OPPONENTS Sunderland 
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Saturday 16th December 2016
VENUE White Hart Lane
PREVIEW No preview produced.
PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    2         Sunderland    1

BT Sport 1 - (live coverage)
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.20 - 23.50 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:40 Sunday]  Also available online.
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Tottenham Hotspur  4 (1)                                                                       
Premier League
Saturday 16th December 2016
White Hart Lane
Sunderland  1 (1)

Kick off 12:45
Eriksen  41m 29s
Dembele  59m 00s
Eriksen  66m 28s
Kane (p)  78m 39s
van Aanholt  39m 58s



Cattermole (foul on Rose)  46
Johnson (foul on Rose)  55


Crowd :   35,854 Weather :  Raining throughout
Referee : Mike Dean (Wirral) Assistant Referees :  Mr. S. Bennett; Mr. E. Smart
Fourth Official :  Craig Pawson  
Tottenham kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 4 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Sunderland : kit
  1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

16  Kieran TRIPPIER
3  Danny ROSE

15  Eric DIER
19  Mousa DEMBELE    (28  Tom CARROLL  80)

11  Erik LAMELA  (25  Josh ONOMAH  73)
20  Dele ALLI
23  Christian ERIKSEN   

10  Harry KANE    (  7  Heung-Min SON  88)

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM

33  Ben DAVIES
27  Kevin WIMMER
  Nacer CHADLI


  13  Jordan PICKFORD

  2  Billy JONES
6  John O'SHEA  (c)
  5  Wes BROWN
  3  Patrick van AANHOLT 

  6  Lee CATTERMOLE       (  8  Jack RODWELL 53)
21  Yann M'VILA

11  Adam JOHNSON     
17  Jeremain LENS  (41  Duncan WATMORE 76)
19  Danny GRAHAM  (27  Jan KIRCHHOFF 59)

18  Jermain DEFOE

Unused subs: 
25  Vito MANNONE
22  Sebastian COATES
26  Steven FLETCHER

Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  Sam Allardyce
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  dafabet
Kit Supplier :  Under Armour Kit Supplier :   adidas
Match report

While Sunderland took the lead in this match at White Hart Lane against the run of play, Spurs stuck at their task to hit back as quickly as the time-wasting Sunderland players allowed them and then went on to record a comfortable 4-1 victory after Fat Sam Allardyce made a spectacularly game-changing substitution.

With Dembele back in the side in place of Carroll and Rose and Trippier replacing Davies and Walker, Spurs looked set up to play as attackingly as they did at Watford after Christmas. All three changes to the team were effective. Moussa showed the sort of form he was in before he got injured, while both the full backs got forward and caused the Black Cats problems, especially in the second half.

The visitors arrived for this early kick off with a good away win at Swansea behind them, but their plight at the bottom of the table was still serious and they needed to get something out of this game. Getting two banks of four behind the ball as quickly as they could when they lost it, they set out to frustrate Spurs, who Fat Sam had said didn't have the bottle to win the Premier League title. Perhaps his comments wrote Pochettino's pre-match team talk for him.

When the game started, after Jermain Defoe had a warm welcome on his return to the Lane, it was Tottenham who settled down the quicker of the two sides. An early free-kick for handball was nodded on to the far post, where Alderweireld got a header on target, but straight at Pickford. The keeper was alert a couple of minutes later, when Dembele set up Kane for a shot from five yards outside the box and Pickford had to tip it around the post.

A corner in the eighth minute should have brought Spurs the lead. It came out to Danny Rose, who hit a shot at goal, but it struck Kane and although it fell to Dele Alli, he hit the ball way into the upper reaches of the Park Lane end. If he had kept it on target, it would surely have been 1-0. Spurs were being a little profligate with the ball and while it was only Sunderland, they did have players capable of punishing such loose passing including Defoe. Spurs were dealing with him well, apart from when he raised an elbow when jumping for the ball. Vertonghen and Rose both suffered.

