Published 17/01/2021 at 13:00 GMT | Updated 17/01/2021 at 19:01 GMT
Harry Kane was on target and Tanguy Ndombele scored a goal of the season contender as Tottenham moved into the top four and piled more misery on basement side Sheffield United with a comfortable victory at Bramall Lane.
The Blades gave themselves a mountain to climb by conceding from a simple corner after just five minutes into the contest, with Serge Aurier climbing above Jayden Bogle to head in from Son Heung-min's corner delivery.
Son timed his run to latch onto Kane's through-ball moments later but was denied by the outside of the post.
Tottenham were excellent in the first half and looked to be out of sight by the interval. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg won the ball in midfield and fed Kane, who wrapped his foot around the ball and beat Aaron Ramsdale with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Sheffield United were second-best by some distance but David McGoldrick's glancing header from John Fleck's cross gave them a way back into the game after the restart.
Their hopes were killed off by a fantastic goal from Ndombele just 172 seconds later, though, as he beautifully hooked the ball over Ramsdale with a delicate lob into the far corner from a tight angle.
Tottenham climb into fourth and close the gap on leaders Manchester United, while Sheffield United remain bottom, 11 points from safety.
Heung-Min Son of Tottenham Hotspur battles for possession with Aaron Ramsdale of Sheffield United during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Tottenham Hotspur at Bramall Lane on January 17, 2021 in Sheffield
Image credit: Getty Images
TALKING POINT - Gulf in class evident as Spurs prove too strong for Blades
The gulf in class between the sides was evident almost immediately after kick-off as for the fifth time this season, Spurs took the lead inside five minutes. Tottenham have been here before only to concede late and throw away points to the likes of Fulham, Wolves and Crystal Palace. But history rarely looked like repeating itself in this one-sided affair.
After the victory against Newcastle - their first win of the season - you would have expected Sheffield United's tails to have been up. But they lacked energy, motivation and application as they crashed to another damaging defeat. It was a dire performance and a reminder of how far the Blades have fallen this season. Chris Wilder's side were unfortunate not to do the double over Tottenham last term, but their body language suggested they were defeated on this occasion before a ball was even kicked.
As for Tottenham, they may have only won their second league game in seven, but they are back within touching distance of the leaders, and at this stage of the season, must be considered title contenders. Jose Mourinho has faced criticism of late, but the Portuguese was spot on with his tactics today.
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MAN OF THE MATCH - Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Now the all-round forward, Kane was excellent. A dream to play with, but a nightmare for the opposition. Sheffield United couldn't track him as he often dropped deep to link the play. Scored with a typical finish to put Spurs almost out of reach.
5' - GOAL! Sheffield Utd 0-1 Tottenham (Serge Aurier): Spurs are ahead with the easiest of goals! From the resultant corner, Son's whipped delivery to the near post is met by Aurier, who climbs above Bogle to head Tottenham in front.
8' - Son goes close! The hosts aren't coping with Spurs at the moment, and Son should double the advantage! Kane drops deep and slips a precision pass through the lines for Son to run onto. He lifts it over the on-rushing Ramsdale but his shot crashes off the outside of the post!
40' - GOAL! Sheffield United 0-2 Tottenham (Harry Kane): The hosts try to play it out from the back but Hojbjerg is quickly onto the case and wins the ball back for Spurs, feeding Kane who finds the bottom corner with a lovely shot from the edge of the box.
59' - GOAL! Sheffield United 1-2 Tottenham (David McGoldrick): The Blades have a way back into the game! Spurs have been sitting back, inviting pressure, and how they have paid! McGoldrick gets in between Tottenham's centre-backs to meet Fleck's excellent cross and his glancing header nestles into the back of the net. Game on!
62' - GOAL! Sheffield United 1-3 Tottenham (Tanguy Ndombele): That is magnificent from Ndombele! Norwood runs into trouble once again, Bergwijn clips it over the top for Ndombele, but from a tight angle and under pressure, he has so much still to do. He gets just enough on his lob and hooks the ball into the top corner, and you have to say that is spectacular!
'Genius' - Mourinho lauds Ndombele wondergoal
Tottenham have lost just three of their last 30 matches in all competitions (W19 D8), winning four of their five in 2021 (D1).
Sheffield United have conceded 15 goals at Bramall Lane in the Premier League this season (10 games), as many as they did at home in the whole of last season (15 in 19 home games).
Tanguy Ndombele restored Spurs' two-goal lead just 172 seconds after David McGoldrick pulled one back for Sheffield United, with this his third goal of the season - his highest total in a single league campaign.
Tottenham Hotspur have scored five goals in the opening five minutes of Premier League games this season, more than any other side.
Excluding penalties, only Wolves and Leeds (10 each) have conceded more set-piece goals than Sheffield United this season (9); indeed, the Blades shipped a league-low six such goals through the entirety of last season.
Harry Kane is the first player to score in six consecutive Premier League appearances in Yorkshire since Mark Viduka between March and August 2003 for Leeds United.