Reuters

Harry Kane defies critics as Tottenham edge out Sunderland, but striker stretchered off

Kane defies critics as Tottenham edge out Sunderland
By Michael Da Silva via PA Sport

18/09/2016 at 18:41Updated 18/09/2016 at 19:12

Premier League, White Hart Lane: Tottenham 1 (Kane 57') Sunderland 0

Harry Kane defied his critics with a second-half winner for Spurs over Sunderland, but left the field on a stretcher with an ankle injury.

There had been calls to drop the England striker after some lacklustre performances, not least in the 2-1 defeat by Monaco in the Champions League, but Pochettino was repaid for his faith in the 23-year-old just before the hour. Dele Alli nodded down Kyle Walker's cross and Kane pounced after hesitate defending by Papy Djilobodji.

The visitors had their moments, with Steven Pienaar spurning a golden opportunity just before half-time and Spurs old boy Jermain Defoe going close.

But Spurs, who dropped Christian Eriksen, were dominant in all areas and, if not for a superb performance by the impressive young Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, could have won more comfortably.

Tottenham's Harry Kane is stretchered around the pitch after sustaining an injury

Tottenham's Harry Kane is stretchered around the pitch after sustaining an injuryReuters

The win sends Spurs above Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool and into third, but was tempered by injuries to Eric Dier, who hobbled off with a hamstring injury, and Kane.

Sunderland, whose misery was compounded by a late red card for Adnan Januzaj, remain joint bottom of the Premier League with just a single point from five games.

TALKING POINT

Do Sunderland have a future England goalkeeper in Jordan Pickford? Despite being loaned out six times in four years by Sunderland, Pickford is taking his chance in the Sunderland first team with both hands. Denied Spurs with some superb saves throughout, not least a world-class stop from Erik Lamela late on. and made it look like a close game. The 22-year-old's rise will continue if he keeps putting in performances like this.

Sunderland's Jordan Pickford saves from Tottenham's Erik Lamela

Sunderland's Jordan Pickford saves from Tottenham's Erik LamelaReuters

MAN OF THE MATCH

Heung-min Son (Tottenham) - Has hit the ground running since returning to the Spurs team and today he was a constant thorn in Sunderland's side. Created chance after chance for Spurs and hit the post in the first half. Making himself undroppable.

PLAYER RATINGS

Tottenham: Lloris 6, Walker 8, Alderweireld 7, Dier 7, Vertonghen 6, Dembele 7, Wanyama 7, Sissoko 7, Son 9, Alli 7, Kane 8. Subs: Lamela 7, Davies 6, Janssen n/a.

Sunderland: Pickford 9, Manquillo 6, Kone 6, Djilobodji 6, Denayer 5, Cattermole 5, Januzaj 4, Kirchoff 7, Ndong 6, Pienaar 5, Defoe 6. Subs: Watmore 6, Khazri 5, McNair n/a.

KEY MOMENTS

4' Spurs chance! Son gets forward down the left and whips in a superb cross that flashes past everyone in the box. Sissoko picks up the pieces on the far side and his low shot is a whisker wide of the far post.

9' Kane chance! Son delivers a dangerous ball from the left and Kane meets it well by Pickford makes a very good reaction save to deny him. Kane did all he could there. Good save.

22' Defoe chance! Out of nothing, Sunderland break at speed and Defoe, under pressure form Vertonghen, squeezes his shot at goal and Lloris is forced into a save at his near post.

Sunderland's Adnan Januzaj receives a second yellow card and subsequent red card by referee Mike Dean

Sunderland's Adnan Januzaj receives a second yellow card and subsequent red card by referee Mike DeanReuters

44' Huge chance Pienaar! Oh, what a miss! Januzaj glides between Dier and Alderweireld and cuts back to Pienaar, who hits it straight at Lloris, with the whole goal to aim at from five yards!

57' Great play Son! Brilliant play again by Son, who turns Denayer inside out and rolls a cross across the Sunderland goal. All it needed was a touch but no one was there to provide it.

59' GOAL! Tottenham 1-0 Sunderland - Kane for Spurs! Tottenham have eventually made the breakthrough and it's a much-needed goal for Kane. Alli nods down Walker's cross, Djilobodji fails to clear and Kane taps in from close range.

86' What a save Pickford! Absolutely stunning fingertip save by Pickford, who denies Lamela a second for Spurs. The Argentine's curling shot looked to be a goal, but this impressive young keeper pulls off yet another brilliant stop.

87' Kane injured. Kane leaves on a stretcher after twisting his ankle in a challenge a few minutes ago. Not a great way for the match-winner to leave the pitch.

90' Januzaj off! Januzaj catches Davies with a late tackle and he's off. It's a second yellow and he's off.

MATCH FACTS

Spurs have won 14 home Premier League games against Sunderland, their joint favourite opponent along with Everton.

Harry Kane has scored in three of his four Premier League appearances against Sunderland at White Hart Lane.

The Black Cats are without a clean sheet at White Hart Lane in any of their last 21 league visits there since a goalless draw in September 1980.

Kane has scored in back to back Premier League games after having gone five games without a goal.

Sunderland haven't won any of their last 24 Premier League matches contested in either August or September (D9 L15).

Spurs are unbeaten in their opening five Premier League games of a season for only the second time (also 2004/05).

MATCH IN A TWEET

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