Sunderland remain rooted at the bottom of the Premier League table as Tottenham eased the pressure on manager Andre Villas-Boas with a gutsy win.

A Hugo Lloris error allowed Adam Johnson to confidently score from eight yards to give Sunderland the lead.

Paulinho poked in at the near post to level and Spurs then went ahead thanks to John O'Shea's clumsy own goal.

Unhappy reading

  • Sunderland have lost 11 points from winning positions this season, the most in the Premier League.
  • Tottenham are one of two teams (with Newcastle) yet to score more than twice in a Premier League game this season.

Jermain Defoe twice struck the woodwork and Sunderland had a worthy penalty appeal turned down in a lively match.

Tottenham substitute Sandro appeared to handle the ball when defending a second-half corner, but referee Lee Mason dismissed Sunderland's protests and so went the home team's hopes of dragging themselves back into contention.

A second home defeat of the week - albeit against Champions League hopefuls Chelsea and Tottenham - leaves the Black Cats five points adrift from safety.

It also means manager Gus Poyet must hope for maximum points against fellow strugglers West Ham next week if his team are to achieve their target of reaching 16 points by the end of the year.

At the other end of the table, two points adrift of a Champions League spot, are Tottenham and Villas-Boas seems to have silenced his critics, for now at least, with a second successive victory.

Indeed, the visitors could have won by a handsomer margin, with Defoe's intelligent running causing problems, but Tottenham - whose goal tally this season now moves to 15 - continue to lack a certain ruthlessness in front of goal.

Credit must go to players - Villas-Boas

The numerous chances each team enjoyed was a far cry from the opening half-hour which was a tale of half-opportunities and hopeful attempts from distance with both defences holding firm when under attack from forwards lacking poise and composure in the final third.

Paulinho and Lewis Holtby took aim from outside the box for Tottenham, while Jack Colback and Steven Fletcher wasted opportunities for Sunderland.

The game's first attempt on target arrived in the 32nd minute thanks to a tame Nacer Chadli header, which failed to trouble Vito Mannone in the Sunderland goal.

But, then, the match burst into life when Lloris made the baffling decision to punch Ondrej Celustka's trivial-looking cross towards the far post. The ball fell into Adam Johnson's path and the midfielder struck for his first league goal of the season.

Tottenham had monopolised possession in the 10 minutes leading to the opener so it was perhaps deserved when the equaliser arrived almost immediately. Chadli headed a deep free-kick towards Paulinho and the Brazilian stabbed home at the near post.

Unfortunately for the hosts, the visitors did not take long to double their advantage after the break with Tottenham's first real attack resulting in a goal as O'Shea flicked Mousa Dembele's cross into his near post.

It was the fifth own goal the Black Cats had conceded this season, and within minutes they could have fallen further behind but for superb defending from Johnson when the unmarked Holtby was ready to pounce.

But Sunderland were retreating towards their own goal and Tottenham were growing in confidence.

Only the crossbar prevented Defoe from extending Tottenham's lead with a close-range header, while the striker dragged another glorious opportunity wide after being set free by the ever-alert Holtby.

Own goals no 'coincidence' - Poyet

The match ended in a hat-trick of wasted chances for Defoe as he cleverly darted across the goal and struck the post with a deft flick.

But Sunderland continued to search for the equaliser with Fletcher, standing on the edge of the box, heading Seb Larsson's cross wide and then came the convincing penalty appeal.

Substitute Fabio Borini went close late on as Spurs failed to deal with a tricky Larsson cross, but Tottenham saw off the danger to extend their unbeaten run over Sunderland to seven league matches.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas: "It was a very important win for us. It completes a good, good week, a good start to December.

"Two away fixtures, a Premier League midweek fixture and Manchester United at home was always a difficult scenario following our defeat against City, so it's a great fightback from the team finally completed. And we have put ourselves back on track in a position where we can challenge for the top.

"Credit to the players. Our group has been immense in this situation that we faced and fought back to these great results recently."

