Sunderland 0-1 Tottenham: Mason saves forgettable match for first Spurs win

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The home side looked threatening throughout hitting the woodwork twice, but a promising performance produced nothing on net and Ryan Mason put his body on the line for the winner in the 82nd minute.

Both teams came into this match near or at the bottom of the table, but only Spurs improved its position with the club’s first victory of the season after three draws in four matches.

Sunderland began brightly with a high work rate which brought a positive reaction from the crowd at the Stadium of Light. The first big opportunity waited until 25 minutes gone by to present itself as Jermain Defoe was clean through against his old club, but he struck the frame of the goal with only Hugo Lloris to beat.

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The visitors were incredibly wasteful at the back through the first half-hour, giving away countless clearances to hand Sunderland a number of build-ups. Defoe was in again after 38 minutes after he twisted away from Toby Alderweireld, but he couldn’t get a quality shot off under pressure.

Spurs waited patiently until the 44th minute for their first real chance as Kyle Walker snuck in behind the defense at the back post and a teammate picked him out, but his shot was blocked by Costel Pantillimon from close range, and while the rebound fell to Heung-min Son, the new arrival coudn’t get a shot off under pressure in the box.

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Sunderland continued its positive play into the second half, but as Spurs held on for dear life, the visitors finally got a grip of the game as the hour mark passed. Dele Alli crossed a ball across the face of goal to open up the Sunderland back line but Harry Kane was just out of reach. Kane was picked out again six minutes later but he lashed at the one-timer at the far post and nearly whiffed completely.

The Black Cats received a blow when the hard-working Fabio Borini took an errant Ben Davies boot to the head, and he was forced off, replaced by Duncan Watmore with 17 minutes to go.

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Finally, the winner came as substitute Erik Lamela delivered a beautiful and incisive ball that chopped up the Sunderland back line and found Ryan Mason. The midfielder took an impact on the leg from Pantilimon as he looked to finish, and while the ball trickled into the back of the net for the winner, Mason ultimately was forced off via the stretcher after scoring the winner.

Sunderland replacement Jack Rodwell cruelly clattered the crossbar two minutes after the goal as Sunderland responded positively, but the home side still could not find a way past Lloris and the Spurs defense. The win pushes Spurs up into 13th position with five points, while Sunderland remains joint-bottom with just two points.