Eriksen edges it for Spurs

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:24

Eriksen edges it for Spurs

Jan Vertonghen gave the home side the lead in the second minute and they had the majority of possession until Seb Larsson scored a free-kick in the 31st minute to equalise for the Black Cats.
It looked like Costel Pantilimon had earned a point for Sunderland with over a dozen saves, until Eriksen collected Andros Townsend’s cross at the edge of the box to give the Londoners all three points, two minutes from time.
Jermain Defoe failed to score on his club debut for the first time in his career, as he faced his old side.
It appeared that Vertonghen had scored his second three minutes into injury-time but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Vertonghen opened the scoring for Tottenham in the second minute with their first real attack. Kyle Walker crossed from the right wing and Eriksen knocked it down and when Wes Brown attempted to clear it, the ball fell to the Belgium defender whose shot came off John O’Shea and flew past Pantilimon.
Defoe, who was playing after completing his move from Toronto FC on Friday, was soon involved as he appealed for a penalty under a challenge from Vertonghen, but it wasn’t deemed a spot kick and the following corner was cleared by Walker.
Tottenham conceded a free-kick 40 yards from goal in the 10th minute after Rose barged into Billy Jones but Sunderland were unable to make it count and Walker cleared the pressure.
The home side appealed for a corner a minute later after O’Shea knocked the ball out of play, while under pressure from Nacer Chadli but the linesman signalled for a goal kick.
A powerful left-footed shot from Eriksen in the 26th minute was pushed over by Pantilimon just as it looked to be heading in. Fletcher had a good opportunity to level the game two minutes later as Jones sent a ball into the box, but he mis-kicked the ball and it went wide.
The equaliser came after Vertonghen was penalised in the 29th minute for bringing down Defoe 25 yards from goal, after the striker ran past Eric Dier. Larsson stepped up and sent the free-kick over the wall and into the goal, with Hugo Lloris unable to reach it as it snuck inside his right-hand post.
Harry Kane had a chance to restore Tottenham’s lead on the stroke of half-time but his shot bounced off the post and Pantilimon saved the rebound shot from Danny Rose.
Roberto Soldado should have scored shortly after the break but was unable to connect with Eriksen’s cross after the Denmark international played a one-two with Walker to find space just outside the box.
Pantilimon saved from Eriksen, Kane and Chadli in quick succession to keep the visitors in the game as the hour mark approached, while top scorer Kane and Eriksen also sent efforts wide.
The game appeared to be heading for a draw until the introduction of Townsend in the 75th minute whose fresh legs aided the home side’s attacking line. Defoe was replaced by Danny Graham at the same time, with Black Cats manager Gus Poyet having admitted prior to the game that the striker wasn’t completely match fit.
With just 10 minutes to go, Adam Johnson took a shot from 25 yards out that Lloris could only parry to Graham, who was unable to latch onto the rebound.
It was Townsend’s cross that set up the winner. The substitute raced down the right-hand side and his cross to the edge of the box was perfect for Eriksen, whose shot bounced in off the post past a stranded Pantilimon.
Graham had a chance to salvage a point for the Black Cats in the third minute of injury-time but Lloris got down quickly to push the ball wide.
There was more drama to come as Vertonghen’s disallowed goal came seconds later, to end a frantic final 15 minutes that takes Spurs above Arsenal in the Premier League table as the hosts moved up one place to fifth.
Sunderland remain in 16th spot, but they are only one point above the drop zone with the equal-third worst goal difference in the league of -14.
Soccer Saturday analysis – Phil Thompson
It was attack v defence for a lot of the time and Sunderland defended magnificently. But the way things go, you don’t get anything out of it. At 1-0 you think ‘at least Sunderland have got to come out’ but they just didn’t have enough quality to break them down. Harry Kane was playing in the No 10 role and was too far from goal, Soldado needed a little help in the box. I thought Defoe did alright for his first game and I must say he should have had a penalty, but it’s debatable. Vertonghen was done and he knows it.
Player ratings
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (7), Walker (7), Dier (6), Vertonghen (7), Rose (7), Chadli (7), Stambouli (6), Dembele (7), Eriksen (8), Kane (7), Soldado (6).
Used subs: Paulinho (5), Adebayor (6), Townsend (5).
Sunderland: Pantilimon (8), Jones(7), Vergini (6), O’Shea (7), Brown (7), Van Aanholt (6), Johnson (6), Rodwell (6), Larsson (7), Fletcher (6), Defoe (7).
Used subs: Wickham (5), Graham (6), Buckley (5).
Man of the Match: Costel Pantilimon (Sunderland).

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