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Winning ugly is still winning: Sunderland vs. Tottenham Hotspur community player ratings

Three points! Yay!

Matthew Ashton/Getty Images

1. Ryan Mason - MC 8.2
Minutes played84
Shots(On Target)3(2)
Ryan Mason was, as always, everywhere against Sunderland and that may have had something to do with how Spurs looked for much of the match, but, if nothing else, Mason was presented with an excellent chance to put his team in the lead and despite getting clattered by the opposition goalkeeper, he took full advantage of that chance.

If I had my druthers, I'd say that Eric Dier was considerable better than Mason in this game, but we all know that scoring goals is pretty damn important (it's the main reason for Nacer Chadli's continued existence). I still liked Mason a lot better as an attacking midfielder than in the pivot, but with our limited options, Mason performed admirably and secured Spurs the three points. Let's take a look at that goal again:

2. ERIC DIER - MC 8.2
Minutes played90
Spurs were consistently hit on the counter by Sunderland leaving our defense exposed. More often than not, it was Eric Dier who was there to break up the play. Whether he was already in position or whether he was sprinting back from further up the field, Dier was pretty much the only help that Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld had all match.

In addition to all the other stats you see over in that little gray box, Dier also blocked four shots and, most notably for me, didn't commit a single foul. Referee Craig Pawson let a lot of stuff go in this game, but for Dier to break up play so well, while also not committing a single foul is pretty damn impressive.

3. Andros Townsend - AMR 7.3
Minutes played29
Either substitute would have been a decent shout for our third best player of the match. If you look purely at numbers, then it should have been Erik Lamela who received the spot. He completed all his passes and his excellent assist set up the winning goal.

However, the numbers discount the impact that Andros had when he made his appearance. Townsend offered a threat that Spurs lacked all match and while none of his four crosses managed to find their target, his pace and width opened things up for Spurs to attack through the middle. As frustrating as Townsend can be at times, he can also be a game changer. It may not have shown up in the "box score" this week, but his impact was evident on the pitch.

OTHERS: Lloris (6.9), Walker (6.4), Alderweireld (5.9), Vertonghen (6.8), Davies (6.3), Son (6.0), Chadli (5.4), Alli (6.6), Kane (5.7)

SUBS: Lamela (7.2) , Carroll (6.0)