Harry Kane’s goal just shy of the hour was enough to condemn Sunderland to their fourth defeat of the Premier League season.
Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 win over the Black Cats at White Hart Lane marks the third time this term that David Moyes’ side has been beaten by a single goal.
Adnan Januzaj was shown a red card in the dying moments of the contest following a second booking.
Didier Ndong made his first start for Sunderland and he was joined in the side by the returning Lee Cattermole.
Papy Djilobodji partnered Lamine Kone in the centre of the Black Cats defence.
The hosts dominated the game in terms of scoring chances, but Sunderland boss Moyes was left disappointed by the nature of the winning score, after his players had worked hard to protect their goal.
Kane was alert to poke the ball home after the visiting defence had failed to clear a Dele Alli’s header.
The Spurs goal-scorer was helped from the field later in the game after suffering an ankle injury.
Jordan Pickford made a number of good saves to keep Sunderland in the contest, and his long ball created a scoring opportunity for Jermain Defoe after 20 minutes.
But the former Spurs was unable to beat Spurs ‘keeper Hugo Lloris.
And later in the first half Kyle Walker cleared Steven Pienaar’s shot off the line after he connected with Januzaj’s cross.
Januzaj was sent off by referee Mike Dean for hauling down Ben Davies, after having already been booked for talking out of turn to the match official.
Sunderland return to action on Wednesday evening when they make the trip to London to face QPR in the EFL Cup.
Premier League action returns to the Stadium of Light on Saturday, when Crystal Palace are the visitors.