EPL Sunday wrap: Defoe's stunner settles derby, Spurs held by Burnley
Jermain Defoe scored a sensational long-range volley as Sunderland leapt three points clear of the Premier League relegation zone by beating derby rivals Newcastle United 1-0 on Sunday.
Defoe struck in first-half stoppage-time, crashing a sublime left-foot volley into the top-right corner from 25 yards after Steven Fletcher headed on Costel Pantilimon's punt downfield.
The goal sparked jubilant celebrations at the Stadium of Light and Defoe, who returned to English football in January after a disappointing spell at Toronto FC, was seen to wipe away tears as he left the pitch at halftime.
The England international's goal gave manager Dick Advocaat victory in his first Wear-Tyne derby and enabled Sunderland to extend their run of successive wins over Newcastle to five.
Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino admitted that his team faced an uphill battle to secure Champions League qualification following a 0-0 draw at Burnley.
The stalemate left Spurs seven points below the top four in sixth place, having played a game more than fourth-place Manchester City, who visit Crystal Palace on Monday.
Spurs also have a vastly inferior goal difference to the teams in the top four and with only seven games of the season remaining, Pochettino conceded that the odds were against his side.
"It is difficult, but we have seven games – we will try," said the Argentine, who handed top scorer Harry Kane the captaincy in the absence of injured goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
"It is true that it is not easy. This game was a very tough game and we need to try to win the most points possible in the next seven games.
Burnley finished the weekend third-from-bottom, two points below Hull City and Aston Villa, with Sunderland a point further up in 15th place.