- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

SUNDERLAND, England (AP) - Tottenham’s pursuit of Premier League leader Chelsea was frustrated by a 0-0 draw with relegation-threatened Sunderland on Tuesday, missing an opportunity to seize on its title rivals dropping points.

On a night when Sunderland’s organization and determination was enough to keep misfiring Tottenham at bay, Son Heung-min looked the player most likely to make the difference. The Tottenham forward was energetic and came as close as anyone to opening up Sunderland on a frustrating night for Tottenham, striking just clear of the crossbar in the second half after setting up Victor Wanyama’s header.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side did manage to dislodge Arsenal from second place on goal difference after its north London rival lost 2-1 to Watford. But Chelsea remains nine points in front of Tottenham and Arsenal after drawing 1-1 at Liverpool.

Tottenham lacked cutting edge against a Sunderland side which had lost its previous two matches and managed to move off the bottom of the standings with the point. But Hull, which is at Manchester United on Wednesday, is only behind Sunderland due to its inferior goal difference.

Lamine Kone and Didier Ndong announced their return from the African Cup of Nations with committed displays for Sunderland.

Kone, the Ivorian who had a mixed start to the season in central defense, looked more like the player who made such an impact last season, while Gabon midfielder Ndong provided energy and endeavor.

“I’m pleased that we took something from the game as Spurs are a top team with some exceptional young players and some of the most valued players in the country,” Sunderland manager David Moyes said.

“Didier and Lamine brought that bit of energy and strength that we’ve been missing in some of the games. They look like they’ve come back a bit fresher and ready to go.”

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