Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham


(Originally posted December 7th 2013)

Tottenham earned a deserved 1-2 win over Sunderland to ­lift them up to 6th in the table after Paulinho and a John O’Shea own goal put them ahead following Adam Johnson giving the home side the lead at The Stadium of Light.

Tottenham had the first real effort on goal when Paulinho fizzed a long range shot narrowly over the bar on the 12 minute mark.  Sunderland hit back 5 minutes later though when a long ball over the top from Phil Bardsley found Steven Fletcher, but he hit a tame volley well wide.

This started a manic two minutes with the away side hitting back next, German Lewis Holtby shrugged of Ki 30 yards from goal and had a shot that was already going wide but Vito Mannone tipped it past the post to make sure. Sunderland had another great chance a minute later when Jozy Altidore laid the ball off to Jack Colback who blasted over the bar from the left of the box.

An end to end opening 25 minutes continued when Paulinho played a nice through ball to Aaron Lennon who dinked the ball back to the Brazilian but his shot was deflected wide. Holtby and Jermaine Defoe then both dragged poor shots past the post.

Defoe tried to cause Sunderland trouble again in the 34th minute when he surged at the Tottenham defence but his goal bound effort was brilliantly blocked wide.

The opening goal of the game went Sunderland’s way after a horrific error from Hugo Lloris. A nice build up in the middle of the park made its way to right back Ondrej Celustka who whipped in what looked like an aimless cross to no-one however Frenchman Lloris went for a needless punch that landed at the feet of Adam Johnson who had no choice but to lash it home for 1-0 Sunderland.

Tottenham didn’t have to wait long for the equalizer though, levelling the scores in equally fortunate fashion 7 minutes later. Kyle Walker delivered a fantastic freekick from the right into the area and Paulinho nicked infront of Bardsley to poke Tottenham level after Nacer Chadli headed the ball across goal.

The half finished with Lloris again looking unconvincing in goal. Celustka hit an ambitious shot from outside the box which Lloris should catch but nervously fumbled it away.

Tottenham started the second half the brighter though, finding the back of the net again just 5 minutes into the second period. Moussa Dembele broke free on the left hand side and cut the ball back that unfortunately hit John O’Shea went over the line for 1-2.

This started a great spell of dominance from them. Chadli broke free of the Sunderland defence and with all the space in the world, squared the ball to Defoe who would’ve tucked it away for 1-3 if it wasn’t for an outstanding interception from goal scorer Johnson, sliding the ball out for a corner.

Spurs were having lots of joy down the Right hand side with first Walker and then Lennon breaking free putting balls into the box, Holtby had a shot blocked after Walker’s pass and then Defoe had a header hit the post following Lennon’s.

A bad day got worse for Defoe when he was put in after a nice through ball put a right foot shot on the turn wasn’t good enough and again went wide. Should’ve scored.

Sunderland’s first chance of the second half didn’t come until 20 minutes from time but it wasn’t worth waiting for, Sebastian Larsson delivered cross into the box but Fletcher headed wide.

Sunderland then had a Penalty claim 15 minutes from time when a Corner was knocked out by substitute Sandro who stuck his arm out and deliberately handballed it. Sunderland rightfully aggravated that no spot kick was given.

Despite Defoe’s wastefulness in front of goal through the course of the game he almost scored a fantastic goal to seal the after a Tottenham winger broke free of the defence yet again, this time Townsend who’d been on the pitch a matter of minutes, he found Defoe who flicked it against the post.

The Black Cats did finally push for the equalizer, their main strategy being crosses from Swede Sebastian Larsson. He first had one from the right headed wide by Fletcher before one the other side caused the Tottenham defence havoc, faling to be cleared but Borini could only hit a weak shot straight at Lloris from 6 yards out.

The game petered out with Tottenham wasting one more golden chance. Yet another cross, this one from Townsend again finding Paulinho who should’ve scored with a free header. Townsend then had a shot tipped over from Mannone from the edge of the box in injury time.

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