Cardiac comeback leads Spurs past Sheffield United in thriller match

Dejan Kulusevski of Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
Dejan Kulusevski of Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images) /

For most Tottenham fans in attendance or watching at home, Saturday’s match against Sheffield United began to bring back some pretty painful memories of the club’s failures over the last couple of years. Flashbacks to Nuno, Mourinho, and Conte at the helm where Spurs fall short against an inferior opponent, specifically at home with a frustrating showing. That was until an epic turnaround began, ending with the latest come-from-behind win in EPL history.

Let’s begin at the halftime whistle before we get too ahead of ourselves. The Lillywhites went into the dressing room with everything to play for, still scoreless at 0-0. It wasn’t until the 73rd minute that a ball finally found the back of the net, and it erupted the away end at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

A long throw-in from the left flank made its way across the box near Kulusevski and Porro on the right. The ball took a high bounce and was left untouched, dropping perfectly at the feet of Sheffield’s Gustavo Hamer, who sneaked a sweet little half-volley just inside the post to give the Blades an astonishing 1-0 lead. Hamer’s touch and accuracy on the volley made it nearly impossible for Tottenham GK Guglielmo Vicario’s outstretched arms to come up with the save.

New Spurs gaffer Ange Postecoglou decided to make a triple substitution minutes after the Sheffield United goal, bringing on Ivan Perisic, Brennan Johnson, making his Tottenham debut, and Richarlison, who had recently admitted that he would be seeking “psychological help” after a stretch of poor form with both club and country.

With the go-ahead goal came plenty of warranted (yet still frustrating) time-wasting from Sheffield. You could hear the boo’s and whistles echoing across the ground with each goal kick as the home supporters did not appreciate the visitors taking advantage of every stop in play they could get. Sheffield gaffer Paul Heckingbottom and his squad held onto their 1-0 lead, anxiously awaiting the fourth official’s ruling on stopping time. Then, with a roar from the home crowd, we saw it. 12 added minutes.

The Blades bent, but did not break, throughout the first eight minutes of extra time, but that all changed as Perisic lined up one of 15 (!!!) corner kicks Spurs were granted throughout the match. As if it were a movie script, Richarlison rose above the countless yellow jerseys in the technical area and flicked on an incredible header through to the far post and into the back of the net. Tottenham Hotspur stadium erupted at the sight of not only the equalizing goal but at who specifically put their club level. It was the troubled Brazilian striker who had finally scored his first Premier League goal, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

From there, you could tell that momentum had obviously swung in favour of the home side. Tottenham had dominated in every aspect of the game except for failing to cash in on their many scoring chances. The 98th-minute levelling goal was all Spurs needed to gain that extra bit of strength and find a winner.

In the dying minutes of added time, Spurs carried the ball up the left wing with Perisic breaking in towards the box. The Croatian played a quick pass into Richarlison, who just scored a goal of his own, who selflessly slipped the ball in further toward former Juventus winger Dejan Kulusevski. The Swede kept the ball at his feet, cutting inside, looking for the perfect time (and angle) to put the game away. Kulu did just that, actually shooting the ball through a defender’s legs and burying the finish at the near post instead of the far post like Sheffield’s keeper was already leaning toward.

The scenes at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium were ones that I can only dream of being present for at some point in my life. Home supporters couldn’t help but lose control, going absolutely bonkers at the sight of the second goal smashing into the back of the net in the 100th minute. The finish all but sealed the game for the Lillywhites as Sheffield players collapsed in utter shock, seeing their impressive 1-0 lead slip away.

While there were some negatives that caused Spurs to go down 1-0 in the first place, the sheer spirit of the squad to fight back and eventually steal all three points at home will be an effort that home fans will not forget anytime soon. “Ange Ball” has quickly found a permanent spot in the hearts of Tottenham supporters across the globe, but the club must put this incredible comeback behind them as all eyes now shift towards Sunday at the Emirates for a must-see North London Derby against Arsenal.

While fans are already enamoured with the Australian manager’s style of play and sense of humour at the podium, imagine how much the Tottenham supporters will fall in love with “Big Ange” if he steals a win on the road against their bitter rivals?