Premier League
TottenhamTottenham Hotspur2SunderlandSunderland1

Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Sunderland

By Mike WhalleyBBC Sport
Christian Eriksen
Christian Eriksen's winner was his first goal since Boxing Day
  • Spurs climb to fifth with late victory
  • Defoe wins free-kick for Larsson equaliser
  • Former Spurs striker fails to score on debut
  • Eriksen scores for first time since 26 December

Christian Eriksen's late goal kept up Tottenham's Champions League push as Sunderland debutant Jermain Defoe was beaten on his White Hart Lane return.

Jan Vertonghen's deflected shot gave Spurs an early advantage.

But former Tottenham striker Defoe, who signed for Sunderland from Toronto FC on Friday, won the free-kick from which Sebastian Larsson equalised.

Harry Kane hit the post for Spurs before Eriksen struck with two minutes to go from Andros Townsend's pass.

Tottenham 2-1 Sunderland: Pochettino praises 'great' Eriksen

Substitute Danny Graham almost snatched an equaliser for the visitors, but Hugo Lloris made an excellent save to push away his shot.

There was then confusion as Black Cats keeper Costel Pantilimon came up for the resulting corner and was caught upfield as Vertonghen raced away to score at the other end - but the Belgian was ruled offside despite receiving the ball in his own half.

Defoe, who left Tottenham for Major League Soccer side Toronto in February, was unable to keep up a record of scoring on his debut for every club he has represented.

Eriksen's late, late show
Christian Eriksen has now scored a winning goal in the last two minutes of a match for Tottenham three times this season - having struck in the 90th minute at Hull on 23 November and the 89th minute at Swansea on 14 December. Both of those games, like the match against Sunderland, finished 2-1.

The 32-year-old, playing his first match since October, lasted 75 minutes before he was replaced by Graham, but may need time to build up his match fitness.

He had a penalty appeal rejected seconds after Vertonghen's opener, but did not manage to fashion a clear chance against Spurs, for whom he hit 117 goals in two spells.

Tottenham 2-1 Sunderland: Defeat was painful - Gus Poyet

Spurs led from their first attack, when Santiago Vergini's weak clearance from an Eriksen chip fell to Vertonghen, who side-stepped Larsson to score via a deflection off John O'Shea.

Eriksen was denied by two Pantilimon saves as Tottenham sought a second goal, before Steven Fletcher missed a glorious chance to equalise for Sunderland, scuffing Billy Jones's low right-wing cross past the far post when unmarked six yards out.

But the visitors did draw level from a free-kick awarded when Vertonghen hacked down Defoe 25 yards from goal, with Larsson flighting a beautiful dipping effort over the wall and into the corner of the net.

Kane nearly restored Tottenham's lead with the last attack of the first half, driving a shot against the base of the post from just outside the penalty area.

You know the score
Ten of Tottenham's last 14 Premier League matches have finished 2-1 - with seven of those being wins and three defeats.

But the match looked to be heading towards a draw before it opened up in the last 15 minutes, with Graham stubbing at a great chance to put the visitors in front after Lloris had beaten out Adam Johnson's 25-yard drive.

Eriksen struck with time running out, however, guiding Townsend's pass in off the post from 20 yards out, and leaving Sunderland only a point above the bottom three.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino: "We played much better than Sunderland, and in the second half, I thought we were better. Christian Eriksen is a very good player, and this is a very good victory.

"Hugo Lloris is one of the best keepers in the world, and he showed that late on. But I thought the officials got confused about the late disallowed goal for Jan Vertonghen, because it was a goal."

Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet: "It's painful. I thought we were good enough to take something from the game. I think we need to learn. We lost the game today because of a couple of incidents, but I think we can take positives.

We created a great chance in the first half for Steven Fletcher, Danny Graham has forced a great save at the end and I think we should have had a penalty for a foul on Jermain Defoe. I'm sure Jermain going to give me plenty of positives."

Jan Vertonghen
Jan Vertonghen claimed Tottenham's opener, which was deflected in off John O'Shea
Chris Foy
Referee Chris Foy booked Vertonghen for the foul on Defoe that led to Sunderland's equaliser
Seb Larsson
Seb Larsson's free-kick equaliser was his third goal of the season
Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe was making his first Premier League appearance since leaving Tottenham in February
Harry Kane
Harry Kane hit the post for Tottenham before half-time

Line-ups

Tottenham

  • 1Lloris
  • 2Walker
  • 15Dier
  • 5VertonghenBooked at 30mins
  • 3Rose
  • 25Stambouli
  • 19DembéléSubstituted forTownsendat 75'minutes
  • 23Eriksen
  • 18Kane
  • 22ChadliSubstituted forPaulinhoat 88'minutes
  • 9SoldadoSubstituted forAdebayorat 61'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Paulinho
  • 10Adebayor
  • 13Vorm
  • 16Naughton
  • 17Townsend
  • 29Capoue
  • 33Davies

Sunderland

  • 1Pantilimon
  • 27Vergini
  • 16O'Shea
  • 5Brown
  • 2JonesBooked at 87minsSubstituted forBuckleyat 90+2'minutes
  • 7Larsson
  • 8RodwellBooked at 58mins
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 11Johnson
  • 9FletcherSubstituted forWickhamat 65'minutes
  • 28DefoeSubstituted forGrahamat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Wickham
  • 14Gomez Garcia-Penche
  • 19Graham
  • 22Coates
  • 23Giaccherini
  • 25Mannone
  • 30Buckley
Referee:
Chris Foy
Attendance:
35,973

Match Stats

Home TeamTottenhamAway TeamSunderland
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home26
Away8
Shots on Target
Home7
Away4
Corners
Home6
Away6
Fouls
Home14
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Sunderland 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Sunderland 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Santiago Vergini (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

  4. Post update

    Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Paulinho tries a through ball, but Jan Vertonghen is caught offside.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Hugo Lloris.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Danny Graham (Sunderland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Patrick van Aanholt.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Sunderland. William Buckley replaces Billy Jones.

  8. Goal!

    Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 2, Sunderland 1. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Andros Townsend.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Paulinho replaces Nacer Chadli.

  10. Booking

    Billy Jones (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Billy Jones (Sunderland).

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Christian Eriksen.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Nacer Chadli (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andros Townsend.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Nacer Chadli (Tottenham Hotspur).

  16. Post update

    Billy Jones (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland).

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Danny Graham (Sunderland) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Adam Johnson.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Adam Johnson (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Connor Wickham.