Apr 7, 2014 at 8pm UK at ​White Hart Lane
SpursTottenham Hotspur
Adebayor (28', 86'), Kane (59'), Eriksen (78'), Sigurdsson (90')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Cattermole (17')
Alonso (22'), Cattermole (42')

Live Commentary: Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Sunderland - as it happened

Read how Tottenham come from behind to thrash bottom-of-the-table Sunderland at White Hart Lane, courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute text coverage.

Tottenham Hotspur hosted Sunderland at White Hart Lane on a day during which reports suggested that their manager Tim Sherwood was facing the axe in the summer.

Sherwood's mood would have been worsened when Vlad Chiriches' error gifted rock-bottom Sunderland an opening goal, which was very well-taken by Lee Cattermole.

Two excellent crosses from Christian Eriksen saw Spurs turn it around with goals either side of the break, and the Dane added his own name to the scoresheet with their third to deflate the Black Cats.

Emmanuel Adebayor added to his first-half strike in the latter stages, while substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson also netted as Tottenham recorded their biggest win of the Premier League season.

The result means that Sunderland remain at the foot of the table, seven points adrift of safety. Below, you can read how the action unfolded courtesy of SM's live text coverage.

7.07pmEvening, all. Tim Sherwood remains in the Tottenham Hotspur dugout, for now, and he will be up against a familiar face tonight - his former Spurs teammate Gus Poyet - who brings Sunderland to London.

7.09pmThe Black Cats may have games in hand, but it is points on the board that counts at this stage of the season. Sunderland have dropped to the bottom of the table and are in desperate need of a win.

7.11pmThey are seven points adrift of Premier League safety at present, and do not have an easy run in, either. This is the first of four games against the top seven in the space of a fortnight.

7.13pmTeam news will be with your shortly, and there is a big boost for Spurs fans...

7.15pmSPURS: Lloris; Naughton, Chiriches, Kaboul, Rose; Lennon, Chadli, Paulinho, Eriksen; Adebayor, Kane

7.16pmSUBS: Friedel, Fryers, Veljkovic, Bentaleb, Sandro, Sigurdsson, Townsend

7.17pmSUNDERLAND: Mannone; Bardsley, Brown, Cuellar, Vergini, Alonso; Ki, Bridcutt, Cattermole; Johnson; Borini

7.18pmSUBS: Ustari, Larsson, Gardner, Wickham, Colback, O'Shea, Scocco

7.20pmThe talismanic Emmanuel Adebayor is back to lead the Spurs line and is joined in attack by 20-year-old Harry Kane, who makes his first Premier League start, as Sherwood makes four changes.

7.22pmTwo of their seven summer signings, Vlad Chiriches and Paulinho, are also recalled after recent spells on the sidelines. Romanian defender Chiriches has missed two months with a back problem.

7.24pmPaulinho has been suffering from a series of niggles, while illness kept him out of their 4-0 thrashing by Liverpool last week. Both Nabil Bentaleb and Sandro are only on the bench.

7.26pmBentaleb has been one of few regular fixtures in Sherwood's lineup, but the Spurs boss continues to shuffle the pack tonight, particularly in midfield where he names a very attacking quartet.

7.28pm£30m-man Erik Lamela, Etienne Capoue, Michael Dawson, Kyle Walker and Moussa Dembele all remain sidelined for Spurs, and Jan Vertonghen and Roberto Soldado have joined the injury list.

7.30pmBoth left the pitch early against the Reds last week, but the returns of Adebayor and Chiriches, two of Tottenham's best players this season, will be welcome to replace the out-of-form duo.

7.32pmPoyet, who spent three seasons at Spurs towards the end of his career, makes two alterations to the side that lost to West Ham United at the Stadium of Light this time last week.

7.34pmHe sticks with a central defensive three, but John O'Shea is dropped to the bench, with Carlos Cuellar, who has had an injury-plagued season, recalled for his first start since November.

7.36pmAdam Johnson started 2014 incredibly well, but has suffered a dip in form of late. Poyet restores him this evening, though, to play behind lone striker Fabio Borini, with Connor Wickham left out.

7.38pmSunderland line up with three workhorses in the middle of the park, Lee Cattermole, Ki Sung-Yueng and Liam Bridcutt, so Poyet may see that as an area where his side can dominate proceedings.

7.40pmSherwood insists that it is "business as usual" at the Lane, but that is not the case if you believe the speculation that surfaced this afternoon. Sky Sports News claim that a decision has been made on the 45-year-old's future and that he will be relieved of his managerial duties in the summer.

7.42pmCurrent Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal, who has expressed his interest in managing in England when his becomes unemployed after the World Cup, is the odds-on favourite to take the Tottenham hotseat. Frank de Bour, Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klinsmann are other contenders.

