Spurs back in the groove
16 January 2016, 19:32
London - Christian Eriksen scored twice as
Tottenham Hotspur revitalised their Champions League push by coming from behind
to convincingly beat Sunderland 4-1 in the Premier League on Saturday.
With Tottenham winless in three games in
2016 and Sunderland chasing a third straight league win, it threatened to be a
fiddly afternoon for Mauricio Pochettino's side at White Hart Lane.
They fell behind to Patrick van Aanholt's
40th-minute goal, but Eriksen equalised within two minutes before second-half
goals from Mousa Dembele, Eriksen and Harry Kane, from the spot, secured
Spurs provisionally opened up a four-point
lead over fifth-place West Ham United in the fourth and final Champions League
qualifying berth and closed to within four points of the summit.
Sam Allardyce's Sunderland drop one place
to 19th and remain a point from safety.
Allardyce awarded a league debut to
goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and the 21-year-old was immediately in the thick of
the action, plunging to his left to palm a 25-yard shot from Kane around the
Determined to atone for recent
disappointments, Spurs set up camp inside the Sunderland half and Dele Alli
should have put them ahead when he blazed over after Danny Rose's shot bounced
into his path off Kane.
Erik Lamela drilled a shot across goal and
narrowly wide, while Kieran Trippier just failed to pick out Alli with a
volleyed cross from the right.
Sunderland had not had a sniff at the other
end, but five minutes before half-time they went ahead as Adam Johnson played a
glorious pass inside Alli and Van Aanholt beat Hugo Lloris at his near post.
Their lead was to last just 91 seconds.
A neat one-touch move involving Kane, Alli
and Eriksen culminated in Kane seeing a shot blocked by Pickford, but Eriksen
slammed the rebound goal wards and Lee Cattermole, covering on the line, could
only knee the ball into the roof of the net.
Former Spurs striker Jermain Defoe
squandered a chance to restore Sunderland's lead when he rolled a tame
free-kick straight at Lloris, while Pickford parried from Eriksen at the other
Defoe lashed a shot into the side-netting
early in the second half, but after Alli had headed wide from Lamela's cross
and Kane had seen a shot turned behind by Pickford, Spurs went in front in the
From a deep corner, Rose was denied by
Pickford, but Dembele picked up the loose ball, stepped inside two defenders
and drove a low shot inside the right-hand upright with his left foot.
Jan Kirchhoff came on to make his
Sunderland debut shortly before Dembele's goal. The German centre-back quickly
found himself centre of attention, but it was for all the wrong reasons.
The former Bayern Munich man made the
laziest of attempts to block a hopeful left-foot shot from Danish playmaker
Eriksen and the ball struck him on the thigh before looping over the soaring
Nine minutes later, after Pickford had
denied Kane again, Kirchhoff was penalised for a late challenge on Rose inside
the box and Kane swept the penalty into the bottom-left corner for his 15th
goal of the season.