A much improved performance from Sunderland was still not enough to pick up any points as Ryan Mason’s late goal proved the difference between the sides.
Sunderland made a promising start to the game and they had the first chance of the afternoon from a counter attack but Defoe saw his effort saved low down by Lloris.
The Black Cats were looking comfortable and they had a golden opportunity to take the lead on 25 minutes through Defoe. The former Spurs striker was played clean through on goal by Lens after a quick counter attack but his shot cannoned back of the post.
Defoe had another chance on 38 minutes after being fed by M’Vila but instead of going down in the box under the challenge by Alderweireld he stayed up and shot straight at Lloris.
Sunderland had a scare a few moments later as Walker was played in on the right side but his cutback to Son was scuffed with Pantilimon left stranded
The first half ended with Sunderland dominating and looking composed with the new look midfield, but their dominance wasn’t rewarded as the Black Cats really should have been in front at the break.
The opening minutes of the second half followed the trend of the first as Sunderland competed well and looked comfortable in possession.
The Black Cats had the first chance of the half after Defoe slid Lens in down the left but the Dutchman’s shot was saved well by Lloris.
Tottenham began to find more of the ball as the half went on and Pantilimon had to save from a Dier header and Mason’s long range effort.
But Tottenham’s pressure paid off on 82 minutes as great one touch football cut Sunderland open and Ryan Mason chipped the ball over on the on rushing Pantilimon to put Spurs in front.
Sunderland almost equalised immediately as Kaboul set up Rodwell whose shot struck the bar.
Sunderland battled hard at the Stadium of Light but still fell short on the day as slackness in defence and not taking their chances proved costly.
Sunderland (4-3-3): Pantilimon, Van Aanholt, Jones, Kaboul, O’Shea (c), M’Vila, Gomez (Cattermole 73’), Toivonen (Rodwell 80’), Lens, Defoe, Borini (Watmore 74’).
Subs: Mannone, Coates, Cattermole, Larsson, Rodwell, Watmore, Graham.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1): Lloris, Walker, Davies, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Mason (Carroll 84’), Dier, Chadli, Alli (Lamela 67’), Son (Townsend 61’), Kane.
Subs: Vorm, Trippier, Rose, Winks, Carroll, Lamela, Townsend
Goals: Mason (82’)