Tottenham 2-1 Sheffield United: Richarlison comes off bench to spark stoppage-time turnaround

Richarlison's goal was just his second for Spurs in 32 Premier League appearances
Richarlison’s goal was just his second for Spurs in 32 Premier League appearances

Richarlison’s match-winning stoppage-time cameo against Sheffield United can help ease his off-field troubles, says Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou.

The Brazil striker, who said this week he would “seek psychological help” for personal issues, came off the bench to head Spurs level eight minutes into the 16 added on.

He then turned provider by picking out an unmarked Dejan Kulusevski in the box for the Sweden midfielder to fire home the winner.

“We’ve got to maintain a balance in life and even for him, he needs to understand his football is still good. He’s a fantastic footballer,” Postecoglou told BBC Sport.

“He’s got so much to give and that can help ease the burden he’s feeling in other parts of his life. I’m really pleased for him.”

Until Richarlison’s intervention, Spurs’ unbeaten Premier League start under Postecoglou looked to be coming to an end thanks to a Gustavo Hamer strike that crept in off a post.

Sheffield United had seemingly engineered a classic smash-and-grab away victory after soaking up pressure for long periods, with goalkeeper Wes Foderingham making a number of fine saves.

But Richarlison glanced home fellow substitute Ivan Perisic’s corner before Kulusevski left the gallant visitors, who had Oli McBurnie sent off at the end, broken-hearted.

Having trailed until the 98th minute, Tottenham’s turnaround was the latest winning comeback in Premier League history.

“There’s some real resilience and spirit within that group already, which is great to see because they are a relatively new group,” said Postecoglou.

“You get tested on days like this. It helps fuel belief for us to grow. Our supporters have had an unforgettable day and all those things help in what we are trying to do.”

Postecoglou praises Tottenham ‘resilience’ after late win
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Spurs find another way to win

Spurs have been hailed for their fine start to life under Postecoglou – and to life without Harry Kane – with their vibrant performances helping the Australian win the Premier League manager of the month award at his first attempt.

But, of their four wins so far, this victory arguably might please him the most given the way Spurs had to battle and persevere to eke it out.

Most of their opponents this season had been happy to go toe-to-toe with Postecoglou’s famed ‘Ange ball’ philosophy, but that was always unlikely with Sheffield United.

Paul Heckingbottom’s side came with a clear gameplan to stifle Spurs, and it succeeded for much of the afternoon, although they still needed Foderingham to be at his best.

He made an excellent near-post stop to foil Yves Bissouma in the first half and also thwarted Ismaila Sarr, Son Heung-min, the lively Manor Solomon, James Maddison and Kulusevski.

The visitors created the odd chance on the counter, James McAtee eliciting a smart save from Guglielmo Vicario in the first half, and Hamer pounced when Spurs fell asleep from a long throw.

Gustavo Hamer scores for Sheffield United
Gustavo Hamer’s goal was his second for Sheffield United since joining from Coventry City in August

Brennan Johnson thought he had equalised with virtually his first touch in a Spurs shirt, but the offside flag denied the deadline-day signing, leaving the stage clear for his replacement to steal the show.

Richarlison has endured a difficult time since leaving Everton for north London last summer, often employed as a substitute and scoring only once in the league before his header here.

But he – and Postecoglou – will hope the honesty he displayed off the pitch this week and the impact he made on it against United can be the turning point of his Spurs career.

A fourth successive victory means Spurs have their best start to a season for 57 years and keeps them second in the table before Postecoglou’s first taste of a north London derby against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium next weekend.

The winless United, meanwhile, remain on one point from five games despite redoubtable efforts against both Spurs and Manchester City – with all four of their losses coming by a single goal.

They will be without McBurnie for at least one match after he was handed a second booking not long after Tottenham’s winning goal.

“It’s sickening for everyone involved in the dressing room – to come so close to three points, then thinking you’re going to have settle for one, and come away with nothing,” said Heckingbottom.

“But that doesn’t alter the performance. Right now we have to be positive about how we played. You can see how they celebrated when they won the game, we did that to them.”

