Sunderland’s wait for a first Premier League win continued as Tottenham Hotspur secured a 1-0 victory at White Hart Lane.
The Black Cats lived dangerously during the opening 45 minutes as Spurs peppered Jordan Pickford and his defence, but David Moyes’ side should have taken the lead seconds before the interval when Steven Pienaar’s effort was hooked off the line by Kyle Walker.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side continued to dominate during the second period and Sunderland’s resistance was finally broken with 58 minutes on the clock as Harry Kane converted from close range.
And it proved to be the moment that mattered as the Black Cats, who saw Adnan Januzaj sent off late on, returned to Wearside empty-handed.
A bolstered midfield saw Didier Ndong make his first Sunderland start with Lee Cattermole joining the new signing in the starting XI. The combative midfielder, who made his first appearance of the season, also captained the Lads with John O’Shea on the bench as Papy Djilobodji and Lamine Kone once again started in the centre of defence.
Jermain Defoe was tasked with haunting the club he scored an incredible 143 goals for, but the Lads were forced into a late change as Patrick van Aanholt was replaced by Jason Denayer following the pre-match warm-ups.
Tottenham made a bright start to the game and Sunderland failed to get to grips with their pace and power down the flanks.
Son Heung-Min, who scored twice last weekend at Stoke City, was first to threaten as his rasping cross whistle across the face of goal, with Moussa Sissoko thumping an effort wide seconds later as the Black Cats failed to clear.
With van Aanholt ruled out Javier Manquillo switched to the left and Denayer was employed as a makeshift right-back, and Spurs exploited the area in the early stages with Kane diverting Son’s brilliant ball towards goal where Jordan Pickford made a point-blank save.
Walker and Moussa Dembele were next to have a pop but Pickford was once again equal to it, with Dele Alli seeing an effort blocked as he pulled the trigger from 20 yards.
With 16 minutes played Walker unlocked the Sunderland defence by popping a ball through Manquillo’s legs and into the path of Sissoko, with the Frenchman finding Kane who was denied by Pickford.
The resulting corner saw the Spurs fans leap to their feet as Jan Vertonghen sent a bullet header towards goal, but Pickford was once again on hand to thwart the dominant home side.
With the storm somewhat weathered Sunderland mustered their first attempt at goal as Defoe raced onto a long ball and slotted the ball into the arms of Hugo Lloris.
But Spurs came back again with efforts raining down on Pickford’s goal as three heroic last-ditch blocks denied the gung-ho home side searched for an opener.
Following a slight lull, the home side were resurgent during the latter stages of the half as the outstanding Son crashed an effort against the post before a succession of corners cranked up the heat.
Spurs could have been out of sight but instead it was Sunderland looking to the heavens as the half-time whistle sounded around North London, with Pienaar spurning a glorious opportunity to earn an unlikely lead.
Ndong crafted the opening as his cross wasn’t dealt with by Vertonghen, with Januzaj having the time and space to find the South African on the cusp of the six-yard box, but the combination of a tame finish and a superb recovery from Walker allowed the England international to clear off the line.
It would have been harsh on Spurs, but Sunderland should have made them pay.
Son was once again Spurs’ standout performer as the second period continued with the home side on the front foot.
The South Korean speedster was a livewire throughout and within 10 minutes of the restart he saw an effort blocked and fired into the side netting, with Pickford clawing a Sissoko cross to safety as the noise levels started to rise within White Hart Lane.
Unsurprisingly, Son was once again in the thick of the action on 56 minutes as he eased past Denayer and flashed a brilliant ball across the six-yard box.
Two minutes later Sunderand’s resistance was finally broken. Walker sent a deep cross into the box and it was headed back across goal by Alli who towered above the defence, with Djilobodji failing to clear which allowed Kane a simple finish.
Sunderland responded well and created half-chances through substitute Duncan Watmore and Kone, but Spurs remained on the march with Alli forcing Pickford into a low save.
Erik Lamela and Son also spurned chances before Jauzaj was sent off for a second yellow card to complete a day to forget for the Black Cats.
Sunderland: Pickford, Manquillo, Denayer (McNair 90), Djilobodji, Kone, Cattermole, Ndong, Kirchhoff (Khazri 79), Pienaar (Watmore 63), Januzaj, Defoe.
Subs not used: Mika, Love, O’Shea, Gooch.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Walker, Dier (Davies 77), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Wanyama, Dembele (Lamela 74), Sissoko, Alli, Son, Kane (Janssen 87).
Subs not used: Vorm, Trippier, Eriksen, Winks.