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet on conceding five own goals this season: "One, two, three - bad luck. Five? Too many. Me, I believe in coincidence once, twice. Five? No, I don't.

"Somehow always something happens. Who is going to be next? Do you know? Let me know so I don't play him."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Sunderland

  • 25 Mannone
  • 12 Celustka Booked (Giaccherini - 77' )
  • 02 Bardsley
  • 04 Ki Sung-yueng
  • 16 O'Shea
  • 05 Brown
  • 07 Larsson
  • 14 Colback (Cattermole - 67' )
  • 09 Fletcher
  • 17 Altidore Booked
  • 11 Johnson (Borini - 67' )

Substitutes

  • 03 Dossena
  • 08 Gardner
  • 13 Pickford
  • 21 Diakité
  • 23 Giaccherini
  • 31 Borini
  • 33 Cattermole

Tottenham Hotspur

  • 25 Lloris
  • 02 Walker
  • 16 Naughton
  • 19 Dembélé (Sandro - 73' )
  • 15 Capoue
  • 20 Dawson
  • 07 Lennon
  • 08 Paulinho
  • 18 Defoe
  • 14 Holtby (Townsend - 79' )
  • 21 Chadli (Sigurdsson - 84' )

Substitutes

  • 09 Soldado
  • 11 Lamela
  • 17 Townsend
  • 22 Sigurdsson
  • 24 Friedel
  • 30 Sandro
  • 35 Fryers
Ref: Lee Mason
Att: 37,963

Match Stats

Shots

11 22

On target

4 5

Corners

4 10

Fouls

14 9

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Sunderland 1, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

90:00 +5:05 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Sunderland 1, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

90:00 +3:54

Gylfi Sigurdsson (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +3:54

Foul by Lee Cattermole (Sunderland).

90:00 +3:02

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Vito Mannone.

90:00 +2:59

Attempt saved. Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Jermain Defoe.

90:00 +1:35

Attempt missed. Phillip Bardsley (Sunderland) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Sebastian Larsson with a cross.

90:00 +0:20

Attempt missed. Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Emanuele Giaccherini with a cross.

89:37

Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Michael Dawson.

88:30

Gylfi Sigurdsson (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88:30

Foul by Ki Sung-Yueng (Sunderland).

86:51 Booking

Booking Jozy Altidore (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

86:47

Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

86:47

Foul by Jozy Altidore (Sunderland).

85:57

Attempt blocked. Phillip Bardsley (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sebastian Larsson.

85:34

Foul by Etienne Capoue (Tottenham Hotspur).

85:34

Emanuele Giaccherini (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

83:40 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Gylfi Sigurdsson replaces Nacer Chadli.

82:23

Attempt missed. Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Andros Townsend with a cross.

81:24

Attempt saved. Fabio Borini (Sunderland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

80:43

Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Michael Dawson.

80:04

Foul by Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur).

80:04

Lee Cattermole (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

78:45

Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur) hits the left post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Andros Townsend with a cross.

78:18 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Andros Townsend replaces Lewis Holtby.

77:19

Offside, Sunderland. Lee Cattermole tries a through ball, but Steven Fletcher is caught offside.

76:44 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Sunderland. Emanuele Giaccherini replaces Ondrej Celustka.

76:08

Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

76:08

Foul by Phillip Bardsley (Sunderland).

74:34

Offside, Sunderland. Ondrej Celustka tries a through ball, but Steven Fletcher is caught offside.

73:30

Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Aaron Lennon.

73:17

Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Kyle Walker.

73:00

Attempt saved. Lewis Holtby (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Aaron Lennon.

72:33 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Sandro replaces Mousa Dembélé because of an injury.

70:07

Attempt missed. Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Sebastian Larsson with a cross.

66:42

Attempt saved. Jozy Altidore (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ki Sung-Yueng.

66:10 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Sunderland. Lee Cattermole replaces Jack Colback.

66:01 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Sunderland. Fabio Borini replaces Adam Johnson.

