Christian Eriksen brace guides Tottenham to victory over struggling Sunderland

Mauricio Pochettino's side were comfortable 4-1 winners over the Black Cats this evening

Christian Eriksen's brace secured a comfortable 4-1 victory for Tottenham this afternoon as they denied Sunderland the opportunity of climbing out of the relegation zone.

Tottenham went into the game in desperate need of three points; Mauricio Pochettino's side were without a win in three attempts this calendar year and anything less than a victory today would have left their Champions League spot in jeopardy. 

The Londoners struggled to settle in the opening half, retaining possession and stringing some passes together in the opposition third, but all too often their final pass was over-hit.

Dele Alli squandered a good chance in the opening half when a cross into the box dropped at his feet and he sent his shot high over the bar.

Sam Allardyce's tactics were the same as they have been in previous games, as Sunderland played the majority of the opening 45 with nine men behind the ball.

It was on the break that Sunderland broke the deadlock, Patrick van Aanholt’s 40th-minute goal strike gave the visitors the lead and vindicated their decision to sit deep and play on the break.

That was , of course, until Spurs leveled proceedings almost instantly, Eriksen's goal just 21 seconds after the restart dragged Tottenham back into the game.

Christian Eriksen scores the equalizing goal against Sunderland this afternoon. Image: Tim Ireland / AP/Press Association Images

The goal was more a relief than anything else for the Londoners, they emerged in the second half a team transformed.

Former Spurs striker Jermain Defoe squandered a chance to restore Sunderland’s lead when he rolled a free-kick straight at Lloris, while Pickford denied Eriksen at the other end.

Defoe sent another shot into the side-netting early in the second half and this proved to be the turning point.

Moussa Dembele gave the home side the lead when he picked up a loose ball from a corner and stepped inside two defenders, driving a low shot to beat Pickford at his near post.

Jan Kirchhoff then made a debut to forget for Sunderland. 

His half attempt to block Eriksen's shot led to a deflection which took the ball over Pickford and into the net to give Tottenham a two-goal lead.

He then conceded a penalty, which Harry Kane duly converted to round off a comprehensive win for the home side.