There have already been several potential take-off moments for Richarlison at Tottenham, but his breakthrough appearance in an exhilarating late win over Sheffield United seemed to be the best proof yet that the Brazilian can turn the corner and succeed at the club.
At the end of perhaps the most difficult week of his professional career, in which he revealed he would seek “psychological help” after a difficult five months away from the field, Richarlison came off the bench to score a goal and assisting Dejan Kulusevski’s winning goal in the 100th minute. – continuing Ange Postecoglou’s excellent start at Spurs.
Richarlison had come into the match having twice failed to score for Brazil in World Cup qualifying victories over Bolivia and Peru, retaining his duck for his country from the World Cup, and with his place in the Spurs eleven more and more uncertain.
Against Bolivia he was left in tears on the bench after being substituted, before revealing he would see a psychologist, while in the win over Peru he was disallowed a goal for a slight off -game, continuing a streak of bad luck.
As expected, he remained on the bench against the Blades, with Heung-min Son continuing to lead the line after scoring a hat-trick in the win over Burnley before the internationals.
With Spurs camped on the edge of Sheffield United’s box for most of the second half, it was surprising that it took Postecoglou so long to introduce Richarlison, who didn’t appear until the 79th minute , shortly after Gustavo Hamer’s low strike slipped in. into the far corner to give the visitors the advantage against the run of play.
His introduction in a triple change with Ivan Perisic and debutant Brennan Johnson kept Spurs in front against a tenacious Blades side, who had defended with a sea of yellow shirts and gained confidence as the match wore on.
The visitors frustrated Spurs, happily wasting time, but it only came back to bite them when the fourth official signaled twelve extra minutes.
With eight of them and frustration starting to seep into the ground, Richarlison met Perisic’s corner with a bullet header to deservedly equalize.
There was one last push to come, and Richarlison was also instrumental in the winner, a brilliant move starting from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Ivan Perisic.
From the Croatian’s flick, he selflessly clashed with Kulusevski, whose ferocious strike raised the roof of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, producing one of the loudest roars that ground has ever heard.
This saw Spurs deservedly claim points, underlining the quality and spirit of this group of players and their growing confidence under Postecoglou.
Next up for Spurs will be games against Arsenal and Liverpool, both also undefeated as things stand, in a doubleheader that should go a long way to demonstrating how fans can be excited about not just the mid-to-late future. or long term under Postecoglou, but on the club’s prospects this season.