Harry Kane turned O'Shea on halfway, only to be hauled back, with referee Mike Dean not taking his card out of his pocket. From the set-piece, Eriksen played a ball into the box, which was set up for Dembele to fire at goal, but a defender got in the way. Rose went well wide with a shot and Lens went closer at the other end with a dipping 22 yard effort. Closer to a goal was Kane after half an hour, when his low drive was again pushed wide by the goalie.

When it looked like Defoe might get free, Toby got a touch to put the ball out for a corner, from which Spurs broke, but Dembele's pass pushed Lamela too wide on the left, leaving him little angle to get a shot on goal, although it nearly ended up at the far post for Rose - one of Tottenham's five players going forward. There was also a glimmer of a chance when Alderweireld picked out a long diagonal ball to find Trippier on the right. The full back volleyed the ball into the box first time and it sped across the six yard box, with no Spurs player there to reach it.

Despite all this, it was Sunderland who were the ones who went 1-0 ahead. The ball found its way to the edge of the left hand corner of the Spurs box. Adam Johnson found a little hole and threaded a pass inside Alli for Patrick van Aanholt to move onto the ball and drill a low shot past Hugo Lloris at his near post. It was a well-worked goal, but one that looked a little loose in terms of Tottenham's defending.

Having got the goal, Sunderland took a long time to get back to their half of the pitch, adding to the time-wasting their players were employing from the start in taking an age over throw-ins. Jan Vertonghen vociferously made his point to Dean and was required to have a headmasterly talking to from the match official. When the restart was eventually taken, Spurs moved the ball quickly, with Dier running it forward.  The ball moved through Kane, Alli and Eriksen before releasing Kane in the right side of the box to fire a shot that Pickford blocked as he came out.  The ball rebounded to Eriksen on the edge oft he area and he bounced a shot towards goal that beat the keeper, but Cattermole was standing on the line and looked as if he would clear it.  However, he got his legs muddled up and the ball came off his knee and went into the roof of the net to allow Spurs to pull level after just 91 seconds.

It was an important goal, as Spurs had too often dominated the first half of games this season, without going into half-time with the reward they should deserved.  But it is about taking your chances, with a little bit of luck on the way.  Dembele's foul on Lens gave him to chance to touch the free-kick in the D to Defoe, but his shot beat the wall by going under it, but it was lacking power and was straight t Lloris.  As it was Spurs finished the half the better of the two sides and Eriksen went close to scoring again, with a low drive from outside the area hen the Sunderland defence failed to close him down. 

Brad Friedel was the half time guest and he is back in the UK to finish off his Pro Licence, but took time out to see Spurs and will be scouting on some of his new charges in the US Under-19 set-up, who are based over here.

Cattermole was having an afternoon to forget, because in addition to the Spurs goal, he was booked for his first foul, with his reputation obviously going before him.  He was followed into the book ten minutes later by Johnson, who pulled back Rose.  Spurs had started at a brisker tempo and were moving into space better, as the first half had seen Sunderland's task of blocking their middle third become an easy job.  The first decent chance came from a Tottenham free-kick on the right wing.  Not that it was a chance for Spurs, as it was worked short to Trippier and his cross was cleared, leaving Johnson and Defoe ahead of the ten white shirts in the Sunderland half, with only Lloris in his own half.  However, they were soon caught by Rose and Trippier with the pass out to Defoe going left, Danny forced him to shoot into the side-netting.  They should really have made more of it, as a 2-1 lead would have made Tottenham's job much harder. 

Lamela had move dot the left side and his deep cross was met by Dele Alli's header that looped back form where the keeper had come from, but just floated wide of the post.  As it was, the substitution that changed the game was made by Sam Allardyce, bringing on Jan Kirchhoff, who had recently been signed from Bayern Munich.  Whether this is a Bayern Munich from a parallel universe, I am not sure, as the defender was about to have a proverbial mare !

