Sunderland’s new signing Jermain Defoe had the chance to show his former employers what they were missing as he was handed his Black Cats debut against Tottenham in the Barclays Premier League.
Defoe spent nine and a half years at Spurs and had been training with the club’s Under-21s shortly before his move to the North East.
Here, We take a look at the striker’s performance on his return to White Hart Lane.
Defoe’s first involvement was to go down over the planted leg of Jan Vertonghen in the penalty area but, despite Sunderland’s appeals, referee Chris Foy was unmoved. The striker made a handful of bending runs behind Tottenham’s back four in the first half but struggled to beat the offside trap. The linesman did, however, keep his flag down moments before Defoe drew a foul from Vertonghen, and Sebastian Larsson curled the resulting free-kick into the top corner to make it 1-1. The second half largely consisted of Defoe chasing after long balls as he, and Sunderland, struggled to establish any sustained possession.
Defoe was unable to find an opening in the first half. The 32-year-old was put into the box just before the break but was unable to nip round Vertonghen, who made a well-timed challenge. Defoe was slid through again early in the second period and this time he managed to get a shot away but it was blocked by Eric Dier.
Defoe scored 91 league goals during two spells at White Hart Lane and the home crowd gave their former favourite a warm reception when his name was read out before kick-off and again, when he was substituted for Danny Graham in the 74th minute.
It was far from a fairytale return for Defoe, who was starved of chances and, apart from winning Larsson’s brilliantly-struck free-kick, the striker struggled to influence the contest.
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