Tottenham Hotspur thumped Sheffield United 4-0 to move to fifth in the 2020-21 Premier League table.
Spurs took their time in taking the lead, but a nicely weighted lob from Serge Aurier allowed Gareth Bale to flick the ball over Aaron Ramsdale and into the net with ten minutes remaining in the first half.
Sheffield United came out stronger in the second half and managed to create some attacks. However, they were unable to trouble the Tottenham Hotspur defence as Bale doubled the hosts’ lead at the hour mark. After Son Heung Min was denied a goal for offside, Bale put the game beyond the Blades by completing his hat-trick.
Son then added a fourth with 13 minutes to go as Tottenham Hotspur ended the game on the ascendancy despite missing a few scoring opportunities. On that note, let’s have a look at five talking points from the game.
#1 Tottenham Hotspur are alive in the top-four race
Tottenham Hotspur’s win moved them to fifth place in the Premier League table, five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and seven behind third-placed Leicester City.
So can they make a late charge and qualify for the Champions League? Or is such a finish beyond them now?
It’s honestly difficult to say. On the one hand, making up five points on Chelsea might be a difficult proposition given the form of Thomas Tuchel’s side. Moreover, both Liverpool and West Ham have a game in hand on Tottenham Hotspur and could potentially leapfrog Spurs.
However, Tottenham Hotspur have three games remaining that look winnable, the ones against Leeds, Wolves and Aston Villa. Meanwhile, Leicester City are still to play Manchester United and Chelsea before facing Spurs on the final day.
So it’s definitely possible that the game between Spurs and the Foxes becomes a straight shootout for a top-four spot, assuming other results go the way of Ryan Mason’s side. Based on their performance against Sheffield, Tottenham Hotspur would fancy their chances of rolling over Leeds, Wolves and Villa.
Spurs have now got a fighting chance of securing an unlikely top-four spot, or at least fifth. That seems like a better position than they were in when Jose Mourinho was fired two weeks ago.
#2 It’s easy to see why Sheffield United are going down
Tottenham Hotspur were excellent on the night, but it was easy to see why Sheffield United have been relegated. To put it simply, the Blades were dire against Spurs/
Not only did they fail to create any meaningful chances to test Hugo Lloris, but they also ended the match with only one shot on target; they were woeful in defence, too.
Time and again, they gave the ball away cheaply. Had it not been for a combination of VAR and some profligacy from Tottenham Hotspur, Sheffield could well have lost this game by six or seven goals.
Sheffield United have now lost 27 Premier League games this season. The Premier League record for most defeats in a campaign is 29. And despite the Blades not having the trickiest run-in, based on their performance against Spurs, they could well break that unwanted record.