Kane stung Pickford's hands with a drive as he came in from the left wing and from the left corner of the box.  From the resulting corner, the ball was headed out to Rose outside the D and he fired a shot that Pickford slapped out wide to the left.  Dembele picked it up on the 18 yard line, drifted infield past Jones and Brown before striking a low grubber that beat the keeper's dive to the foot of his left hand post.  It was a goal that lifted Tottenham's spirits and dampened those of Sunderland. 

Tottenham now had the impetus to go on and Kane lashed a shot from the right 22 yards out, but Pickford pushed it wide with good hands.  The away team were not closing anything like they did in the first half, with Eriksen given the time and space to pick out a shot in the 67th minute, which Kirchhoff turned his back on, with the ball coming off him and hitting the left hand top corner of the net, leaving the goalie with no chance of preventing it becoming 3-1.

Kirchhoff's afternoon got worse when he took Rose's feet from under him in the box, as he tried to put the ball in from the left and Dean pointed to the spot, where Harry Kane drive it past Pickford, even though the keeper went the right way for it.  4-1 and still ten minutes left !

Kane had a weak header straight at the goalie, Alderweireld put one too high and Eriksen tried for his hat-trick near the end, but struck his shot wildly high.  So, in the end, Spurs eased to victory, but the first half was hard going.  The higher positions taken by Rose and Trippier in the second half pushed the Sunderland midfield further back and the movement of Eriksen, Alli and Dembele worked good space and tired the Black Cats players, leading to the lack of pressure on the ball.

Having lost to Leicester last time out, it was difficult to play the way Spurs wanted to, but their belief in playing their way came good in the end, with a big win that keeps us in fourth place.  Palace are next up after the FA Cup replay at Leicester and the Eagles are struggling for goal sat the moment, so Spurs must make sure that continues, as a win at Selhurst Park will help them maintain their league position and fend off the chasing pack.

Gary Sampson




Sunderland are the only team in the country who have players who do not live up to the clubs full name of Sunderland Athletic and Football Club.


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Aston Villa 1 Leicester City 1 Saturday
Bournemouth 3 Norwich City 0 Saturday
Chelsea 3 Everton 3 Saturday
Manchester City 4 Crystal Palace 0 Saturday
Newcastle United 2 West Ham United 1 Saturday
Southampton 3 West Bromwich Albion 0 Saturday
Liverpool 0 Manchester United 1 Sunday
Stoke City 0 Arsenal 0 Sunday
Swansea City 1 Watford 0 Monday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Arsenal 22 13 6 4 37 21 44 +16
2 Leicester City 22 13 8 2 39 25 44 +14
3 Manchester City 22 14 4 5 43 21 43 +22
4 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 22 10 9 3 38 18 39 +20
5 Manchester United 22 10 7 4 28 20 37 +8
6 West Ham United 22 9 8 5 34 26 35 +8
7 Stoke City 22 9 6 7 24 22 33 +2
8 Crystal Palace 22 9 4 9 23 24 31 -1
9 Liverpool 22 8 7 7 24 26 31 -2
10 Southampton 22 8 6 8 31 24 30 +9
11 Everton 22 6 11 5 39 32 29 +7
12 Watford 22 8 5 9 25 25 29 0
13 West Bromwich Albion 22 7 6 9 21 30 27 -9
14 Chelsea 22 6 7 9 31 34 25 -3
15 Bournemouth 22 6 6 10 26 37 24 -11
16 Norwich City 22 6 5 11 24 38 23 -14
17 Swansea City 22 5 7 10 20 30 22 -10
18 Newcastle United 22 5 6 11 24 39 21 -15
19 Sunderland 22 5 3 14 27 45 18 -18
20 Aston Villa 22 2 6 14 18 38 12 -20

Position before match :  4th
Position after match :  4th
Position after the weekend :  4th


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.


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