Premier League
Sunderland 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0

Sunderland boss David Moyes was given some respite at the end of a frustrating January as Tottenham wasted the chance to maintain their pursuit of Premier League leaders Chelsea.

The bottom-of-the-table Black Cats gave as good as they got before the break, and then battled manfully in containing an out-of-sorts Spurs to claim a 0-0 draw and another point in their quest for survival.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino will certainly feel two points were left at the Stadium of Light and opposite number Moyes knows only wins will get his side out of trouble - but the Scot was given cause for hope by a spirited display as he attempts to dig the club out of a hole.

Moyes, who had earlier seen a final deadline day bid to land Leicester striker Leonardo Ulloa fail, went into the game knowing his team would have to exceed its recent standards to emerge with any reward.

They did just that during an opening 45 minutes which saw Spurs enjoy plenty of possession, but do relatively little with it as Harry Kane on his return from a groin injury and Dele Alli were largely becalmed.

Left-back Danny Rose and Heung-min Son prospered in the early stages, but apart from a Kane cross which Lamine Kone had to hack away and a rasping Victor Wanyama shot which was parried by Vito Mannone, they created little of note.

As a result, the Black Cats grew in confidence and actually created the better openings before the break.

Jermain Defoe, whose goals have proved so valuable to the club in the last two years, set the tone with an adventurous ninth-minute run which took him past Toby Alderweireld and Wanyama, only for his shot to be blocked.

Had the half’s best chances fallen to Defoe, Sunderland, for whom midfielder Jack Rodwell may have been fortunate to escape with just a yellow card for an awful challenge on Mousa Dembele, might have gone in at the break, but they fell instead to Fabio Borini, who failed to make the most of them.

Defoe once again turned Alderweireld and fed the Italian with 21 minutes gone, but with the goal at his mercy, he miscontrolled and the chance had gone.

Borini set himself up two minutes later after running on to Eric Dier’s weak clearing header, but although the path to goal opened up invitingly, he fired straight at keeper Michel Vorm to let the visitors off the hook.

Kane only just failed to connect with a Son cross within seconds of the restart and Mannone was called upon to claim a dipping Christian Eriksen free-kick 10 minutes later with Spurs finally slipping into gear.

Full-back Kyle Walker saw a 63rd-minute strike fly over the top with the help of a deflection off opposite number Javier Manquillo and Wanyama powered a header inches over from Son’s cross from the resulting corner. Son’s 70th-minute shot from Kone’s poor header also cleared the bar and Dier headed just wide at the death - but Spurs were unable to make the pressure tell.


Manone, Kone, O’Shea, Denayer ,Jones,Ndong, Rodwell, Larsson, Manquillo, Borini (Honeyman 72), Defoe.

Subs Not Used:

Mika,Lescott, Pienaar, Love, Januzaj, Gooch.



Tottenham Hotspur:

Vorm, Walker, Dier, Alderweireld, Rose (Davies 38), Dembele (Janssen 85), Wanyama, Son (Sissoko 73), Eriksen, Alli, Kane.

Subs Not Used:

Wimmer, Winks, Pau Lopez, Carter -Vickers.

Listen to the latest Irish Examiner Football Show: The Alan Shearer interview and the end of Arsenal's title challenge

Or to get the latest episode automatically, you can SUBSCRIBE ON iTUNES


As online retailers report record sales in loungewear, classic cuffed sweatpants have become a hot ticket item. Already a go-to look for off-duty celebs, the humble sweatsuit cemented its status when Tom Ford showed 80s-inspired grey marl sportswear pieces in his autumn winter collection earlier this year.Fashion: don't sweat it!

Seeking inspiration for all that extra time at home? Use it to discover the art of cooking and baking with your children.Fun & Food: The family that cooks together...

W E DON’T have a large amount of activities to do right now. So why not get a larger mount? If those opening lines give you a headache, don’t worry — at least you weren’t hit on the head with a mace.GameTech: Bannerlord flies the flag for escapism

Our window on the world opens wide for tonight.Homes from Mayo, Tyrone and Cork tonight on RTÉ series Home of the Year

More From The Irish Examiner