Tottenham Hotspur player ratings against Sheffield United - three 8s and lots of 7s in late win
Late Richarlison and Kulusevski goals earned a 2-1 home win for Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs against Sheffield United.
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It turns out Tottenham Hotspur Stadium’s pre-match music wasn’t that loud after all.
A pre-match medley of happy house, The Verve and Robbie Williams seemed unnecessary, but ridiculous volume was dwarfed by the cheers when Richarlison struck a late equaliser against Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon.
That, in turn, was surpassed when Dejan Kulusevski found a late equaliser.
A lot of commentary around Ange Postecoglou’s feel-good Spurs has suggested the time to judge where the team is when things get tough.
Against a hard working Sheffield United, the players were in danger of letting their frustration get the better of them.
James Maddison, already the talisman, saw a strong shout for a penalty rejected in the first half and became more and more exasperated by the opposition’s time wasting and the referee’s handling of the game.
The manager admitted after the game that it was frustrating and said that could perhaps have been dealt with better.
After 73 minutes a Hamer goal stunned the home crowd and the game looked at risk of drifting away.
But Postecoglou threw on every substitute available, including debutant Brennan Johnson, who thought he had scored with a good take and touch, but was rightly pulled back for offside.
In the eighth minute of stoppage time it was Richarlison - the man who most needed a goal - who got on the end of a cross by fellow substitute Ivan Perisic to head home.
In the 10th minute it was Kulusevski who found the space to slot home the winner - after a Richarlison assist.
Guglielmo Vicario (6)
Since his arrival, the keeper has done what’s expected of him, while dynamic in getting the game moving, and he continued that here.
Heung-Min Son (6)
It was a relatively quiet game for the skipper but his confidence has been boosted this season by a new manager and a hernia-free life. He looks assured, even if he couldn’t find the decisive touch.
Yves Bissouma (8)
While Maddison has taken more attention, it is Bissouma who has stepped up a gear to become an engine for the team. His confidence going forward is growing and after some silky skills for Mali in the international break, an acceleration into the box here forced a strong save.
James Maddison (8)
It’s no wonder fans have taken to him quickly. When Maddison gets the ball, everyone starts moving forward because that’s the only direction in which he wants to play.
He made several attempts on goal but couldn’t find that final finesse, but further back he pulls strings, surprises the opposition and makes things happen.
Cristian Romero (7)
The Argentinian is back to his best, and benefitting from a regular defensive partner, with whom an understanding has already developed.
Dejan Kulusevski (8)
The stats say he’s running more than anyone else and it looks it. He’s challenging for everything and putting balls into the box. He’ll be very aware that Brennan Johnson is awaiting a chance to challenge for his spot.
But here he was pulling the defence in every direction, putting crosses in and finding a winner.
Pedro Porro (6)
It was not Porro’s most swashbuckling appearance but he threatens defences and the manager will be delighted he has made the position his own.
Manor Solomon (7)
The summer signing was keen to make runs in behind to cross but shown inside he is more than happy to shoot. He looks hungry and capable - a step up on Spurs’ recent attacking options. He looks a real winger.
Pape Matar Sarr (7)
What a start to the season the young midfielder has had. A low shot from outside the box forced a save in the first 10 minutes. Less than 10 minutes later he’s in the box but unable to guide a header back across the keeper into the net. His celebrations from the bench when the winner went in show just how invested he is in Tottenham.
Micky van de Ven (7)
He’s famously quick but the new centre back also looks a big unit on the pitch, and showed his strength early, muscling Cameron Archer off the ball. On the ball he looks supremely assured.
Destiny Udogie (7)
The young left-back’s great start to the season continues. He has errors in him - it took van de Ven to bail him out when he had his pocket picked on the wing - but it is hard not to see him developing into one of the very best at his job.
The crowd and the club are right behind a player who is going through so much, and the reaction to his equaliser was ecstatic.
What an impact and what a take - but it wasn’t to be. He was offside.
Remains an asset with the ability to create chances.
Gave the team some fresh legs late on, helping fight for the win.
Does a job when he comes on, and it looks like a role he will continue to play.