Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison’s stoppage-time goals produced an incredible 2-1 comeback victory by Tottenham to dramatically beat Sheffield United.
The stunning finale was the latest winning comeback by a side in Premier League history, surpassing Spurs’ own record – in the 95th minute vs Leicester in January 2022 – after Tottenham had trailed the Blades as late as the 98th minute.
Spurs looked to be heading for a first league loss under new boss Ange Postecoglou after Gustavo Hamer gave the Blades a shock 73rd-minute lead.
Tottenham: Vicario (7); Porro (6), Romero (7), Van de Ven (7), Udogie (7); Sarr (7), Bissouma (8); Kulusevski (8), Maddison (7), Solomon (7); Son (6).
Subs: Johnson (6), Richarlison (8), Perisic (7), Hojbjerg (n/a), Royal (n/a).
Sheffield United: Foderingham (8); Ahmedhodzic (6), Basham (6), Robinson (7); Bogle (6), Souza (7), McAtee (6), Hamer (8), Thomas (6); McBurnie (5), Archer (6).
Subs: Norwood (6), T Davies (6), Trusty (6).
Player of the match: Richarlison.
But, with 12 minutes added on, substitute Richarlison headed in an equaliser in the eighth minute of stoppage time before Dejan Kulusevski fired home a winner two minutes later to complete an amazing turn-around.
Kulusevski’s goal sparked wild celebrations at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Spurs enjoyed their best start to a league season in 58 years as they remain unbeaten in the Premier League.
But the late heartbreak for Sheffield United, who had Oli McBurnie sent off for a second yellow card before full-time, keeps Paul Heckingbottom’s side winless this campaign.
How Spurs produced PL’s latest comeback
It had been a long two-week wait for Spurs fans to see their side back in action following the international break with the home crowd expecting to ease past the newly-promoted Blades.
But what ‘Angeball’ had yet to be tested against this season is a team set up to frustrate and that is what Sheffield United achieved in the opening 45 minutes.
- Tottenham were unchanged from the win at Burnley as Eric Dier made the bench for the first time this season after failing to leave the club this summer. Deadline Day signing Brennan Johnson was also named in the squad.
- Sheffield United made four changes from their home draw over Everton with captain John Egan and George Baldock absent, while Oliver Norwood and Yasser Larouci dropped to the bench.
- Paul Heckingbottom handed a second debut for the returning on-loan James McAtee with Luke Thomas making his first start. Chris Basham captained the side with Jayden Bogle replacing Baldock.
Blades goalkeeper Wes Foderingham made seven saves in the first half with his first thee stops coming in the space of 12 minutes as he denied Pape Sarr in the ninth minute before denying Yves Bissouma and Heung-Min Son.
But it was Spurs goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario who arguably made the toughest save of the first half as he got down superbly to deny James McAtee with his left foot after the Blades debutant, who re-joined the club on loan from Manchester City, connected first time with Jayden Bogle’s volleyed cross.
Spurs’ frustration was heightened following more Foderingham saves and then only three minutes added on despite several stoppages.
The second half started where it left off as Foderingham again caused irritation amongst the home crowd after a collision with Micky van de Ven that led to another lengthy stoppage.
Then play was twice halted by referee Peter Bankes after balls were thrown onto the pitch before James Maddison and Manor Solomon were cautioned.
Spurs’ afternoon got even more frustrating when the Blades took a surprise lead in the 73rd minute as Hamer drilled home from Jack Robinson’s long throw with the midfielder’s arrowed low shot going in off the base of the far post.
Postecoglou reacted to going behind with a triple substitution in the 80th minute as debutant Brennan Johnson, Richarlison and Ivan Perisic were all brought on.
Richarlison had revealed during the international break his desire to seek “psychological help” following a turbulent time on and off the pitch.
But the Brazilian ended a difficult week by scoring a 98th-minute headed equaliser from Perisic’s corner to kickstart a dramatic comeback, with just his second league goal since joining from Everton for £60m.
Then Richarlison turned provider as he assisted Kulusevski two minutes later to fire past Foderingham and send the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium into wild delight to continue their dream start under Postecoglou.
