Christian Eriksen’s late winner denied Sunderland a point after Seb Larsson had earlier equalised with a superb free kick
Spurs got on the front foot right from the start and they took the lead on 3 mins through an unfortunate deflection. The Spurs free kick was only half cleared by Vergini, allowing Jan Vertonghen to shoot from the edge of the box and his effort took a massive deflection of John O’Shea sending the ball into the top corner.
Sunderland immediately attacked and should have been awarded a penalty when Vertonghen brought Defoe down in the box just as the England International had turned inside but the referee gave a corner which Rodwell headed over.
Tottenham were attacking with pace as Sunderland didn’t look comfortable in the new system early on. Spurs could have doubled their lead on 17 mins after neat play between Kane and Eriksen led to the Dane being denied by a good save from Pantilimon.
Pantilimon was in action again on 24 mins as he had to race out to save from Soldado after the Spaniard was played through over the top. And two minutes later the keeper had to save again from Eriksen’s goal bound long range effort after nobody closed him down.
Sunderland undoubtedly should have levelled on 28 mins after good build up play led to Billy Jones crossing across goal only for Fletcher to have an Altidore moment and miss an open net from 6 yards.
But Sunderland only had to wait another three minutes for their equaliser, and it came from Seb Larsson. The Swede curled an exquisite 25 yard free kick into the top corner on 31 mins after Defoe was fouled by Vertonghen.
Sunderland got a scare before half time when Harry Kane crashed a shot against the post but luckily for Sunderland Pantilimon was alert to save the follow up from Rose.
Spurs looked to impose themselves early in the second half but they weren’t really troubling Sunderland in the final third. Soldado had an effort deflect wide and soon after Eriksen had Pantilimon scrabbling across goal with a long range shot.
Tottenham were completely dominant as Sunderland could hardly get out of their own half. Harry kane shot wide and Pantilimon was forced into a good save from Chadli after the Black Cats failed to clear a cross.
After being under pressure for the whole second half, Sunderland missed a golden opportunity to take the lead on 81 mins. A counter attack by Wickham led to Johnson shooting from range, his shot was parried straight into the path of Danny Graham but the striker scuffed his rebound straight at Lloris.
The inevitable came on 88 mins when Tottenham finally got their second goal. Townsend broke down the right, and with Johnson and Van Aanholt left stranded in the Tottenham box, he crossed to Eriksen whose shot went in off the post.
Sunderland nearly nicked an equaliser through Danny Graham on 93 mins. He was fed by Van Aanholt but his shot was parried clear by lloris.
Sunderland so nearly took something from this game. Danny Graham had two chances at the end but ultimately Eriksen’s quality was the difference between the two sides.
Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose, Dembele (Townsend 75’), Stambouli, Chadli (Paulinho 88’), Kane, Eriksen, Soldado (Adebayor 61’).
Subs: Vorm, Davies, Naughton, Capoue, Paulinho, Townsend, Adebayor.
Goals: Vertonghen (3’) Eriksen (88’)
Sunderland (3-5-2): Pantilimon, Brown, O'Shea (c), Vergini, Jones (Buckley 90+1’), van Aanholt, Larsson, Rodwell, Johnson, Fletcher (Wickham 65’), Defoe (Graham 74’).
Subs: Mannone, Coates, Gomez, Giaccherini, Buckley. Wickham, Graham
Goals: Larsson (31’)