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More own goal woe for troubled Sunderland
Full-time: Sunderland 1 Tottenham 2
SUNDERLAND failed to give their battle to avoid the drop a boost at the Stadium of Light this afternoon when they were left to rue further bad luck.
After Adam Johnson had given the Black Cats a real lift with his first Premier League goal of the season eight minutes before half-time. Tottenham bounced back to claim all three points with a 2-1 win.
Brazilian midfielder Paulinho levelled things up in the 43rd minute before disaster struck less than five minutes after the restart.
Moussa Dembele's run in to area created an opportunity for him to cross and his delivery was deflected off John O'Shea and crept inside goalkeeper Vito Mannone's goal.
That was the fifth time a Sunderland player has scored in his own net this season and leaves head coach Gus Poyet staring at a five-point gap to Premier League safety in December.
Poyet was so desperate to win today that he turned to his two strikers, Jozy Altidore and Steven Fletcher, in an attempt to do just that.
Fletcher, the Scotland international, played further up the pitch, with American Altidore sitting deeper and he looked full of confidence after his midweek goal breakthrough against Chelsea.
The former AZ Alkmaar man caused problems for Tottenham and he laid on a great opportunity for Jack Colback. But Colback, bursting in to the box, failed to test Hugo Lloris.
Beforehand Fletcher had also missed the target when he was fed by a delightful Phil Bardsley pass over the top and other than those Tottenham created the better opportunities.
After a couple of long range efforts from Paulinho and Lewis Holtby, Spurs were only prevented from scoring by some last-ditch blocking by Vito Mannone, Wes Brown and Bardsley.
And Sunderland's defensive work earned the lead in the 37th minute.
Full-back Ondrej Celustka sent over a great delivery from the right and Lloris could only palm in to the direction of Johnson and he powered high inside the far corner.
But the lead only lasted six minutes. Kyle Walker's free-kick dropped to the back post where Chadli flicked a pass across the area and Paulinho worked his way ahead of Bardsley to poke the equaliser.
And within five minutes of the restart, Tottenham took the lead. Colback was beaten too cheaply by Dembele's run into the box.
The Belgian midfielder's low centre was turned behind Mannone by O'Shea and it was hard to imagine Sunderland coming back from that.
Defoe had a couple of great chances to increase the lead – hitting the post twice – before the introductions of Lee Cattermole and Fabio Borini by Poyet lifted Sunderland.
But there was still no way through. There were strong calls for a penalty waved away when Sandro handled a corner in to the Tottenham box and the visitors held on.
SUNDERLAND (4-1-3-1-1): Mannone; Celustka (Giaccherini 77), Brown, Bardsley; Ki; Johnson (Borini 67), Colback (Cattermole 67), Larsson; Altidore; Fletcher. Subs: Pickford (gk), Dossena, Gardner, Diakite.
TOTTENHAM (4-4-1-1): Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Capoue, Naughton; Lennon, Paulinho, Dembele (Sandro 73), Chadli (Sigurdsson 84); Holtby (Townsend 78); Defoe. Subs: Friedel (gk), Soldado, Lamela, Fryers.
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