Stunning goals from Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane fired Tottenham into the top four as Sheffield United's troubles continued with a 3-1 defeat at Bramall Lane on Super Sunday.
The Blades claimed their first league win of the season against Newcastle on Tuesday but were brought back down to earth when Serge Aurier headed Spurs ahead inside five minutes, before Kane added a second with a brilliant individual effort shortly before half-time.
David McGoldrick's sixth goal of the season gave United hope of staging a second-half comeback, but their challenge was extinguished by a goal-of-the-season contender from Ndombele, whose outrageous lob restored Spurs' two-goal cushion three minutes later.
Spurs climb up to fourth in the Premier League, three points off leaders Manchester United ahead of their trip to Liverpool, after returning to winning ways, while United remain rooted to the foot of the table, 11 points from safety.
Sheffield United: Ramsdale (6), Basham (6), Egan (5), Ampadu (6), Bogle (5), Lundstram (5), Norwood (4), Fleck (6), Stevens (6), Burke (6), McGoldrick (7).
Subs: Sharp (5), Brewster (5), Bryan (6).
Tottenham: Lloris (7), Aurier (7), Rodon (7), Dier (7), Davies (7), Bergwijn (6), Hojbjerg (7), Ndombele (8), Reguilon (7), Son (7), Kane (8).
Subs: Moura (n/a), Vinicius (n/a), Sanchez (n/a).
Man of the Match: Tanguy Ndombele.
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How scintillating Spurs blunted Blades
Mourinho demanded a dominant performance from his Spurs players ahead of kick-off and that is exactly what they delivered.
It took just five minutes for them to take the lead at Bramall Lane. Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale brilliantly tipped Steven Bergwijn's rasping drive over but was in no man's land from the resulting corner as Aurier glanced Son's whipped delivery in at the near post.
- Enda Stevens replaced the injured Ben Osborn as Sheffield United made one change from the win over Newcastle.
- Joe Rodon, Ben Davies and Steven Bergwijn returned as Tottenham made three changes from the 1-1 draw with Fulham.
Spurs looked to put the game beyond the reach of United in a blistering start but were denied a quick-fire second when Son's delicate chip over Ramsdale clipped the outside of the post.
The bright Oliver Burke forced Hugo Lloris into his first save as the half-hour mark approached but Blades openings were limited by a succession of blocks from Eric Dier and Joe Rodon.
And, as half-time approached, Spurs underscored their superiority as Kane received the ball on the half-turn from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, drove through the United defence and rifled an unstoppable second into the bottom corner.
United were markedly improved in the second period and gave themselves hope of salvaging something from the game when McGoldrick glanced in John Fleck's cross shortly before the half to half the deficit.
But Spurs put the game beyond the Blades within three minutes thanks to a moment of magic from Ndombele.
Having played two one-twos with Bergwijn, the Frenchman latched onto a clipped pass over the top before hooking a stunning effort over Ramsdale with the outside of his boot, and it was plain sailing from there as Spurs returned to winning ways in style.
Spurs end Bramall Lane drought - Opta stats
- Spurs have lost just three of their last 30 matches in all competitions (W19 D8), winning four of their five in 2021 (D1).
- Sheffield United are only the second team in top-flight history to lose 16 of their first 19 matches in a season, after Bolton Wanderers in 1902/03, who were relegated in bottom place.
- Spurs registered their first away league victory against Sheffield United since December 1975, ending a seven-game winless run at Bramall Lane.
- Sheffield United have conceded 15 home Premier League goals this season - as many as the Blades conceded at Bramall Lane in the entirety of last season.
- Spurs forward Harry Kane has scored in each of his last six Premier League appearances in Yorkshire, netting 10 goals - Kane is the first player since Mark Viduka for Leeds between March and August 2003 to score in six consecutive appearances in Yorkshire.
- José Mourinho has never lost an away Premier League match against a side starting the day in the relegation zone (P28 W21 D7).
What the managers said...
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: "The timing and manner of the goals really all afternoon hurt us. I really fancied us, and we did as a football club.
"We got paid a compliment with the way they set up and you could see, led by the manager, that they thought this was going to be a tough afternoon. But apart from the last 10 minutes, it wasn't a foregone conclusion.
"The goals really, at any level... after Tuesday night, the first thing we needed was to have a bright start and get a foothold in the game and we didn't.
"You could see the attitude of their players when they got the first goal. It gave them a huge boost and it deflated us."
Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho: "The game went well because of the mentality, not the set up. We were very aggressive, tried to be dominant and we managed to be that.
"I thought 2-0 at half-time was a bit short, normally it should be game over, but it wasn't. A very basic thing, from a throw-in, made it 2-1, but this time we had the personality and desire to go for it and I am happy.
"The desire is to be strong enough to impose yourself on the opponent and not let them get back in the game, and we managed to do that because we were always dominant."
Man of the Match - Tanguy Ndombele
Sheffield United host Plymouth Argyle in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday at 3pm, before travelling to Manchester United in the Premier League on January 23 at 8.15pm.
Spurs travel o Wycombe in the fourth round of the FA Cup on January 25 at 7.45pm before hosting champions Liverpool in the Premier League on January 28 at 8pm.