65:38

Attempt missed. Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Lewis Holtby with a through ball.

63:56

Foul by Lewis Holtby (Tottenham Hotspur).

63:56

Jack Colback (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:05

Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:05

Foul by Phillip Bardsley (Sunderland).

59:09

Attempt blocked. Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

59:06

Attempt blocked. Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lewis Holtby.

58:11

Attempt saved. Nacer Chadli (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kyle Naughton.

56:27

Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur) hits the right post with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Aaron Lennon with a cross.

55:45

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Ki Sung-Yueng.

55:43

Attempt blocked. Lewis Holtby (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Aaron Lennon.

55:23

Attempt blocked. Lewis Holtby (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kyle Walker.

52:46

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Adam Johnson.

51:54

Foul by Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur).

51:54

Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

50:23

Foul by Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur).

50:23

Ki Sung-Yueng (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

49:01 Goal scored

Goal! Own Goal by John O'Shea, Sunderland. Sunderland 1, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

47:18

Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Paulinho tries a through ball, but Aaron Lennon is caught offside.

45:44

Foul by Michael Dawson (Tottenham Hotspur).

45:44

Jack Colback (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

45:00

Second Half begins Sunderland 1, Tottenham Hotspur 1.

45:00 +2:07 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Sunderland 1, Tottenham Hotspur 1.

45:00 +1:37

Attempt missed. Nacer Chadli (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Lewis Holtby with a cross following a corner.

45:00 +1:04

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Wes Brown.

45:00 +1:03

Attempt blocked. Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mousa Dembélé.

45:00 +0:02

Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +0:02

Foul by Adam Johnson (Sunderland).

44:43

Attempt saved. Ondrej Celustka (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Jozy Altidore.

42:43 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Sunderland 1, Tottenham Hotspur 1. Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Nacer Chadli with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

42:15

Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.

42:15

Foul by Jack Colback (Sunderland).

39:56

Foul by Michael Dawson (Tottenham Hotspur).

39:56

Wes Brown (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:31

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Ondrej Celustka.

38:42 Booking

Booking Ondrej Celustka (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

38:29

Kyle Naughton (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

38:29

Foul by Ondrej Celustka (Sunderland).

37:55

Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

37:55

Foul by Jack Colback (Sunderland).

36:43 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Sunderland 1, Tottenham Hotspur 0. Adam Johnson (Sunderland) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner.

35:50

Attempt blocked. Lewis Holtby (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mousa Dembélé.

34:34

Etienne Capoue (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

34:34

Foul by Jozy Altidore (Sunderland).

33:30

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Phillip Bardsley.

33:28

Attempt blocked. Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Nacer Chadli.

32:42

Attempt saved. Nacer Chadli (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Lewis Holtby with a cross.

32:14

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Ki Sung-Yueng.

31:08

Nacer Chadli (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

31:08

Foul by Ki Sung-Yueng (Sunderland).

27:47

Attempt blocked. Phillip Bardsley (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Johnson.

26:05

Attempt missed. Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Mousa Dembélé.

22:32

Attempt missed. Lewis Holtby (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Mousa Dembélé.

21:54

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by John O'Shea.

21:23

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Wes Brown.

21:22

Attempt blocked. Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Aaron Lennon.

18:41

Attempt missed. Jack Colback (Sunderland) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Jozy Altidore.

18:07

Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:07

Foul by Jozy Altidore (Sunderland).

17:14

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Vito Mannone.

17:12

Attempt missed. Lewis Holtby (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jermain Defoe.

16:30

Attempt missed. Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Phillip Bardsley with a through ball.

12:15

Attempt missed. Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Kyle Walker.

7:55

Ki Sung-Yueng (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:55

Foul by Nacer Chadli (Tottenham Hotspur).

5:42

Jack Colback (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

5:42

Foul by Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur).

5:03

Foul by Ondrej Celustka (Sunderland).

5:03

Nacer Chadli (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

4:32

Foul by Jack Colback (Sunderland).

4:32

Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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