A brilliant night of football was on display at Bramall Lane the last time the Blades met Spurs.
A bitterly cold January night in 2015 was the backdrop for a stunning second-leg of League Cup semi-final action. Spurs were 1-0 up from the home tie at White Hart Lane. United, on the other hand, went into the tie with nothing to fear.
It was the first of two big semi-finals Nigel Clough’s United found themselves in during his tenure. An FA Cup semi loss to Hull City the season before taking the Blades all the way to Wembley.
Spurs, meanwhile, were a team on the up under Mauricio Pochettino. They led from the first-leg through a Blades mistake and were expected to finish the job with ease. What transpired, however, was a night where Spurs found themselves in a true fight for a place in the final.
Spurs lined up with all their big players making the starting XI. Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane, and Jan Verthongen just three of the star names on display.
Nigel Clough also named his strongest side. An attacking line-up which had Jose Baxter, Jamie Murphy, and Marc McNulty all starting had Blades fans feeling optimistic.
Sheffield United: Mark Howard, Jay McEveley, Chris Basham, Bob Harris, Michael Doyle, Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Ryan Flynn, Stefan Scougall, Jose Baxter, Jamie Murphy, Marc McNulty
Subs: Iain Turner, Craig Alcock, Terry Kennedy, Louis Reed, Kieran Wallace, Che Adams, Michael Higdon
Spurs: Michael Vorm, Jan Verthongen, Kyle Walker, Benjamin Stambouli, Ben Davies, Moussa Dembele, Eric Dier, Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela, Ryan Mason, Harry Kane
Subs: Brad Friedel, Danny Rose, Federico Fazio, Paulinho, Andros Townsend, Emanuel Adebayor, Roberto Soldado
A star is born
It turned into a pulsating affair between two sides desperate to get to Wembley. Christian Eriksen gave Spurs the lead with a sublime free-kick in front of the Kop. For all United’s efforts, however, they couldn’t quite find the equalising goal.
That changed in the 74th minute when Clough played his trump card. Young forward Che Adams was thrust into the action and had an immediate impact.
Within minutes Adams had converted first time at the back post to bring United back into the tie. Remarkably, only minutes later, Adams struck again. His deflected effort deceiving Vorm and putting the Blades within touching distance.
It wasn’t to be for United. Spurs’ pressured eventually amounted to something. Harry Kane showed his class to slide in midfielder Eriksen. The Dane duly obliged by finishing expertly past Mark Howard.
Despite not winning out, the Blades put in a superb display. Che Adams shot himself into the limelight, paving the way for his eventual move to the Premier League.
Amazingly, only one of the United squad is still at Bramall Lane. Chris Basham, the lone survivor from that night.
The fact that Basham is the only one left standing just further highlights the period of change Chris Wilder has overseen at Bramall Lane.
Final score: 2-2