English Premiership

Mason's winner sinks Sunderland

2015-09-13 16:45
Ryan Mason (AFP)

Sunderland - Ryan Mason scored and was then stretchered off as Tottenham Hotspur won 1-0 at Sunderland on Sunday to record their first victory of the Premier League season.

Sunderland were on top for three-quarters of the match at the Stadium of Light, hitting the post through Tottenham old boy Jermain Defoe, but it was Spurs who prevailed when substitute Erik Lamela teed up Mason for an 82nd-minute winner.

The England international left the fray moments later after hurting his knee, but his goal proved enough to lift Mauricio Pochettino's side up to 12th place and leave Dick Advocaat's Sunderland bottom of the table.

Both sides made three changes, with Advocaat recalling Jordi Gomez and handing debuts to Ola Toivonen and Fabio Borini, who has returned to Sunderland from Liverpool after a previous loan spell in 2013-14.

Spurs, meanwhile, drafted in Ben Davies, Dele Alli and Son Heung-min, the £22 million recruit from Bayer Leverkusen, who lined up wide on the right.

Harry Kane and Defoe were the centre of attention for their respective teams -- the former seeking his first Spurs goal of the season, the latter facing his former club -- and both had early potshots.

But as the first half wore on, it was Defoe and Sunderland who set the tempo.

Jeremain Lens supplied the spark, curling a shot wide from outside the box and then releasing Defoe with a superb through ball that pierced the Tottenham defence.

The 32-year-old striker surged clear, but with only Hugo Lloris to beat, he scuffed his shot against the left-hand post.

Lloris was obliged to save twice, first from team-mate Kyle Walker, who turned a cross from Defoe towards his own goal, and then Defoe, who span Toby Alderweireld but fired straight at the France international.

Lens then left Alderweireld for dead, only for Eric Dier to thwart him with a last-ditch tackle, while Defoe saw a deflected shot loop onto the roof of the Spurs net in first-half stoppage time.

The second half initially brought no change to the direction of traffic, with Lloris saving low to his left from Lens.

Spurs coach Pochettino turned to Andros Townsend and Lamela and the England winger carved out a great chance for Kane with a deep cross from the right, only for the Spurs number 10 to miscue horribly.

But as the half wore on, so Spurs grew in strength and after Costel Pantilimon had saved from Eric Dier and Mason, the visitors went ahead.

A neat 15-pass move culminated in Lamela freeing Mason and despite a loose first touch, the 24-year-old midfielder managed to dink a shot past the onrushing Pantilimon and into the bottom-left corner.

Advocaat had sent on Jack Rodwell shortly before the goal and he came within inches of an equaliser with a sweeping shot that rebounded off the crossbar.

Kane, scorer of two goals for England during the international break, was then thwarted at close range by Pantilimon, while Lamela headed wide from Townsend's cross.

Read more on:    tottenham hotspur  |  sunderland  |  ryan mason  |  soccer


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