EPL

Sheffield United 0-3 Tottenham: Kulusevski double seals fifth place for Spurs

By Sports Desk May 19, 2024

Dejan Kulusevski scored twice as Tottenham claimed fifth place in the Premier League with a 3-0 win over Sheffield United on Sunday.

The Swede clinically picked out the back of the net in both halves to put Spurs in control and seal a UEFA Europa League place for next season.

Pedro Porro's rifled effort was sandwiched between Kulusevski’s goals, while the Blades avoided some late drama as Andre Brooks had a red card overturned after a VAR review.

Ange Postecoglou's Tottenham side finished three points clear of Chelsea, while Sheffield United go back down to the Championship having finished bottom of the table.

Spurs were put under early pressure as Ben Brereton Diaz blazed a volley over the bar after just three minutes before scuffing a second shot against the far post shortly after.

Kulusevski then punished the Blades for their lack of clinical edge as he scored with Spurs’ first shot of the game, hitting his low strike in off the post as Son Heung-Min claimed his 10th Premier League assist of the season.

Rodrigo Bentancur almost recreated the Swede’s goal just before the half-hour mark, but his shot bounced off the inside of the post to Son, who forced a good save out of Wes Foderingham.

United were further indebted to their goalkeeper as he stretched to tip Porro’s effort away before smothering James Maddison’s low strike on the stroke of half-time.

Cameron Archer could have dragged the Blades back into the tie just after the break, as he brilliantly held off Cristian Romero before seeing his shot smothered by Guglielmo Vicario, but the offside flag spared his blushes.

Despite a slow start to the second half, the visitors soon found their footing when Porro rifled a powerful effort over Foderingham after the goalkeeper had reflexively kept out Micky van de Ven.

Six minutes later, Kulusevski got the better of the home side’s defence again, latching onto Maddison’s low cross to slot in his eighth Premier League goal of the season.

There was late drama as substitute Brooks was shown a red card for a push on Son during a Sheffield United corner, but the referee overturned his original decision after a VAR review.

Down and out

The hosts were playing for pride in their final Premier League game of the season, but as is the story of their season, they just could not build on a promising start.

Though they created some excellent chances to put Spurs on the back foot, they lacked a cutting edge before their defensive woes once again came to the fore.  

The Blades conceded 104 goals this season - already a league-high before the match - while they finished with a goal difference of -69. That’s the joint-worst goal difference in Premier League history alongside Derby County in 2007-08.

Leading from the front

Tottenham simply needed a point to assure themselves of fifth place, and with their captain's help, they managed to book a place in the Europa League next season.

Son set up Kulusevski for the opener to reach double figures in assists this season - it is the third time in his career that he has both scored and assisted 10+ goals in a single campaign. The South Korean is one of only six players to reach the milestone in three separate Premier League seasons. 

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