EPL

Tottenham 4-0 Sheffield United: Bale hat-trick boosts Champions League hopes

By Sports Desk May 02, 2021

Gareth Bale surpassed 50 goals in the Premier League as his hat-trick saw Tottenham keep their top-four hopes alive with a 4-0 win over Sheffield United.

With Chelsea having beaten Fulham on Saturday, the onus was on Spurs to claim three points against the relegated Blades to boost their Champions League ambitions, especially after seventh-place Liverpool saw their game at Manchester United postponed due to anti-Glazer protests by home fans.

Bale put the beaten EFL Cup finalists ahead with a deft finish in the first half before bringing up his half-century in the competition with an emphatic strike after good work from Son Heung-min.

The Real Madrid loanee completed his hat-trick with a low strike from the edge of the box before Son completed the rout with an excellent curling effort.

The visitors have now won just once in their past 26 Premier League games in London and saw goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale set a competition record of 27 consecutive away starts without keeping a clean sheet.

After a quiet opening, Son was denied by a fine Ramsdale save before Harry Kane shot low towards the right-hand corner only for Chris Basham to clear.

Sheffield United had begun to grow into the game when they were undone by a brilliant chipped pass from Serge Aurier, which allowed Bale to flick the ball left-footed over Ramsdale's head.

John Fleck was arguably lucky to escape punishment when he caught Giovani Lo Celso in the face with his studs when the Spurs midfielder was on the ground early in the second half.

Son thought he had doubled the lead after running onto a simple Toby Alderweireld long pass and blasting a shot beyond Ramsdale, but the goal was disallowed for a fractional offside.

Bale did make it 2-0, though, the Wales star rifling a strike into the top-right corner for his 50th goal in England's top flight after Son led the break from a Sheffield United corner.

His second Premier League hat-trick was completed eight minutes later as he wrong-footed Ramsdale with a crisp strike after Aurier teed him up on the edge of the penalty area.

Son added gloss to the scoreline with a superb strike that went in off the right-hand post, having earlier reached 10 league assists for the second season in a row.


What does it mean? Spurs can still believe in top-four chase

The result left Spurs five points behind fourth-place Chelsea with just four matches remaining, meaning they could yet snatch a Champions League spot.

However, with West Ham and Liverpool both able to climb above them should they win their games in hand, Spurs' chances of a return to Europe's top competition still appear slim.

For Sheffield United, who stay bottom on just 17 points, the season cannot end quickly enough.

Brilliant Bale

Bale's first Premier League treble since December 2012 highlighted the threat he still possesses in the attacking third – a threat too seldom seen for Spurs this season.

Still, if he can sustain such form over the final four games of the season and lead Spurs back into the Champions League, there will be few complaints from fans.

Brewster needs a booster

Rhian Brewster has now played 25 times in the Premier League this season without scoring, and his performance here made it easy to see why.

His only shot in a lifeless first-half showing was a speculative attempt that swerved closest to the corner flag, and he managed only 10 touches before being hauled off at the break.

What's next?

Spurs head to Leeds United and Sheffield United host Crystal Palace next Saturday.

Related items

  • Borussia Dortmund 2-3 Bayern Munich: Lewandowski compounds Hummels nightmare in Klassiker thriller Borussia Dortmund 2-3 Bayern Munich: Lewandowski compounds Hummels nightmare in Klassiker thriller

    Robert Lewandowski scored twice, including a late penalty, as Bayern Munich edged title rivals Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in Saturday's thrilling Klassiker to go four points clear at the Bundesliga summit.

    Lewandowski lost out to Lionel Messi for the Ballon d'Or this week, but he continued to let his football do the talking, taking his goals tally against his former club to 26 – more than he has managed against any other team.

    Both sides created at will in a gripping first half, but Dortmund – who led through Julian Brandt in the fifth minute – paid the price for costly mistakes as Lewandowski and Kingsley Coman ensured Bayern were 2-1 up at half-time.

    A sumptuous Erling Haaland strike got Dortmund back on level terms, but after somehow not winning a penalty of their own, they conceded one themselves and Lewandowski converted to seal the win, setting a Bundesliga away goals record in the process.

    A purposeful Dortmund start brought an early opener as Brandt – later withdrawn due to a nasty head injury – collected Jude Bellingham's lofted pass and finished emphatically having evaded Alphonso Davies.

