Gareth Bale scored a memorable hat-trick as Tottenham Hotspur brushed aside Sheffield United 4-0 to move up the Premier League table.
Tottenham’s quest to finish in the top four in the Premier League this season received a huge boost as they secured a comfortable 4-0 win over Sheffield United on Sunday.
It was a clinical performance from the Lilywhites, who were in control of the game throughout the ninety minutes, dominating possession and keeping things tidy at the back. But, it was their offensive performance that caught the eye, even though Gareth Bale’s opener was the only thing that separated the two sides at half-time.
Tottenham stepped up the gear after the restart, though, with Bale securing his double around the hour mark from a counter-attack. Around ten minutes later, the Welshman completed his hat-trick with a thumping effort past Aaron Ramsdale, scoring his first treble in English football since 2012
The goal was enough to seal all three points, but Son Heung-min did manage to add that final gloss in the scoreline with a late goal. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Tottenham Hotspur player following their comfortable win over Sheffield United this weekend.
Hugo Lloris: 6.5/10
It was a comfortable evening for Hugo Lloris as Sheffield United barely managed to pose any threat going forward. The Tottenham goalkeeper did look very commanding in dealing with his claims, while also offering the leadership from the back. An easy outing by all means for the Frenchman.
Serge Aurier: 9/10
Serge Aurier looked in inspiring touch right from the beginning. He was determined to win back possession for his side and almost camped himself in the opposition half, providing excellent service to his teammates. The Ivorian most notably provided the assist for Gareth Bale with a sumptuous lofted ball over the top.
— Cenk (@CenkCOYS) May 2, 2021
The former Paris Saint-Germain right-back defended well too, although he was not posed with any difficult challenges by the Sheffield United attackers at all.
Toby Alderweireld: 7/10
Toby Alderweireld remained quite solid at the back for Tottenham Hotspur. He was, in fact, the brains of his side’s build-up play from the back, expertly offering diagonal balls. His ability to read the game also allowed to him to keep Sheffield United attackers at bay throughout the course of the game.
Eric Dier: 7/10
Eric Dier produced another solid display at the heart of the four-man backline for Spurs. He always had a difficult ask against the robust David McGoldrick, but the Englishman was up for the challenge, using his physical and aerial prowess to keep the Sheffield United striker quiet. He seems to be improving after the departure of Jose Mourinho.
Sergio Reguilon: 7/10
Sergio Reguilon certainly was not as impressive as Aurier on the opposite flank. The left-back did not look as determined in winning the ball back for his team, but he did cover a lot of ground while also offering a decent amount of support going forward for the attackers. A solid, if not impressive display from Reguilon, who has not been in the best of forms recently.
Giovani Lo Celso: 6.5/10
Giovani Lo Celso once again had difficulties in expressing himself in the middle of the park. The Argentine playmaker looked ineffective or lacked directness in possession, though he did find a couple of useful balls behind the Sheffield United defence. He was ultimately taken off during the final phase of the game, in favour of Harry Winks.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 8/10
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was in desperate need of an upturn of fortunes and this was his evening. The Dane dominated the midfield, looking quite energetic while winning back possession for his side. He distributed the possession quite well, too, helping Spurs impose their authority in the proceedings.
Defensively, Hojbjerg’s ability to read the game helped him neutralise many of the potential counter-attacking opportunities for Sheffield United, making him a vital cog in Tottenham’s second line of press.
Gareth Bale: 10/10
Gareth Bale was the star of the show for Tottenham Hotspur as he managed to produce exactly what he is capable of. In the attacking third, he found himself in good positions, often willing to make darting runs in behind the backline. It even resulted in his first goal, when the Welshman capitalised on Aurier’s chipped ball over the top to find the opener.
— Cenk (@CenkCOYS) May 2, 2021
Bale continued to make life difficult for the Sheffield United backline with his movements and pace, scoring the second through a counter-attack before netting the third with a thumping effort past Aaron Ramsdale. It was Bale’s hat-trick in English football since 2012 and his return of form is a timely one, as he looks to help Tottenham make a late push for the Champions League places.
Dele Alli: 7/10
Dele Alli was given the nod ahead of Tanguy Ndombele in the starting eleven and at the end of the day, it was a well-deserved one. Although the playmaker certainly was not among the best players in the game, he worked hard and produced some good passes behind the backline. He certainly deserves another starting opportunity for Spurs in the number ten role.
Son Heung-min: 9/10
Son was another star performer for Tottenham, as he proved to be a menace for the Sheffield United backline with his movement, pace and technical prowess. He notably assisted Bale with an excellent pass in behind the defence during a counter-attack before scoring himself in the second half with a brilliant finish. A good display from the Tottenham winger, whose return of form could be crucial in these closing stages.
FT | Tottenham 4-0 Sheffield United
⚽ 36' Bale
⚽ 61' Bale
⚽ 69' Bale
⚽ 77' Son Heung-min
Bale scores a hat-trick for Spurs 🙌! pic.twitter.com/qTNzlaFMtF
— Sportstz (@Sportstz__) May 2, 2021
Harry Kane: 7/10
Harry Kane’s performance was hugely overshadowed by the excellent displays from Bale and Son. The striker, nonetheless, deserves credit for his excellent shift in the number nine position. His movements were excellent and it kept the opposition defence occupied, allowing the likes of Bale and Son to run in behind on the counter.
Harry Winks: 6.5/10
Harry Winks replaced Lo Celso during the final phase of the game. He offered more security in possession as Ryan Mason opted to step the foot off the gas pedal.
Steven Bergwijn: 6/10
Steven Bergwijn replaced Bale in the closing stages, with Mason well-aware of the Welshman’s importance during these final few league matches for Tottenham Hotspur.
Erik Lamela: N/A
A late replacement for Alli. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.