Sunderland vs Tottenham: We need to finish teams off when we’re on top, says Emmanuel Adebayor

Sunderland twice came from behind to record a draw with Spurs

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The Independent Online

Emmanuel Adebayor has told his Tottenham team-mates they must develop a ruthless streak after throwing away victory at Sunderland.

Spurs led twice and created a hatful of chances in the 2-2 draw. The Sunderland winger Adam Johnson admitted his side “got away with it” and a rueful Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham manager, spoke of a missed opportunity.

Adebayor played a part in Spurs’ opening goal and was a problem for Sunderland’s back four all afternoon. But he said: “We’ve got to finish teams off when we’ve got them on the ropes. We didn’t do that. The most frustrating thing of the afternoon is that we weren’t rewarded for our performance.

“If you play badly and draw then it is quite good, as I am sure the Sunderland players will tell you. Their manager won’t be able to believe they came away with a point.

 

“It’s difficult to take after dominating the game. We’re very disappointed because we should have won. It felt like a good performance, we were in such control, but when you have so much of a game and don’t win, it means something has gone wrong.

“If there was a positive, it was that we started both halves very well. The manager stressed that after [the defeat by] Liverpool and we couldn’t have made better starts to both halves. But twice we gave ourselves a platform and couldn’t build on it.

“Even after they equalised the first time, we had many chances to put the game out of sight, but we couldn’t do it.”

Spurs led early through Nacer Chadli, were immediately pegged back through a deflected Johnson shot, and then dominated for huge periods of this game. Mousa Dembélé and the excellent Erik Lamela hit the crossbar either side of Christian Eriksen prodding them back in front. Even Sunderland’s equalising goal came from a Tottenham player, substitute Harry Kane deflecting a Jordi Gomez cross into his own goal eight minutes from time.

“Spurs were very good for sustained periods, moving the ball from side to side, and we had to battle out there,” said Johnson. “They had periods of possession in front of our box. We defended quite well considering the pressure they put us under.

“We showed character to stay in the game and get a point. It was very open at the start; it was a hot, tough day, and they are a strong powerful team. We have come back again – that is the third time in four games we have been down – and that only shows the character of the team coming through and scoring late.

“If we get a win next week it has been a great start. At this stage last year we only had a point! We need to have a season that is not like last year. We want consolidation, no panic, not to be looking over our shoulder every week. We want to go into games playing with a bit of freedom, not so intense and with so much pressure on us. We want to be comfortable and see where that takes us.”

For Spurs the target is different. The teams at the top, bar Chelsea, are stuttering. Tottenham have the style to be up there. They must find the solidity and the killer instinct to go with it.

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