Sheffield United 0-3 Tottenham: Spurs on the up to end Postecoglou's first season

Tottenham closed out year one of the Ange Postecoglou era with a 3-0 victory away to last-place Sheffield United on Sunday, thanks to goals from Dejan Kulusevski and Pedro Porro.

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The victory secures 5th place for Tottenham (66 points), qualifying for the Europa League next season and beating old friend Mauricio Pochettino's Chelsea by three points. Sheffield United (16 points) finish their one-season stay in the Premier League with just three wins from 38 games.

Spurs’ rebuild on track, but it’s all about this summer’s transfer window

No matter which way you slice if, Postecoglou's first season in the Premier League was a massive success, and by extension, so was the first season of Spurs' desperately needed rebuild. Sure, the vibes weren't the absolute best down the stretch due to some poor results and the Arsenal-Manchester City debacle, but the club is placed miles better heading into summer 2024 than 2023. First things first, they have their manager and have given every indication he will be backed with what he needs — a significant shift in how the club has typically been run.

Harry Kane, the best player in club history, departed last summer, and yet Tottenham improved their points total by six and finished three places higher in the table. The foundation for what could be Spurs' next great team is already in place, with Son Heung-min, Cristian Romero, Micky van de Ven, James Maddison and Pedro Porro all to return as starters after fantastic performances this season, plus promising youngsters Brennan Johnson, Destiny Udogie, Pape Sarr and Radu Dragusin pushing for places with Europa League football on the horizon.

Postecoglou might have even unearthed a hidden gem with Kulusevski making the late-season switch to center forward after Richarlison picked up an injury. The big Swede has shown flashes of quality in a striker-ish role of late, using his size and strength to take up dangerous spots inside the penalty area, rather than his more ponderous wing play, which doesn't suit Ange Postecoglou's idea of football at all. If Richarlison leaves this summer (as rumored), Spurs will need to sign a starting no. 9, but Kulusevski has shown himself plenty capable of being a rotational player at three different positions — as squad-building goes, that's an invaluable piece. A few other peripheral players on big wages will also likely be moved on.

The obvious: None of the above matters if Tottenham aren't ambitious and aggressive during the upcoming summer transfer window. Along with a center forward, they need: a defensive midfielder who's more suited to Ange-ball than Yves Bissouma, who should remain as a top rotational option, depth at both full backs, where they had none all season; and another winger whose skill set more closely resembles Johnson's.

It was all Sheffield United from the opening whistle, right up until the moment Kulusevski pinged the game's opening goal off the far post and over the line. Tottenham found it nearly impossible to progress the ball out of their own half, let alone create scoring chances, and Kulusevski made their first one count.

Pedro Porro scored for the second time in three games to make it 2-0 in the 59th minute. Tottenham have Sheffield United pinned in deep before the ball came out to Porro on the edge of the box, where he uncorked a screamer into the ceiling of the net, set up by Johnson for his 10th assist of the season (3rd-most in the PL).

Kulusevski made a striker's run into the six-yard box to get on the end of Maddison's cross in the 65th, making it 3-0 and putting the finale bed. Job done on the last day, all eyes on the summer.

Player ratings - Sheffield United vs Tottenham

Sheffield United vs Tottenham player ratings
Sheffield United vs Tottenham player ratings

Sheffield United vs Tottenham highlights, final score: 0-3

Goalscorers: Dejan Kulusevski (15', 65'), Pedro Porro (59')

GOAL - Sheffield United 0-3 Tottenham: Dejan Kulusevski scores a striker’s goal in his new position

GOAL - Sheffield United 0-2 Tottenham: Pedro Porro his a screamer through traffic

GOAL - Sheffield United 0-1 Tottenham: Dejan Kulusevski opens the scoring against the run of play

Tottenham starting lineup

Vicario — Porro, Romero, Dragusin, Van de Ven — Bentancur, Sarr, Maddison — Kulusevski, Son, Johnson

Sheffield United starting lineup

Foderingham — Ahmedhodzic, Trusty, Robinson — Bogle, Lowe, Hamer, Arblaster, Brereton Diaz — Archer

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How to watch Sheffield United vs Tottenham live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11 am ET, Sunday
TV Channel: Peacock Premium
Online: Premier League on Peacock

Sheffield United focus, team news

OUT: Oliver McBurnie (thigh), John Egan (ankle), George Baldock (calf), Max Lowe (ankle), Chris Basham (ankle), Tom Davies (thigh), Daniel Jebbison (illness), Rhys Norrington-Davies (thigh)

Tottenham focus, team news

OUT: Richarlison (calf), Yves Bissouma (knee), Destiny Udogie (thigh), Timo Werner (thigh), Ben Davies (calf), Manor Solomon (knee), Fraser Forster (ankle), Ryan Sessegnon (thigh), Giovani Lo Celso (knee)