay before VAR confirmed the goal. We could all relax now, especially when we heard that City were 3-1 up.

Maddison found Son in space on the left, but our captain hit his shot straight at the keeper. It was soon 3-0 thanks to an eighth goal of the season (his second today) for Dejan Kulusevski. Maddison teed him up and this was a left foot finish that might have had a defensive touch on its way to goal.

Brooks was shown a red card as a result of another melee in the Sheffield United area, but this was eventually rescinded after the referee was called to the pitch-side monitor.

Spurs' best chance in the remainder of the game fell to Johnson, who fired over from short range at the back post after Son's dipping ball from the left.

There were cameos for both Mikey Moore and Dane Scarlett at the end. Both showed a good degree of skill and willingness to take on and beat players.

I understand the squad was scheduled to fly out this evening to Australia for their post-season friendly against Newcastle at the Melbourne Cricket. That game kicks off at 7.45pm local time. (10.45 am Wednesday UK time). I hope to see that on Spurs Play.

We've had a tough season, beset by the absence of too many key players through injury and winter tournaments. Our great start was not fulfilled, but fifth place is a decent level, and we can once again look forward to European competition after a one-season absence.

I wish you all a great summer!

. Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
. Read the preview for this game.
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