Richarlison gets his happy ending after saying he would seek ‘psychological help’… as Son leads the tributes to the battling Brazilian after late victory over Sheffield United
- Richarlison scored equaliser for Spurs after going 1-0 down to Sheffield United
- Brazilian opened up about needing to seek ‘psychological help’ after struggling
- Tottenham captain Son Heung-Min said he was ‘probably more happy than him’
The Richarlison scowl remained firmly fixed even after a cuddle from James Maddison and a shove in the back from Son Heung-min as encouragement to lead Tottenham’s post-match celebrations before the South Stand.
It was, at the very least, a happy end to a tough week for Tottenham’s No9. Perhaps only light relief after a difficult year when goals proved scarce and people he trusted let him down.
His late rescue operation against Sheffield United, however, was a reminder of his strengths. He is committed and willing. Mobile and physical. Decent in the air with an ability to bring in others.
And his most influential contribution in a Spurs shirt since two goals against Marseille more than a year ago will nourish his confidence and self-esteem.
‘He changed the whole game,’ said captain Son. ‘That’s what we were waiting for. Nobody is happy when not in the starting XI but we know how important it is to come on and change the game.
Son was full of praise for Richarlison after the Brazilian scored the equaliser against Sheffield United
Richarlison had endured a tough few weeks and said he would seek ‘psychological help’
The Brazilian headed home Spurs’ equaliser as they scored twice in added time to win 2-1
‘Everyone is very happy for him. I was very, very happy. Probably more happy than him. We need him. He has really good quality but the confidence is massively different. I just wanted to give him the big hug he deserved.’
There are clearly other matters for Richarlison to tackle. Probably matters not as simple as heading in a corner for an equaliser in the eighth minute of added time or sliding a pass into the feet of Dejan Kulusevski to score the winner two minutes later. But it will be easier with a mind clear of the pressure of his £60million price tag or delivering the goals to replace Harry Kane.
Under Ange Postecoglou, it feels like a warmer, more inclusive, less oppressive environment at Spurs. Maybe that makes life easier for a player so open with emotions.
At the same time, it will not escape the attention of the new Spurs boss that Richarlison might be at his best as an impact player off the bench. ‘Everyone is standing behind Richy,’ said Son. ‘We are tight in the changing room. Everyone is working, running, fighting for each other.’
Evidence of this spirit smacked you in the face on Saturday and the response to the late fightback, as Sheffield United tried to defend the goal scored by Gustavo Hamer in the 73rd minute, was telling.
Spurs fans celebrated the late goals in carnival style. They are thrilled by the adventure of Postecoglou and there can be no better way to go into Sunday’s north London derby than with a stirring victory followed by a clear week of preparation as Arsenal return to the Champions League.
The forward was seen in tears after being substituted during Brazil’s 5-1 victory over Bolivia
For Sheffield United, who are in contact with former boss Chris Wilder as a possible replacement for Paul Heckingbottom, it was painful. ‘We’re hurting,’ said captain Chris Basham. ‘We’ve taken a few sucker punches recently. One day we’ll be the ones celebrating.’
Sheffield United goalkeeper Wes Foderingham revealed he was racially abused online after the match. ‘I don’t mind opposition fans calling me every name under the sun,’ said Foderingham. ‘But be easy with the racism and family threats. Think before you type.’
Sheffield United condemned the abuse, while Spurs said they were ‘disgusted’ and will ban any fans found responsible.
MATCH FACTS AND RATINGS
TOTTENHAM (4-2-3-1): Vicario 7; Porro 7 (Royal 90+5), Romero 7, Van de Ven 6.5 (Hojbjerg 90+5), Udogie 6; Sarr 6.5 (Richarlison 80, 7.5), Bissouma 7.5, Maddison 6.5; Kulusevski 8, Son 6 (Johnson 79, 7), Solomon 6.5 (Perisic 80, 7).
Subs: Forster, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Dier, Davies.
Goals: Richarlison 90+8, Kulusevski 90+10
Booked: Van der Ven, Maddison, Solomon
Manager: Ange Postecoglou 7.5
SHEFFIELD UNITED (3-5-2): Foderingham 8.5; Basham 7, Ahmendhozic 7, Robinson 7; Bogle 7 (Trusty 86), Hamer 7 (Davies 81), Souza 7, McAtee 6.5 (Norwood 69, 6), Thomas 6; McBurnie 6.5, Archer 5.5.
Subs: Davies, Trusty, Traore, Slimane, Larouci, Seriki
Goals: Hamer 73′
Booked: Basham, Archer, Foderingham, McBurnie, Robinson, Davies
Red cards: McBurnie
Manager: Paul Heckingbottom 7
Referee: Peter Bankes 6
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