Sheffield United 1-0 Tottenham: Ndiaye stuns Spurs to deliver FA Cup upset
Iliman Ndiaye's superb solo finish saw Sheffield United stun Tottenham to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with a 1-0 fifth-round upset at Bramall Lane.
Ndiaye weaved through a crowded box to fire home in the 79th minute and spark delirious scenes for the Championship side.
For Spurs and temporary boss Cristian Stellini, who started with Harry Kane on the bench, defeat means another season will pass without winning a domestic trophy.
But Sheffield United, well placed to join Tottenham in the Premier League, continue a stunning campaign and will eye further progress in the last eight against Blackburn Rovers.
Like Tottenham, the Blades were missing key men from the start, but they were able to match the visitors across a scrappy first half in which Lucas Moura came closest after skimming the crossbar in the 40th minute.
Ivan Perisic went close with a glancing header shortly after the restart, although even then Spurs looked blunt in attack.
Stellini resisted the urge to introduce Kane until the 65th minute, only for the decisive goal to follow at the other end.
Ndiaye carved his way into the Tottenham box before squeezing a low finish past Fraser Forster at the near left-hand post.
That provoked a desperate slew of last-gasp attempts from Spurs to salvage a goal of their own to force extra time, but they were held at bay for a shock last-16 exit.
What does it mean? Spurs slip up again
Kane might be Tottenham's all-time top goalscorer, but there is a serious chance the silverware he craves may never come in north London.
They remain in contention, realistically, for just one more honour in the Champions League – and they will need to overturn a one-goal deficit against Milan even to progress to the quarter-finals there.
Richarlison's barren run continues
The choice to rest Kane against lower-league opposition could have been considered a sound one for Spurs, with bigger tests to secure league position and European success around the corner.
But it is September since Richarlison last netted at club level. The Brazil international's goalless streak up front is becoming an issue for their prospects.
Blades maintain firm cup form
Although the nature of their victory against Tottenham undoubtedly marks it out as an upset, the last eight is far from unfamiliar territory for Sheffield United.
This is the third time in the past four seasons they have reached the quarter-final stage, although they lost to Arsenal in 2020 and to Chelsea in 2021.
Key Opta Facts
– This is Sheffield United's first fifth-round victory against Premier League opponents since a 2-1 win over Manchester United in 1992-93.
– Tottenham have been eliminated from the fifth round of the FA Cup in each of the past four seasons – they last reached the quarter-final stage of the competition in 2017-18.
– Sheffield United have won an FA Cup match against Premier League opponents for the first time since January 2015 (3-0 v Queens Park Rangers), ending a run of five consecutive such defeats.
– Sheffield United have won their last three matches against Tottenham in the FA Cup, with this the Blades' first such victory since January 1958. Furthermore, it ends a run of two successive defeats against Spurs in all competitions.
Sheffield United will have the chance to get the measure of Blackburn in the league on Saturday, when Spurs are in action at Wolves.