Ryan Mason snatches Spurs winner to send Sunderland bottom
Ryan Mason applied a fine finish to a terrific Tottenham move late on to end their way for a Premier League win, and consign hosts Sunderland to propping up the table.
Black Cats boss Dick Advocaat sacrificed English holding midfield duo Lee Cattermole and Jack Rodwell in favour of a more attacking approach. Danny Graham also made way from the XI that started Sunderland’s 2-2 draw at Villa Park last time out.
Jordi Gomez made a surprise return from injury, while there was a full debut for Sweden international Ola Toivonen and a second Stadium of Light bow for Fabio Borini in a forward-heavy formation.
Visiting coach Mauricio Pochettino happily handed South Korean summer signing Son Heung-Min the nod in support of Harry Kane. Injuries to Nabil Bentaleb and Mousa Dembele, following the goalless draw with Everton, meant Dele Alli made his first Spurs start on Wearside.
Strong Tottenham pressure in the early stages saw Patrick van Aanholt lucky to escape punishment for obstructing Kyle Walker in the box. Kane wasted the visitors’ best opening, lashing over on 15 minutes.
Clear-cut chances were at a premium with Jermain Defoe first trying his luck from long-range before hitting the post on the break when fed by Jeremain Lens, and later holding off Toby Alderweireld to get a third first-half effort away.
Debutant Son miscued inside the area on the stroke of half-time with the script seemingly written for a debut strike. Reality wasn’t so kind, however, and he was withdrawn in favour of the returning Andros Townsend after an hour.
Eric Dier put in a superb interception to deny Lens, with the converted defensive midfielder putting out fires through alertness to Sunderland’s obvious counter-attacking policy. Toivonen fluffed his lines for the hosts in the second-half, with Lens failing get away from Jan Vertonghen moments later.
Kane, who continues to take up starting positions way too deep for a striker, shanked a rare Spurs chance wide when the second ball from a left-wing corner found its way across to him at the back post.
Costel Pantilimon held a low Mason effort, but was beaten by the England cap moments later as Tottenham took all three points with their midfielder applying a deft finish to a fine move when set through by sub Erik Lamela. Mackems must’ve been in agony as the ball trickled into the home net.
Rodwell, off the Sunderland bench, hit the bar to end another luckless day for the Black Cats in front of their own fans. The price for Spurs snatching this win may be a knee injury to Mason that further reduces their engine room options.