The Danish playmaker was at the heart of everything Spurs did going forward, setting up the first two goals before adding a third himself, while the Togo striker scored twiceTottenham piled more misery on relegation-threatened Sunderland by coming from a goal down to win 5-1 at White Hart Lane.
Spurs head coach Tim Sherwood was faced with yet more questions about his future in the build-up to Monday's game after it came to light that he will be sacked at the end of the season.
|VIEW FROM WHITE HART LANE
|By Greg Stobart
Tottenham’s performance here was one of a team facing no pressure as they crushed Sunderland on the day it emerged Tim Sherwood will leave his job as manager in the summer.
The club’s decision to change managers once again is understandable given the stuttering performances and results under Sherwood, who was at his entertaining best on the touchline.
Whoever comes in must build the side around Christian Eriksen, the best player on the pitch by a mile as he created the first two goals before scoring the third himself.
And for all the criticism of Sherwood this season, his faith in Tottenham’s youngsters was rewarded in the display of Harry Kane, who should expect to be more involved in the squad from now on.
Sunderland, for their part, were pathetic after taking the lead through Lee Cattermole. The lack of organisation and fight were startling, especially in the second half, and Gus Poyet’s men looked doomed to relegation.
The London club came back from 2-0 down to beat Southampton in their last home game, and gave away a soft opener at White Hart Lane when Vlad Chiriches, returning after just over two months out through injury, gave the ball away and Lee Cattermole scored his first Sunderland goal.
Fit-again striker Emmanuel Adebayor has been a shining light under Sherwood and his 12th goal since the Englishman took over in December drew his side level, before Harry Kane marked his first Premier League start for the club with a goal to put the hosts in front.
The impressive Christian Eriksen set up the first two goals and then added a stylish effort of his own, before Adebayor's second of the game and an injury-time strike from substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson added gloss to the scoreline and pushed Sunderland closer to the Championship.
Sherwood said ahead of the game that he did not expect talk of his future to affect his players and they certainly looked up for the battle in the opening stages.
Tottenham were knocking the ball around with confidence, but they were almost behind 13 minutes in when stand-in Sunderland skipper Wes Brown headed the recalled Adam Johnson's inviting free kick just wide.
The home side failed to heed the warning, though, and they gifted the visitors the lead three minutes later.
Chiriches appeared to panic when Hugo Lloris passed the ball out to him and the defender's stray pass was picked up by Cattermole, who caught the France goalkeeper out with a measured right-foot finish from around 30 yards out.
But Spurs were level when Eriksen's dangerous cross struck Adebayor six yards out and bounced in via the striker's hip and forearm.
It was the visitors who had a spring in their step early in the second half, with Johnson pulling the strings, but Tottenham were in front when Kane repaid the faith put in him by Sherwood just before the hour, turning in another fine Eriksen cross from six yards out.
|TOP OPTA STAT
|Eriksen has been involved in as many Premier League goals (12) as Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil.
Kane and Adebayor then combined to add a fourth goal with five minutes remaining, with the Togo international on hand to turn the ball in after his young strike partner had been denied by Vito Mannone.
And Sigurdsson took advantage of some poor Sunderland defending to finish off the scoring from close range in time added on to heap more misery on Poyet's troubled side.
The Black Cats are seven points from safety and would not climb out of the relegation zone even if they win their two games in hand.