7.44pmOf course, these rumours have not been confirmed yet. Sherwood has six games to persuade Spurs chairman Daniel Levy that he is the right man to take the club forward. When he took over, it was suggested that he would be move on at the end of the season if he failed to secure a top-four finish.

7.46pmYou would think that it would take six wins for Tottenham to even give themselves the slimmest of hopes of qualifying for the Champions League. They can go five points behind Arsenal with victory tonight, but Everton and Manchester United also separate the North London rivals.

7.48pmSunderland may not need six wins to achieve their objectives for the season, but they certainly need at least three to climb out of the relegation zone. Norwich City are among the teams that they are trying to catch and have a very difficult run in, so they do have a chance of escaping the drop.

7.50pmAround 10 minutes until kickoff in the capital...

7.52pmHEAD-TO-HEAD: Spurs are unbeaten in seven matches against Sunderland, winning their last three, including a 2-1 success at the Stadium of Light in December. Johnson put Sunderland ahead, but Paulinho and an own goal from O'Shea saw the visitors turn it around.

7.55pmONE TO WATCH: One of the positives of Sherwood's tenure has been the rejuvenation of Emmanuel Adebayor. He is a nightmare for defenders when he is on form and he certainly was playing well before picking up an injury which has seen him miss three games.

7.58pmPREDICTION: Sherwood has picked an attacking team and, considering the lack of character shown by Spurs in recent losses, I expect Sunderland will fancy their chances if they make this into a scrappy, physical contest. Scoreline I am not sure, but I do not think the Black Cats will lose.

1 minThe action is underway at White Hart Lane...

3 minDanny Rose, who helped Sunderland stay up during a season-long loan spell last year, makes a couple of good, strong tackles in the early stages pressing the ball high up the pitch.

4 minSantiago Vergini is lucky to escape without an early caution for tripping Christian Eriksen as the Dane threatened to break away at pace. Eriksen has five Premier League goals this season.

5 minChadli plays a smart ball inside Sunderland's left wing-back Marcos Alonso. Lennon gets to the byline, but does not have an option in the six-yard box and his hopeful cross is turned behind.

6 minCLOSE! Spurs nearly get lucky when Eriksen drifts over to the right flank and crosses, via a deflection off Alonso, towards the Sunderland goal. Visiting keeper Vito Mannone, formerly of Arsenal of course, has to backpedal, to tip the ball over. It may have been sneaking in!

9 minRose is released down the left flank and has plenty of space to get a cross in. He overhits badly, though, and Lennon cannot retrieve as the ball skips off the wet playing surface and out of play.

11 minChadli makes a powerful break from deep and, after holding off a couple of challenges, if dragged to the floor. Free kick to Spurs, who have not scored a single goal in the opening 15 minutes of a Premier League game this season. That really is staggering. They have started fairly brightly tonight, though.

13 minTottenham's third corner of the match already is the best Eriksen has delivered yet, but Vergini beats Kaboul to the ball. Kane recycles it and switches the play nicely to Adebayor, who cushions for Lennon. He has a run at Alonso, but the Italian stands up tall and makes an excellent tackle.

15 minCLOSE! Rose's foul on Borini gives Sunderland an opportunity to load the box. Johnson's delivery is very good, deep towards Brown, who gets above both Chadli and Chiriches to power a header across goal, but just wide of Hugo Lloris's post. Sunderland may prosper from set pieces tonight.


17 minSunderland lead, but it is again Tottenham self-destructing at the back. Chiriches hits a square pass too far in front of Kaboul and with Lloris, who was out of position having come to collect the original throw in off the Romanian, Cattermole pounces to side foot the ball into the net from 25 yards. It is a very tidy finish from the midfielder, who scores for the first time in the red and white strips having played over 100 games for them. Again, though, it is self-inflicted damage by Tottenham's defence.

19 minSAVE! The ball is cleared to Chadli around 25 yards out and, although his dragged shot is going horribly wide, it hits a body in the box and falls to Kane. He has to strike first time with his weaker foot under pressure from Brown and the effort is straight at Mannone, who goes well to gather.

21 minEriksen does brilliantly to skip a couple of challenges as he runs across the box and then lays off to Lennon. His cross is so poor, straight at Alonso. The winger soon earns a free-kick, though.

22 minCLOSE! From the set piece, Eriksen rolls it across to Naughton, who, from 25 yards out, does really well to wrap his foot around the ball, and keep it down, but he does not quite get enough bend on it and the ball rustles into the side netting. Good attempt, and I think it surprised everybody!

24 minCHANCE! Eriksen plays a delightful pass through two Sunderland centre-backs for Kane, but it is a poor first touch from the Premier League debutante, and he can only shoot against Vergini. The ball eventually comes to Adebayor, who lifts a bending shot a few yards over the crossbar.

