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January 18, 2021

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Ndombele’s stunner fires Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur’s record signing Tanguy Ndombele conjured a moment of magic to seal his side’s 3-1 victory at the English Premier League’s bottom club Sheffield United yesterday.

Spurs had just seen the commanding lead given to them by Serge Aurier and Harry Kane halved by David McGoldrick’s header on the hour when Ndombele struck with an audacious flicked lob.

Played in by a Steven Bergwijn chipped pass, Ndombele used the outside of his boot to lob goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and the ball landed in the far corner.

It was a timely goal for Jose Mourinho’s side as McGoldrick’s effort revived memories of numerous points it has dropped from winning positions this season.

This time, however, Spurs made no mistake to record only their second win in seven league games and move into fourth spot, at least until Manchester City plays Crystal Palace later.

Tottenham had looked commanding in the first half at Bramall Lane in Sheffield with Aurier heading in from a corner after five minutes and Kane’s clinical finish doubling its lead in the 40th minute.

For Sheffield United it was a disappointing result after it had posted its first win of the season this week by beating Newcastle United. With only five points from 19 games it is 11 points away from the safety zone and its hopes of avoiding relegation look slender.

Meanwhile, four months into the season and Chelsea manager Frank Lampard appears no closer to knowing his best lineup following a US$300-million offseason spending spree that delivered him a squad bursting with quality.

One player he knows he cannot do without is Mason Mount.

The England international looked to be the man with the most to lose coming out of a summer when Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner arrived at Stamford Bridge at great expense to add competition to the attacking midfield and forward spots.

But there was Mount on Saturday, starting for Chelsea for the 12th straight EPL game — he has played 90 minutes in all of them — and grabbing a badly needed winner for Lampard against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Mount’s 78th-minute goal in a 1-0 victory capped a man-of-the-match performance where Chelsea’s more high-profile players again came up short against a team which played the entire second half with 10 men, following the 44th-minute sending-off of US international Antonee Robinson.

Mount’s goal came when he drilled home a loose ball from a central position inside the area after Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola scooped away a cross, and it brought Chelsea only its second win in its last seven league matches.

That poor recent run plunged Chelsea to ninth place and prompted scrutiny on Lampard, the club great who is in just his third year in senior soccer management and facing huge expectations.


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