London - Dane Christian Eriksen has deflected some of the spotlight away from Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood in his side's 5-1 victory over relegation-haunted Sunderland in the English Premiership on Monday, scoring one and making two with a majestic midfield display.
Sunderland were gifted a 17th minute lead when Lee Cattermole shot home after a defensive mix-up but with Eriksen pulling the strings in midfield the hosts responded with goals from Emmanuel Adebayor and Harry Kane before Eriksen claimed one for himself.
Adebayor bagged a second and Gylfi Sigurdsson makes it 5-1 in stoppage time to leave Sunderland adrift at the bottom of the table.
Eriksen's laser-like deliveries were responsible for Tottenham first two goals, the first bundled in by Adebayor after 28 minutes and the second gobbled up by Kane on the hour. With 15 minutes remaining he then beat Vito Mannone with a deflected drive.
Victory lifted Tottenham back above Manchester United into sixth place and kept alive their flickering hopes of a top-four finish, although they remain five points behind fourth-placed Arsenal with five matches remaining and four behind Everton who also have a game in hand.
Media reports during the day suggested Sherwood, who took over from sacked Andre Villas-Boas in December, would be relieved of his duties at the end of the season although the club issued a statement dismissing it as speculation.
Former England midfielder Sherwood was his usual animated self on the touchline and did not have the look of a man who was about to lose his job.
Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal has been linked to the Tottenham job in recent weeks after thrashings against Chelsea and Liverpool in quick succession scuppered the London side's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.
While Tottenham have problems, they are nothing compared to Sunderland's.
Guy Poyet's team were not lacking endeavour but now look to be sliding into the Championship.
They have two games in hand of their relegation rivals but are seven points behind Norwich City who are fourth from bottom.