26 minSHOT! Sunderland break through Borini, who races onto a dink over the top. Chiriches stays with him down the left channel. Borini cuts back to Cattermole and then collects a return pass from the goalscorer before firing a low right-footed shot which Lloris tips around his post.


28 minAdebayor scores on his return to action, but there is a hint of good fortune about this equaliser. Luck has nothing to do with Eriksen's cross, though, as the Dane twists away from Bridcutt, who perhaps affords him too much space, and whips in behind the back three to the back post. Adebayor gets just in front of Cuellar and knocks the ball into the bottom corner with his thigh. Sunderland's lead is short lived.

31 minSHOTS! Kane makes an excellent run into the right channel and then shoots on the turn from a narrow angle. Mannone gets down smartly to cling on when a couple of white shirts were ready to pounce on the rebound. Moments later, Rose shifts the ball away from Borini and whips a left-footed shot a yard or so wide of the far post. Spurs have upped their game since conceding.

35 minMore good stuff from Eriksen. Who skilfully tricks his way free of Alonso to cross to the back post. Bardsley foolishly tries to control it and the ball rolls back towards his own goal, only for a combination of Mannone and Brown to clear just before Adebayor can pounce for an easy tap in.

38 minPoyet will be keeping his fingers crossed that Sunderland can retain parity until the break because Spurs are knocking on the door here. Lennon's lifted ball over the top reaches Kane, but the offside flag is raised. On their next attack, Adebayor drifts in from the left to bend a tame shot at Mannone.

40 minEriksen has already caught the eye with two or three free-kick strikes during his time in England. He tries again here, only to hit the top of the wall with a promising position, 28 yards from goal.

42 minBOOKING: Alonso entered the book earlier for a foul on Lennon, and now Cattermole joins him for sliding in on Kane, who cleverly spun away to evade the challenge on the edge of the box.

44 minCattermole's ill-discipline leads to another free kick opportunity for Eriksen, who this time takes the wall of the equation by trying to place the ball low to Mannone's right. The shot is wide.

45 minWe are now entering TWO minutes of first-half stoppage time...


8.50pmLee Mason's whistle gives Sunderland the opportunity to breathe easy knowing that their goal is safe for the next 15 minutes. Spurs responded very well to going behind and have had the Black Cats pegged back since the half-hour mark. Eriksen is at the heart of everything good done by the hosts.

8.52pmIt had previously been a case of deja vu for Spurs, who conceded an early goal through a calamitous defensive mistake. Chiriches, returning to the side tonight, was the guilty party with his sloppy square pass, and Cattermole finished superbly first time to make the Romanian pay.

8.55pmSunderland's parity lasted only 11 minutes, though as Eriksen, the best player on the park by some distance, crossed beautifully behind the visiting back four for Adebayor to knock in with his knee at the back post. The ball may have brushed his arm on the way in, but completely by accident.

8.57pmThe rock-bottom Black Cats are in need of wins at this stage of the season, but they would probably take this as a full-time scoreline, having been outplayed for much of the opening 45.

9.00pmSTATS: The figures will back that up. Spurs had 64% of possession and managed 14 attempts on goal, although only four on target. Their pressure also brought about four corners, twice as many as Sunderland, who have forced Lloris into just one save, a low drive from Borini.

9.02pmThe action is back underway in north London, with both sides unchanged....

48 minChadli's poor control allows Johnson to pick up the ball, and he gets away from Chiriches far too easily. He strikes on his weaker right foot, slicing high and wide from 25 yards out.

51 minAn encouraging start to the second half from the visitors, who have got Alonso forward down the left on a number of occasions since the break. He finds the feet of Borini, who is forced away from goal by Chiriches. The Romanian does well initially, only then to leave his foot in and gift Borini a foul.

53 minPENALTY APPEAL! Kane has options with him, but opts to go it alone and charges into the box. Cuellar catches the youngster's foot and Kane goes to ground. Referee Mason awards only a corner, though, which is cleared by Brown. Sherwood has seen a replay and he feels it was a spot-kick!

55 minEriksen starts another Spurs move, passing the ball onto Adebayor. He plays a one-two with Lennon, whose chipped return looks to be bound for the Togolese striker before Alonso intercepts.

57 minBrilliant defending from Bardsley, who keeps up with Eriksen to pip him to the ball from Lennon's cross. The winger had been released by Naughton and picked his man out, for a change!


59 minHarry Kane scores his first Premier League goal to put Spurs ahead! It's all about Eriksen again, though. From a throw in, Sunderland do not get tight enough to him, and the Dane delivers, this time with his right foot, a beautiful ball in behind the visiting defence and Kane gets the blind side of Brown to side foot the ball past a helpless Mannone from eight yards. Two goals for Spurs, two Eriksen assists.

