Chris Basham admitted he and his Sheffield United teammates are “hurting” after their late double suckerpunch away at Tottenham Hotspur somehow saw them return north from London with nothing. The Blades led 1-0 going into 12 minutes of injury time, before two late goals gave Spurs all three points.
United were on course for a remarkable first win of the season thanks to Gus Hamer’s earlier strike before Richarlison (90+8) and Dejan Kulusevski (90+10) turned it around to great scenes amongst the home supporters.
For United it was more late disappointment after shipping key goals in the dying minutes to drop points against Nottingham Forest and Manchester City, leaving them with one point after five games ahead of a tough run of fixtures in the coming weeks.
“We're hurting,” defender Basham, who captained the Blades in John Egan’s injury absence, admitted afterwards. “To come to Spurs, with the impact they had off the bench and the quality they have, it was always going to be difficult. But we played it really well, frustrated the crowd and the players on the pitch, and to be 1-0 up in the 90th minute and get beat on 98 and 100 is very hurtful. But we've got to wipe ourselves down for the next game.”
United goalkeeper Wes Foderingham was in inspired form with key saves to deny Son, Yves Bissouma and Kulusevski earlier in the game, while Oli McBurnie - who was later sent off for a second booking - and James McAtee had good chances at the other end before Hamer’s opener.
“We created the best opportunities of the game I think,” Basham added. “They huffed and puffed against us and got the win in the end but we created some great opportunities for the players we want them to fall to. We scored probably the most difficult chance we could have and the game plan went really well.
“They [Spurs] worked hard but struggled to create big opportunities and had to bring on five players who are internationals and unbelievable players. We can take a lot from it but at the end of the day it's three points lost and we go away with nothing. We travel back three or four hours up the road and we'll all be upset and hurting. But there's a big togetherness in there and it's how we react ahead of the next game against Newcastle.”
United’s crestfallen reaction to dropping points away at the division’s second-placed side, still to taste defeat so far this season, shows that they were not here for a day out at the league’s most impressive stadium. “Our manager wouldn't allow that to happen anyway,” Basham added. “He believed we could win the game today and we got so close but yet so far. We’re so disappointed. We're hurting in there but that's just how far we've come as well.”