Magic of the Cup, innit? Tottenham Hotspur had a tricky tie at Bramall Lane against Championship promotion seekers Sheffield United in the fifth round of the FA Cup, but instead of heading to the quarterfinals, Spurs laid an egg. Illiman Ndiaye fired in a late goal for the hosts and despite subbing in their star players late, Spurs couldn’t turn it around and find a way back. Cristian Stellini’s caretaker win streak came to an end as he lost his first match in replacement of Antonio Conte. The final score was 1-0 with Spurs bouncing out of the Cup.
Stellini opted to rotate a number of his stars in this match, with Lucas Moura coming in for Harry Kane, Pape Sarr for Oliver Skipp, Ivan Perisic and Pedro Porro as wingbacks, and Davinson Sanchez in for Cuti Romero. Ben Davies remained in the side but slid over to LCB.
Here are my match reactions.
- Honestly, there was absolutely no reason for that shambolic performance. I’d love to explain it. Can’t.
- The first half was boring as hell. The rain may have had an impact, but there were a number of wayward passes and bad throws in the opening 45.
- No idea how Baldock and Sharp didn’t pick up cards in that first half. Both were going in heavy with challenges throughout the first half. No VAR at Bramall Lane but Baldock’s tackle on Ivan Perisic should’ve been an easy yellow.
- Pedro Porro... man. Not exactly an auspicious start to his Spurs career, huh? He was better than his debut — showed some glimpses of his speed (he’s fast!) and a couple of decent passes, but he was really dicey on the defensive side of the ball. I hope he just needs more games, and I’m not going to throw him under the bus, but whoof.
- You know, it’d almost been long enough that I forgot what it was like to watch Lucas Moura play football. Now I remember — it’s not great! Lucas had a couple of good progressive possessions but his final ball was lacking and it was annoying watching him dribble into cul-de-sacs again and again. Wish the Turkey links were real, he needs to go.
- Sarr had another encouraging performance, but had a few “lol whoa there buddy” challenges, including one that earned him a yellow.
- The big problem once again was that without Kane and Kulusevski, Spurs just weren’t generating anything, and when Kane came on they still had Son and Lucas, two struggling, inconsistent players, supporting him. It wasn’t until Deki came on that Spurs started to turn the screws, and then predictably that’s when the team conceded.
- Ndiaye’s goal was a really good individual effort, but Spurs’ defense was really really bad, especially from and Dier who missed an opportunity to clear, and Davinson Sanchez who had an absolutely shocking performance tonight. Let’s not forget Fraser Forster who was still falling to the ground when the ball went past him. Someone in the writer’s chat compared him making a save to watching a cruise ship turn.
- More on Davi: god. I can’t believe he’s still on this team. Not only was the defense bad but he was an absolute black hole with the ball playing out of the back. Just awful.
- This was shaping up to be perhaps one of the most winnable FA Cups in recent years and so of course Spurs have to lose to a Championship team in the fifth round. Blah. I’m not going to say the word, but it was an extremely [REDACTED] performance.