62 minThe gloss of Kane's goal has been someone taken off by a clash of heads with Brown. The Spurs man was trying to avoid contact with Cuellar when he knocked into the ex-England man.

64 minWith Brown off the pitch receiving treatment, Sunderland are short at the back. Naughton releases Eriksen with a fine cross-field pass. The Dane has only Vergini in between him and Mannone's goal, but gets the ball stuck under his feet and the Black Cats defender makes an excellent tackle.

67 minBoth Kane and Brown have now returned to the field. Borini has another go at beating Lloris will a drilled low shot, but the Frenchman gets his body behind the effort. At the other end, both Naughton and Paulinho shoot, via big deflections, over the crossbar, but neither corner comes to anything.

69 minLennon has switched over to the left wing in the last five minutes. He receives the ball into feet, runs at Bardsley before cutting inside and getting a shot away which is blocked by the legs of Cuellar.

70 minPoyet will be thinking about changing things now, perhaps by sacrificing one of his three centre-backs. Connor Wickham, recently recalled from a loan spell at Leeds United, is an attacking option on his bench while Sebastian Larsson and Craig Gardner offer him a greater goal threat from midfield.

71 minEriksen plays a delightful ball inside Brown for Lennon to run onto. Inside the box, the winger gets away from Brown, but he waits until squaring for Kane and Vergini has time to recover.

73 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Poyet does turn to his substitutes. January arrival Ignacio Scocco, who is yet to score in the Premier League, and Gardner come on for Cattermole and Cuellar, who was booked in the first half. Gardner will be tasked with getting up to support Sunderland's attacking trio.

75 minSHOT! A long ball forward is nodded down smartly by Borini to Scocco, and the Argentine allows the ball to bounce before striking a sweet half volley into the side netting. Decent effort.


78 minEriksen probably puts this game to bed with a goal that his performance justly deserves. Adebayor and then Chadli roll the ball across the box for the former Ajax playmaker to control, and then strike left footed into the bottom corner. Sunderland's tiring legs could not get out quickly enough to close Eriksen down, and his shot takes a nick off Bardsley and grazes Mannone's fingertip on its way in.

81 minTottenham's strikers can smell goals now and firstly Kane, when Lennon was hoping for a cutback, and then Adebayor, with Kane unmarked in the middle, opt to shoot, tamely, at Mannone's body.

84 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Sherwood swaps Chadli for Gylfi Sigurdsson in central midfield, and gives Andros Townsend 10 minutes to impress as he replaces Lennon on the right wing.


86 minSpurs add a fourth, and this one is gifted to them by the type of defending commonly seen at their end in recent weeks. Brown's poor clearing header falls into open space, and Kane picks it up before showing tidy feet to shake off Vergini, far too easily mind you. Kane's weak shot sneaks under Mannone, but falls short of the line, allowing Adebayor to tap in from two yards.

88 minSUBSTITUTION: Sherwood uses his final change, and Tottenham's three-goal cushion as an opportunity to blood another one of his academy graduates. Young Serbian Milos Veljkovic, who is used as a central defender for the youth team replaces midfielder Paulinho for the final few minutes.


90+1 minSigurdsson comes off the bench and gets in on the act, but again Sunderland contribute to their own downfall. Mannone flaps haplessly at a corner, with the ball dropping to Adebayor. He does well to keep the ball alive and lay it off for Kaboul to square for Sigurdsson, who sorts his feet out quickly to prod home from close range. This is doing Sunderland's already broken confidence no favours.

90+4 minWe are nearing the end of FIVE minutes of second-half stoppage time. Vergini went down under no contact from anyone in the corner, which looked concerning, and that is where the additional minutes have come from. Sunderland will just be hoping not to suffer further embarrassment.


9.56pmA rare good day of late for Spurs, who come back to thrash rock-bottom Sunderland 5-1. It's a result which will improve Tim Sherwood's mood following those rumours earlier today, and perhaps improve his bargaining position too, if he is to hang on to the White Hart Lane hot seat.

9.58pmAs for the Black Cats, that's a fourth consecutive Premier League defeat and they remain rooted to the foot of the table, seven points from safety. Gus Poyet knows that they cannot keep looking in hope at their games in hand. Time is running out for them to recover their deficit.

10.00pmSpurs climb back above Manchester United into sixth in the table, and are still, just about, clinging onto their Champions League dreams, with Arsenal five points above them with five games remaining. If Christian Eriksen continues to play how they did tonight, anything is possible.

10.02pmThat's it from me. Thanks for joining Sports Mole this evening and be sure to rejoin us for the coverage of the huge Champions League games this week. Until next time...

Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood on the touchline during the Premier League match against Stoke on December 29, 2013
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