Tottenham Hotspur manager Enzi Postecoglou has raised eyebrows by sternly telling his players to stand up after they tried to kill time by lying on the ground in stoppage time.
Tottenham Hotspur conceded an early goal against Sheffield United in the fifth round of the 2023/24 Premier League at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England, on Saturday (Aug. 16), but came from behind to win 2-1 in second-half stoppage time thanks to goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Dejan Kulusevski.
After a fiercely contested first 45 minutes in which neither side could find the back of the net to end the first half at 0-0, it was Sheffield Wednesday who struck first after the restart, testing the Tottenham goal from a set piece.
In the 29th minute, from a corner kick, the ball trickled past the defense and into the back of the net, where midfielder Gustavo Hamer was able to slide in a low, quick shot that rattled the Tottenham net. It was an early goal that made Tottenham even more impatient as they continued to press Sheffield in search of a goal.
After the goal, Tottenham continued to push up the line and attacked harder to make up for the deficit. In the 35th minute, Son Heung-min, Pape Sarr, and Manor Solomon were replaced by Brennan Johnson, Hicharlison, and Ivan Perisic in an attempt to turn the game around. Johnson, who joined Tottenham in the summer transfer window, came off the bench against Sheffield Wednesday to make his Tottenham debut.
Johnson could have been Tottenham’s savior, rattling the post on his debut, but he was ruled offside. In the 42nd minute, Johnson rattled the Sheffield goal after breaking in from the right side of the penalty box with his hands up and latching onto a pass from Bissouma. However, the goal was disallowed for offside as the assistant referee raised his flag after seeing Johnson in a position ahead of the defense.
The game continued for much of the second 45 minutes. A whopping 12 minutes of extra time was awarded to reflect the fact that Sheffield players were frequently sitting down with injuries. Tottenham brought on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Emerson Royale for Van der Vaart and Foro in an attempt to push their opponents further in the extra time.
Tottenham’s saving grace in the dying minutes came in the form of Hicharlison and Kulusevski. The latter rattled the Sheffield goal with a precise header from a corner in stoppage time. Tottenham continued to push Sheffield forward in search of an equalizer. Three minutes after the equalizer, Kuluczewski sent the stadium into a frenzy with a sharp right-footed shot into the corner of the Sheffield goal from inside the penalty box.
Sheffield then lost all momentum when frontline striker Oliver McBurnie was sent off, and the game ended in a dramatic 2-1 victory for Tottenham.
Two late goals in stoppage time turned the game on its head and secured Spurs’ fourth consecutive league win and their fifth unbeaten league game since the start of the season. To date, only three teams remain unbeaten through five league rounds, including defending champions Manchester City (five wins) and Liverpool (four wins and a draw). They remain in second place in the league standings.
Sheffield, on the other hand, have failed to win any of their five league games, leaving them with just one point. They remain in 17th place in the league and remain under threat of relegation.
The thrilling come-from-behind win sent Tottenham fans into a frenzy. Not only did the dramatic stoppage time win extend their winning streak, but they were also accused of “bed soccer” after Sheffield Wednesday players were seen lying on the ground on several occasions to kill time after scoring the opening goal.
Sheffield’s ‘bed soccer’ turned out to be toxic. Taking into account all the delays while receiving treatment, a whopping 12 minutes of second-half stoppage time was awarded, which was more than enough time for Tottenham to turn the game around.온라인바카라
The Tottenham players were also apparently annoyed by the Sheffield players’ behavior. According to the Spurs Express, the general consensus was that the Sheffield players were stalling too much, especially after the goal, when Tottenham vice-captain James Maddison was seen laughing, lying down in front of a Sheffield player, grabbing his leg and mocking ‘bed football’.
Tottenham coach Postecoglou drew comparisons to Sheffield when he appeared to restrain the Spurs players as they attempted to play ‘bed football’ in reverse. After Kulusevski’s goal gave them the lead, Yves Bissouma and Maddison went to the ground. Maddison appeared to have a cramp in her leg as Hicharlison was seen holding her leg.
After playing for over 100 minutes, her leg could have really cramped up, but Postecoglou gestured with his right hand for her to get up quickly. Some fans have suggested that this could be a sign of Postecoglou’s dislike of ‘bed football’, having played against Middle Eastern teams in the past with the Australian national team and club.
Ahead of the 2023/24 season, Tottenham have appointed Postecoglou after a successful spell at Scottish giants Celtic. Postecoglou takes over at Tottenham after leading Celtic to three trophies last season, including the Scottish Premiership title.
Postecoglou led Celtic for two years starting in 2021/22, winning 83 of 113 games in those two years, making Celtic one of the most dominant teams in Scotland. Tottenham chose Postecoglou, who had never managed a big-league club before, to take over after his impressive tactical success at Celtic.
At the time of the appointment, Spurs fans were understandably nervous. While Postecoglou had been very successful at Celtic, he had never been in charge of a big club like Tottenham before, and Celtic is one of the top teams in Scotland, along with Rangers, so their record wasn’t exactly high-profile. Some fans were unhappy with the choice of manager, as Postecoglou beat out the likes of Julian Nagelsmann.
Postecoglou responded to the fans’ distrust with performance. After the opening day, Spurs got off to a historic start under Postecoglou, playing a fiery brand of attacking soccer. According to soccer statistician Squawka, this is the first time since the Premier League began in 1992 that Spurs have taken 13 points from their first five league games of the season.
Mauricio Pochettino, Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte, and a host of other greats have led Spurs in the past, but none of them have had a better start to a season than Postecoglou. If they can maintain their momentum, a top-four finish, which would qualify them for the UEFA Champions League, is not out of the question.
Having garnered the support of the fans with a great start, Postecoglou will now face his first test of the season. Tottenham will host Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London, England, on April 24 for the North London Derby, the sixth round of the 2023/24 Premier League season and one of the greatest rivalries of all time. After the North London Derby, Spurs will host Liverpool in the seventh round of the league on October 1.
With the big games coming up, it will be interesting to see if Spurs can continue their unbeaten run, and what kind of report card Postecoglou will receive from the Arsenal-Liverpool doubleheader.