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Tottenham’s blushes saved by Christian Eriksen against struggling Sunderland

Jermain Defoe was reminded of what a treasured part of Tottenham Hotspur’s past he is, and how precarious his new club’s Premier League future looks. The 32-year-old’s return to the ground where he spent the best part of a decade ended with a galling defeat for Sunderland, who teeter a point above the relegation zone after falling to a late winner from Christian Eriksen.

Defoe was acclaimed by both sets of fans before kick-off and his manager watched with renewed optimism. Believing he had finally been given the high-calibre striker he craved, Gus Poyet had heralded this match as the dawn of a new era for his team. He switched formation in an effort to play to Defoe’s strengths, deploying a 3-5-2 system with Steven Fletcher partnering the new striker. But even the finest plans are vulnerable to rudimentary mistakes and things took an ominous turn when Sunderland conceded after three minutes.

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