Spurs 1-0 Sunderland
Report from the Lane
18 September 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Harry Kane’s second half goal was enough to settle the outcome against Sunderland at the Lane on Sunday afternoon in a game which we totally dominated from start to finish.
The England striker scored for the second week running in the Premier League, gratefully tucking home from close range in the 59th minute after a defensive error in the Sunderland area to secure the three points and move us up to third in the table.
It should have been a far more convincing victory though as we had 31 shots at goal and enjoyed 74 per cent of possession. But the Black Cats were indebted to goalkeeper Jordan Pickford as he made a string of smart saves to keep us out, while Heung-Min Son hit the post and we spurned numerous other chances.
We were thankful to Kyle Walker’s goal-line clearance on 44 minutes as he denied former Spur Steven Pienaar, one of only four shots on target Sunderland had in the entire game.
The visitors finished the game with 10 men following the late dismissal of Adnan Januzaj, and although substitutes Erik Lamela and Vincent Janssen missed good chances in the final minutes, the strike from Kane – who later left the field injured – proved to be enough.
There were three changes to the side which lost to Monaco at Wembley on Wednesday. Moussa Sissoko came into the team for his full debut in our colours while Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele also featured in the starting line-up, Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen and Ben Davies dropping to the bench. That meant Jan Vertonghen moved to left-back, Eric Dier started in the centre of defence and Wanyama and Dembele were our defensive midfield pairing. Former Spurs Jermain Defoe and Steven Pienaar both started for Sunderland.
Save: early pressure but no reward – 17mins
We made a very bright start to the game, showing no after-effects of Wednesday’s disappointment at Wembley. Sissoko dragged a shot just wide on four minutes and we kept up the pressure, only to find Sunderland goalkeeper Pickford in fine early form. He kept out Kane’s close-range flick from Son’s excellent cross after nine minutes, then denied Dembele and Wanyama from distance before making a smart stop to keep out Toby Alderweireld’s header on 17 minutes.
Chance: desperate defending keeps scores level – 25mins
After Hugo Lloris had denied Defoe with Sunderland’s first chance of the game, we were straight on the attack again and had a succession of chances. First Sissoko failed to connect properly from just inside the area, Son then saw his right-footed drive blocked by Kane in front of goal, Sissoko had another drive blocked by Lee Cattermole and Wanyama fired the rebound wide.
Woodwork: so nearly for Son – 39mins
Dembele broke from defence and played a ball out to Son down the left, he cut inside Jason Denayer and as the Sunderland defence parted in front of him, he drilled a low shot which flicked off the near post. Dembele then had a 20-yard drive deflected just over and Sissoko’s header was also diverted just wide as we kept probing for the opener.
Off the line: Walker to the rescue – 44mins
Despite all our first-half dominance – 19 shots at goal and over 70 per cent possession – it was the visitors who had the best chance of the half and should have gone into the interval ahead. Vertonghen cut out Didier Ndong’s cross but Januzaj picked up the loose ball, got past Vertonghen and squared for Pienaar on the edge of the six-yard box. He beat Lloris with a scuffed effort but not Kyle Walker, who cleared off the line.
Chance: Son hits side-netting – 56mins
The second half started in exactly the same vein as the first, with Sunderland retreating defensively as we pegged them back. And when Dembele threaded a pass down the left channel of the area for Son, he had a good sight of goal but drilled his effort into the side-netting.
Goal: Spurs 1-0 Sunderland – Harry Kane – 59mins
It had been coming to be fair! After sustained pressure after the interval, Walker sent over a cross which Son headed towards goal. The ball wasn’t going in but Papy Djilobodji chested it down and then mis-controlled on the edge of his six-yard box, the ball rolling straight to Kane who gleefully tucked home. That was our 22nd shot of the game.
Chance: Dier just wide – 74mins
Although the visitors started to show more attacking intent, we were still creating chances and Pickford had to be alert to tip a low Dele Alli shot around his post. From the resulting corner, the ball landed at the feet of Dier but he sent an instinctive drive wide of the far post. We made a couple of enforced changes shortly after, Dembele and Dier appearing to pick up slight knocks. They were replaced by Lamela and Davies respectively.
Save: Lamela denied by Pickford – 87mins
We were still on the front foot and more space was starting to appear in the game. On one such occasion, Lamela broke free down the right, his attempted curler looked like it was going in, only for Pickford to get the merest fingertip on it to deny him – although no corner was given. Just a few minutes later, Januzaj was sent off for a second bookable offence. And when substitute Vincent Janssen – on for the injured Kane – was put through by Lamela in stoppage time, he looked set to open his Spurs goalscoring account, only to blaze over the crossbar.
Mauricio Pochettino said
"The players were all agreed after Wembley, we needed to show another way - to be more aggressive, show more passion and that’s a good measure for our supporters. We were fantastic today at White Hart Lane. In the end, it was only 1-0 after we created a lot of chances but I’m happy with the three points and now we’re looking forward to the next game against Gillingham in the EFL Cup."
Heung-Min Son said
"Everyone wanted to run, to fight for every ball. I think we made the fans happy. We had lots of chances to score more goals and normally in a game like that we’d win 2-0 or 3-0. That’s football. We’re happy with the three points but we’d like to score more goals."
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c); Walker, Alderweireld, Dier (Davies 77), Vertonghen; Dembele (Lamela 74), Wanyama; Sissoko, Alli, Son; Kane (Janssen 87). Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Trippier, Winks, Eriksen.
Sunderland (4-3-3): Pickford; Denayer (McNair 90+2), Djilobodji, Kone, Manquillo; Cattermole (c), Kirchhoff (Khazri 79), Ndong; Pienaar (Watmore 63), Defoe, Januzaj. Substitutes (not used): Mika, Love, O’Shea, Gooch.
Goal: Spurs – Kane 59.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Davies; Sunderland – Manquillo, Denayer, Cattermole, Ndong, Januzaj, Djilobodji.
Red card: Sunderland – Januzaj
Referee: Mike Dean.
After home games in the Champions League and Premier League, we turn our attentions to the EFL Cup here at the Lane on Wednesday. League One Gillingham, managed by our former League Cup-winning defender Justin Edinburgh, are our opponents for the third round tie as we look to embark on a run in the competition we last won in 2008. The Gills are 13th in their division with 11 points from eight games but have beaten Southend and Watford away in the EFL Cup so far this season.