Black Cats end the year in defeat

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Football/Golf Writer

Sunderland 1 Tottenham 2

SUNDERLAND failed to end the year with a win when Tottenham came from behind to claim all three points at the Stadium of Light.

After John O'Shea's first goal in more than three years had put the Black Cats a goal up five minutes before half-time there were hopes of a fourth win in five games.

O'Shea was on hand to side-foot the loose ball over the line after Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had made a great save to deny Steven Fletcher from close range.

But Tottenham's response after the restart was the sort of quality of a team now sitting third in the Premier League.

Less than five minutes in to the second half they had completely turned the scoreline around. After Carlos Cuellar's headed own goal from Mousa Dembele had levelled things up, Tottenham then sensed a quickfire second.

And when Aaron Lennon's touch bounced back to him off Matt Kilgallon the England winger knocked the ball beyond O'Shea before applying the finish inside Simon Mignolet's left post.

Sunderland finished with six forwards on the pitch but were unable to come up with the equaliser, while Mignolet prevented further Spurs goals with a couple of great stops to deny Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe.

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