14 Sep 2015

Spurs win, Foxes come back again

10:12 am on 14 September 2015

Tottenham Hotspur scored their first victory of the English Premier League football season, beating Sunderland 1-0 away, while unbeaten Leicester City came back from two goals down to beat visiting Aston Villa 3-2.

Look back at our LIVE match commentary here

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane (up) attends to midfielder Ryan Mason, as he lies injured after scoring AFP PHOTO / IAN MACNICOL

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane attends to midfielder Ryan Mason Photo: AFP

Ryan Mason scored a late winner before being stretchered off at Sunderland, while England striker Harry Kane's goal-less streak continues this season.

Tottenham have only scored four goals in five games and with Roberto Soldado sold and Emmanuel Adebayor finally released by the club on Monday, out-and-out striking options are limited.

New South Korean signing Son Heung-min made his debut and showed plenty of promise but was substituted just past the hour mark after missing a great chance.

"I am very happy with Son, he played really well. He is a good player for us," Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said.

The win lifted Spurs to 12th on the table and dropped champions Chelsea down to 17th place and in danger of falling into the bottom three, after Jose Mourinho's men were beaten 3-1 at Everton at the weekend.

Mason's 82nd-minute dinked goal, with Erik Lamela splitting the defence after combining with Kane, broke the deadlock and provided a rare burst of brilliance in an otherwise uninspired encounter at the Stadium of Light.

The midfielder was then carried off injured after colliding with Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino said the player's condition would be assessed, though he praised Mason afterwards.

"It was a big knock on the knee. It was a great goal and we showed how we try to play," he said.

Sunderland, still searching for their first win after five games this season and now with 11 goals conceded, dropped to the bottom of the table and behind Stoke City on goal difference.

Sunderland, with former Spurs striker Jermain Defoe hitting the post in the 26th minute with only Hugo Lloris to beat, had the better of a first half that saw Tottenham fail to get a shot on target.

Jack Rodwell might have grabbed a late equaliser but his shot smacked against the crossbar.

"We had the better chances at the start, we knew we were playing against a good side and the speed of the game was unbelievable. Some players could not handle it in the end," Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat told the BBC.

"At the end of the game, the better side had more luck than we had. Some players still need match fitness."

Foxes show plenty of spirit for manager

In Monday's other game, unbeaten Leicester City came from two goals down to beat Aston Villa 3-2 at home and go back above Manchester United into second overall behind Manchester City.

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy scores their second goal past Aston Villa's US goalkeeper Brad Guzan (L) at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on September 13, 2015. Leicester won the game 3-2. AFP PHOTO / LINDSEY PARNAB

Leicester City's English striker Jamie Vardy scores their second goal past Aston Villa's US goalkeeper Brad Guzan Photo: AFP

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri just wanted more of the same after another never-say-die performance had the Italian purring at the spirit shown by a battling team now experiencing the dizzy heights of second place overall.

Three goals in 17 minutes, with the last headed in by substitute and debutant Nathan Dyer in the 89th, kept the Foxes still unbeaten on 11 points from five games and four adrift of City.

Ranieri had switched his formation to good effect after the break but he said continuity was also the key.

"It's fantastic. Fantastic spirit, good character. After 2-0, I watched my players but they believed everything was possible. That is the spirit I love," he told Sky Sports television.

"It is important to fight until the end of the match... we must play in this way every match. Because we are in this way. If we want to change something, we aren't so good."

Former Chelsea boss Ranieri started the season as the manager most likely to be first out of a job but those odds have been turned on their head.

With Leicester unbeaten in their last nine Premier League games, it is Mourinho's Chelsea who are currently in danger of slipping into the bottom three.

Leicester brought in Ranieri, 11 years after his sacking by Chelsea, as replacement for Nigel Pearson who had masterminded a remarkable escape from relegation last season and there were plenty of doubters.

Instead, Ranieri has won admirers by resisting too much change.

"He's been quite smart in understanding there was something really good in place and just gone in and let it take its own course, adding his own bits and pieces to it," said former Ireland international Niall Quinn, commenting on the game.

"He's added to the spirit of the team... The way his team played for him in that second half, it just shows you there is something really special in that dressing room and his job isn't now about changing that. His job is about keeping to it."

Despite the optimism, Ranieri was keeping his feet on the ground: "At the moment we want to think only of safety," he said, setting 29 points as the primary goal.

Meanwhile, a 'gutted' Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood said he had never felt so bad after watching his side take a 2-0 lead at Leicester City and then lose 3-2.

"I've never felt this bad ever," he told the BBC, looking as if he would rather be somewhere else than in front of a television camera.

"There was a lot of bad play there in the last half hour," added the boss. "The only way you stop momentum is by keeping the ball off the opposition and we just turned it over stupidly," he said.

"What can I say? I'm gutted for everyone who's associated with this football club. We have to stop letting in soft goals now, they didn't have to work too hard for their goals at the end of the day. Who cares if we played well? We lost the match."

Villa have conceded 14 goals in their last five away games and were left in shock after Leicester rattled in three in the space of 17 minutes to leave the Birmingham club 15th with four points from five games.

Sherwood said the mood in the dressing room was sombre and rightly so.

Asked whether the good moment of 20-year-old Jack Grealish scoring his first goal for the club had been lost in the defeat, Sherwood agreed: "Totally lost.

"I would expect it to be (quiet in the dressing room)," he said. "They are as disappointed as I am, hopefully. I think they are. They are a good group, But we have to stop the errors."

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