Red card decision ‘absolutely barmy’ – Heckingbottom

Player of the match


with an average of 7.55

Tottenham Hotspur

  1. Squad number9Player nameRicharlison

  2. Squad number10Player nameMaddison

  3. Squad number21Player nameKulusevski

  4. Squad number7Player nameSon Heung-min

  5. Squad number8Player nameBissouma

  6. Squad number17Player nameRomero

  7. Squad number38Player nameUdogie

  8. Squad number22Player nameJohnson

  9. Squad number13Player nameVicario

  10. Squad number27Player nameSolomon

  11. Squad number37Player namevan de Ven

  12. Squad number29Player nameSarr

  13. Squad number14Player namePerisic

  14. Squad number12Player nameEmerson Royal

  15. Squad number23Player namePorro

  16. Squad number5Player nameHøjbjerg

Sheffield United

  1. Squad number8Player nameHamer

  2. Squad number10Player nameArcher

  3. Squad number18Player nameFoderingham

  4. Squad number19Player nameRobinson

  5. Squad number28Player nameMcAtee

  6. Squad number14Player nameThomas

  7. Squad number16Player nameNorwood

  8. Squad number5Player nameTrusty

  9. Squad number9Player nameMcBurnie

  10. Squad number15Player nameAhmedhodzic

  11. Squad number21Player nameVinicius Souza

  12. Squad number20Player nameBogle

  13. Squad number22Player nameDavies

  14. Squad number6Player nameBasham



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Vicario
  • 23PorroSubstituted forEmerson Royalat 90+4′minutes
  • 17Romero
  • 37van de VenBooked at 49minsSubstituted forHøjbjergat 90+5′minutes
  • 38Udogie
  • 29SarrSubstituted forRicharlisonat 80′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 8BissoumaBooked at 86mins
  • 21Kulusevski
  • 10MaddisonBooked at 67mins
  • 27SolomonBooked at 69minsSubstituted forPerisicat 80′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 7Son Heung-minSubstituted forJohnsonat 80′minutes


  • 4Skipp
  • 5Højbjerg
  • 9Richarlison
  • 12Emerson Royal
  • 14Perisic
  • 15Dier
  • 20Forster
  • 22Johnson
  • 33Davies

Sheff Utd

Formation 3-5-2

  • 18FoderinghamBooked at 45mins
  • 6BashamBooked at 29mins
  • 15Ahmedhodzic
  • 19RobinsonBooked at 63mins
  • 20BogleSubstituted forTrustyat 86′minutes
  • 8HamerSubstituted forDaviesat 81′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 21de Souza Costa
  • 28McAteeSubstituted forNorwoodat 70′minutes
  • 14Thomas
  • 9McBurnieBooked at 90mins
  • 10ArcherBooked at 41mins


  • 1Davies
  • 5Trusty
  • 11Traoré
  • 16Norwood
  • 22Davies
  • 25Ben Slimane
  • 27Larouci
  • 38Seriki

Peter Bankes


Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Sheffield United 1.

  2. Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Sheffield United 1.

  3. Richarlison (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card.

  4. Foul by Richarlison (Tottenham Hotspur).

  5. Vinicius Souza (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Richarlison (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Foul by Luke Thomas (Sheffield United).

  8. Second yellow card to Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United).

  9. Brennan Johnson (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Foul by Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United).

  11. Ivan Perisic (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card.

  12. Foul by Richarlison (Tottenham Hotspur).

  13. Chris Basham (Sheffield United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 2, Sheffield United 1. Dejan Kulusevski (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Richarlison.

  15. Hand ball by Brennan Johnson (Tottenham Hotspur).

  16. Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 1, Sheffield United 1. Richarlison (Tottenham Hotspur) header from very close range to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Ivan Perisic with a cross following a corner.

  17. Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Chris Basham.

  18. Attempt saved. Oliver Norwood (Sheffield United) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the bottom left corner.

  19. Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg replaces Micky van de Ven.

  20. Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Emerson Royal replaces Pedro Porro because of an injury.

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