Mauricio Pochettino's side struggled at Sunderland
With seven games in 27 days on three fronts, February could make or break Spurs.
And this was not the launch Pochettino had envisaged against a Black Cats’ outfit who should have punished their opponents’ over-casual approach early on.
Spurs improved in the second half but struggled to scale the heights which had seen them emerge as genuine title contenders.
Sunderland remain in trouble but given their recent history and the spirit they showed here, don’t rule out another Houdini-like escape.
David Moyes, will, however, be concerned about their lack of a cutting edge once again.
David Moyes' side managed to keep a clean sheet against Tottenham
He has urged his players to ease the goalscoring burden which Jermain Defoe has been shouldering but Fabio Borni clearly wasn’t listening.
Twice in the first half, the Italian squandered excellent chances. A poor first touch in the 21st minute took him away from goal after Defoe had found him inside the box.
Then two minutes later, he wasted an even better opportunity, shooting straight at Michael Vorm after intercepting Eric Dier’s headed clearance.
Had those chances fallen to Defoe, Spurs might have paid a heavy price for their casual start to the game.
The man who has scored 60 per cent of Sunderland’s goals this term was hungry to add to his total and tried to work an opening for himself inside six minutes only for Toby Alderweireld to deflect his effort wide .
But the 33-year-old was a livewire, twisting, turning and finding space whenever and wherever he could.
In contrast, Spurs’ dangermen Harry Kane and Dele Alli were quiet in the opening 45 minutes. Kane should have done better in the visitors’ first attack when he was gifted possession by Jason Denayer only for Lamine Kone to cut out his cross.
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Vito Mannone has hardly been the most reliable keeper lately but he was tested just twice before the break.
But despite Jack Rodwell being booked for scything down Mousa Dembele, there was much to encourage him in that opening period.
Spurs could have gone ahead 20 seconds into the restart when following a mistake by Kone, Son crossed but the ball rolled agonisingly out of reach of Kane.
SUNDERLAND (5-3-2): Mannone 6; Manquillo 6, Kone 5, O’Shea 6, Denayer 6, Jones 6; Ndong 6, Larsson 6, Rodwell 6; Borini 6 (Honeyman 72), Defoe 6. Booked: Rodwell, Manquillo. NEXT UP: Crystal Palace (a) Sat PL
TOTTENHAM (4-2-3-1): Vorm 6; Walker 6, Alderweireld 6, Dier 6, Rose 5 (Davies 38); Wanyama 6, Dembele 6 (Janssen 85); Son 6 (Sissokho 73), Eriksen 6, Alli 6; Kane 6. NEXT UP: Middlesbrough (h) Sat PL.
Referee: Lee Mason.