    But Bayern quickly hit back, Lewandowski clinically finding the bottom-right corner with his record-equalling 117th Bundesliga away goal after Thomas Muller charged down Mats Hummels' clearance attempt.

    Several chances were wasted at either end thereafter, but Bayern managed to take a lead into the break.

    Another botched Dortmund clearance – this time Guerreiro smashing into Hummels' midriff – saw the ball fall for Coman and he drilled home.

    Dortmund restored parity again just after the interval, Haaland curling a gorgeous effort out of Manuel Neuer's reach and in off the right post.

    They should have had the chance to lead a few minutes later but Lucas Hernandez mystifyingly avoided conceding a penalty when appearing to commit a blatant foul on Marco Reus.

    Hummels was not so lucky, however, with a VAR check deeming him to have handled at a corner. Lewandowski squeezed his winning kick just inside the post for another away goal, an outright Bundesliga record for the Pole, and a valuable win for Bayern.

  • Atletico Madrid 1-2 Real Mallorca: Russo stops Simeone's men reclaiming second Atletico Madrid 1-2 Real Mallorca: Russo stops Simeone's men reclaiming second

    Takefusa Kubo struck a stoppage-time winner as Real Mallorca came from behind to stun Atletico Madrid and clinch a 2-1 at the Wanda Metropolitano. 

    Diego Simeone's side created some decent openings in either half but it was not until Matheus Cunha prodded the ball home in the 68th minute that they finally broke through. 

    However, Franco Russo rose above substitute Mario Hermoso to head home an equaliser with 10 minutes remaining, setting up a tense finale. 

    Kubo, a second-half substitute who is on loan from Atleti's rivals Real Madrid, then raced away on the break in the 91st minute and slid a cool finish under Jan Oblak to seal a surprise victory for Mallorca. 

    Hermoso replaced Stefan Savic due to an apparent hamstring injury in the 11th minute and Atleti were denied an opener shortly after when Angel Correa's volley from six yards was blocked by the chest of Jaume Costa. 

    Renan Lodi was unable to beat Manolo Reina in a one-on-one situation and Mallorca started to become more adventurous – Lee Kang-in seeing a powerful drive pushed away from the top-right corner by Oblak after the half-hour mark. 

    The deadlock was finally broken when Cunha scuffed Correa's cross into the air but volleyed it in while prone on the floor, with Russo's header coming after the ball had crossed the line. 

    However, Russo did end up making a telling impact with his head, steering Lee's free-kick into the bottom-left corner. 

    Kubo then struck the decisive blow in added time, with Joao Felix blazing a glorious chance to equalise over from inside the six-yard box before the final whistle. 

  • Watford 1-3 Manchester City: Silva at the double as champions go top Watford 1-3 Manchester City: Silva at the double as champions go top

    Bernardo Silva scored a stunning goal as Manchester City beat Watford 3-1 at Vicarage Road to go top of the Premier League.

    Raheem Sterling headed in an early opener after being found in acres of space in the box with less than four minutes on the clock before Silva fired in a second at the near post to give City a two-goal lead at the break.

    The in-form Portugal midfielder then stole the show with a superb strike, cutting onto his left foot from the right and curling sweetly into the top-left corner.

    Watford pulled one back through Cucho Hernandez, who steered home the rebound after his initial shot came back off the post, but the champions cruised to a victory that moved them to the summit.

    City nearly took the lead when Aymeric Laporte's header from a corner was cleared off the line, but they opened the scoring in the fourth minute, when Phil Foden's cross from the left was nodded in by an unmarked Sterling at the back post.

    The visitors continued to carve Watford apart with ease after going in front and Daniel Bachmann was forced to make three saves - one from Sterling, two from Jack Grealish - before the 11-minute mark.

    City squandered several more opportunities to extend their advantage, with Grealish particularly wasteful, before Silva lashed home from a tight angle after Bachmann had parried Ilkay Gundogan's low effort in the 31st minute.

    Silva added a third in the 63rd minute with a sumptuous strike into the top corner from just inside the box that left Bachmann rooted to the spot.

    Watford substitute Hernandez reduced the arrears 11 minutes later, squeezing home from a tight angle after his drilled effort across goal struck the upright and fell back into his path, but the Hornets still slumped to a third consecutive defeat.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.