Ange: A memorable day | ‘It was pandemonium’
Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou speaking to Sky Sports:
“They made it difficult for us. I thought, for the most part, we controlled it really well but were just, obviously, missing the goal our play deserved.
“They’re always a threat, particularly at set-pieces and long throws. When you go a goal down after that kind of scenario, you want to see what kind of reaction you have and the boys’ reaction was outstanding.
“Richarlison was great today. I had a feeling we’d get some balls in the box, particularly late on, and he’s always a threat in the air and his assist for the second goal was outstanding.
“I hope [the fans stuck with us] because they’re seeing a team that’s trying to play the football they want to see and, today, we might not have finished off our good work, but the endeavour and aggression was there.
“They were working hard, and that’s what supporters want to see. They’ll support that. [The fans] played their part and there was a great energy in the stadium.
“It was pandemonium in the end and a memorable day.”
Heckingbottom furious at ‘appalling’ officiating | ‘Refs dictating how we play’
Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom speaking to Sky Sports:
“I like Peter [Bankes], David [Webb] and the guys but something needs to be done now. We’re being told we have to hurry up at goal kicks, and I said the same thing to them when I saw them at half-time, I was saying the same thing at 1-0.
“The focus all of a sudden comes onto time wasting, so they’re dictating how we play. If you play to take the goal kicks from the back, you set up one way, and if Spurs go against that that dictates the decision you make. We’re getting told to just play long – you can’t do it.
“Wes got booked for handling outside the box and you’re threatening him with another yellow, you just can’t do it.
“You can’t continually talk about the multi-ball, Spurs throwing the balls on the pitch, four times they came over – you just take it away. It happened to us against Man City, it has to end.
“The officiating is appalling. It’s not about the football decisions, just game management. My worry is that all the focus is on the yellow cards, time wasting, the new guidelines. But when I speak to the referees, they haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about.
“They’re officiating our games at the top level, and they simply do not know the game. We need to sort that, and sort it quick. It ruined the spectacle. You see all the frustration. Both teams, both sides, both teams taking the mickey out of the ref and to sum it all up, we get Ollie McBurnie sent off for telling the referee someone’s pulling his shirt.
“We’ve just seen someone turning their back, jumping into our goalkeeper, leading with an elbow, he needs stitches – and that’s deemed the same offence. What’s going on with our game?
“This is irrespective of our performance, of our game. I would’ve said the same things at 0-0 or when we were 1-0 up. My worry is where we’re taking our game, and I say this when I speak to Howard [Webb]. The people who don’t know anything about football are directing which way the game goes, and it’s sad. That was sad today.”
How the match played out
Opta stats: Kulusevski scored latest match-winning goal in PL history
- Dejan Kulusevksi’s goal for Tottenham, timed at 99:53, was the latest match-winning goal on record in Premier League history (since 2006-07).
- Tottenham’s Richarlison has scored his 50th Premier League goal, making him just the third Brazilian to reach that landmark in the competition (after Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus).
- Sheffield United’s Gustavo Hamer has scored two goals in his first four Premier League appearances, becoming the first Dutchman to do so in the competition since Steven Bergwijn for Tottenham in March 2020.
- Tottenham have scored in their last 17 Premier League games since their 0-1 defeat to Wolves in March – only Brighton are on a longer such run in the competition than Spurs (21 games).
- Tottenham have won each of their last three Premier League games against Sheffield United – their longest winning run against the Blades in the competition. In fact, Spurs had won just one of their previous seven such meetings prior to this run (D3 L3).
- Sheffield United have suffered seven successive Premier League defeats away to London opponents – their longest such run in the competition. The Blades’ last such win came via a 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace in February 2020.
Tottenham’s next game is at Arsenal in the north London derby on September 24, live on Sky Sports’ Super Sunday – kick-off 2pm.
Spurs then host Liverpool on September 30, live on Sky Sports’ Saturday Night Football – kick-off 5.30pm.
Sheffield United’s next outing is at home to Newcastle on September 24, live on Sky Sports’ Super Sunday.