Sheffield United 1-0 Tottenham: Fifth-round curse continues for Spurs in scrappy FA Cup exit


Tottenham were dumped out of the FA Cup at the fifth-round stage for the fourth year in a row as they fell to Championship Sheffield United on Wednesday.

Iliman Ndiaye came off the bench to bury a superb 80th-minute winner at Bramall Lane as yet another lower-tier side booked their place in the quarter-finals.

Spurs can have few complaints after a scrappy performance was punished when the Blades forward rode multiple challenges to beat Fraser Forster at the near-post.

Tottenham endured one of their notorious slow starts against a United side that featured eight changes amid their promotion push and suffering from an illness that struck their camp earlier in the week.

It was United caught sleeping after 29 minutes when Richarlison was played in behind and fired over from a narrow angle, the hosts waiting for a flag that never came.

Replays showed the Brazilian, given a rare start as a central striker, was indeed onside and in any case VAR was not in use at Bramall Lane, which the Blades were thankful for when George Baldock’s studs-up challenge on Ivan Perisic went unpunished.

Spurs were also lucky to get away with one when, late in the first half, Ismaila Coulibaly ran onto Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s poor header but drilled wide from a great position.

Little changed for the visitors in the second half, leading to Harry Kane’s introduction for the subpar Richarlison on 64 minutes. Pedro Porro flew a half chance over the bar despite having Kane waiting for a lay-off.

The winner served as a suckerpunch that United could certainly argue they deserved, Tottenham failing to clear their lines before Ndiaye struck late on to seal the Blades’ place in the last eight - where they will host Blackburn.