Spurs 4-1 Sunderland: Kirchhoff? F*** off…

Date published: Saturday 16th January 2016 3:35

Tottenham strengthened their grip on fourth place in the Premier League with a 4-1 win over struggling Sunderland.

Spurs dominated in possession and chances throughout, but actually went behind to the relegation-embattled Black Cats, with Patrick van Aanholt converting from Adam Johnson’s inch-perfect through ball on 40 minutes.

But the hosts replied almost instantly, with Christian Eriksen firing home after debutant goalkeeper Jordan Pickford saved well from Harry Kane within 90 seconds of the restart.

Mousa Dembele then handed Spurs the lead just before the hour-mark, before Eriksen scored his second via a heavy deflection off Sunderland substitute Jan Kirchhoff, who was making his first appearance since signing this month.

Harry Kane rounded off the scoring with a 79th-minute penalty after Kirchhoff had felled Danny Rose. Victory puts Spurs just one point behind Manchester City in the race for Champions League qualification, while Sunderland drop to 19th, seven points above Aston Villa.

Spurs had lost here to a late Leicester goal in midweek but recovered after falling behind as their quest for Champions League football continued.

Kane came close in the opening stages but his low effort was tipped behind by Premier League debutant Pickford in the Sunderland goal.

Dele Alli then blazed wildly over from inside the box as Danny Rose’s shot deflected to the England midfielder but Allardyce’s men were almost architects of their own demise 10 minutes before the break.

Jeremain Lens was robbed by Dembele on the edge of the Spurs box, with the Belgium international breaking at pace across the halfway line.

With several options he picked out Erik Lamela, whose subsequent shot across goal flew wide of the target as Sunderland’s defence laboured to get back in time.

But it was the visitors who took the lead before the break as Johnson’s neat pass took out the back-tracking Alli and allowed Van Aanholt to finish coolly past Hugo Lloris from close range.

Spurs reacted immediately from the restart as Kane broke through and saw his shot saved by Pickford, only for Eriksen to finish from the rebound as Lee Cattermole somehow failed to clear a tame strike.

The game had certainly come to life and Jermain Defoe tested Lloris with a low shot from a free-kick on the edge of the box after Lens had been felled.

The former Tottenham favourite then came close after the restart as an attempt at a clever set-piece routine from Spurs ended in Sunderland breaking clear, with Defoe firing into the side-netting having been released by Johnson.

Alli headed Lamela’s tempting cross wide as both sides started to find more openings in the early stages of the second half, with Pickford again a match for Kane as he struck from outside the box.

The England Under-21 international made his Sunderland bow at Arsenal in the FA Cup last week and was showing here why Allardyce is willing to put faith in him.

He pushed away a Rose shot on the hour mark but could do nothing as Dembele’s low strike flashed past him from the rebound.

And he was again helpless as Eriksen grabbed his second of the game seven minutes later, the Dane’s long-range effort taking a huge deflection off Kirchhoff – who had only just come off the bench to make his Sunderland debut.

Kane’s frustrating afternoon continued as Pickford pushed away yet another effort but he finally got his goal after Kirchhoff’s debut to forget continued as he tripped Rose in the penalty area, with the England striker thrashing home the resulting penalty.

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