domingo, 18 de diciembre de 2011

Tottenham Hotspur 1 - 0 Sunderland

Tottenham proved last weekend’s defeat to Stoke was no more than a blip as Harry Redknapp’s men continued on their march to a title challenge. For Sunderland, it was a sudden realisation that not everything will be rosy in the O’Neill era. Spurs now sit third; for Sunderland, they remain 16th.Date: 18th December 2011

Venue: White Hart Lane

Attendance: 36,021

Score: 1-0

Scorers: Pavlyuchenko (61)

Yellow Cards: Assou-Ekotto; Vaughan, Richardson.

Red Cards: None.

Spurs Friedel, Assou-Ekotto, King, Gallas, Walker, Parker, Lennon, Sandro, Modric, Adebayor, van der Vaart. Subs: Rose, Livermore, Pavlyuchenko

Sunderland Westwood, Bardsley, Brown, Bramble, O’Shea, Vaughan, Larsson, Sessegnon, Colback, Richardson, Wickham. Subs: McClean, Gardner, Bendtner.

Full Match Report
Assou-Ekotto had the first attempt of the match: a thumping shot from distance that deflected wide off Rafael van der Vaart. Sandro then managed to scuff a shot wide as Spurs started the game stronger. However, without Gareth Bale through injury, the home side lacked the spark that led Sir Alex Ferguson to claim they were title contenders earlier in the day.

Roman Pavlyuchenko came on for Aaron Lennon just after 20 minutes, with Lennon having suffered a hamstring injury. The alteration gave Spurs a bit more guile in the final third, but they still looked lacklustre as Sunderland began to dominate. Richardson had a shot well saved by Friedel, before the former United man missed an open goal. Sunderland finished the half stronger, but no side deserved the lead going into the interval.

The Black Cats carried on in the same style at the start of the second-half, with David Vaughan the next to trouble Brad Friedel in the home goal. However, just after the hour, Spurs turned the game around. With the home support growing restless, van der Vaart held the ball up well before playing in Roman Pavlyuchenko: the substitute fired past Westwood to give Spurs a lead that neither side really deserved.

Modric then fired over the bar from eight yards out with the goal gaping for him, following a good save by Westwood to deny Adebayor. Walker and van der Vaart saw efforts fly past the post, while Adebayor and Pavlyuchenko were both denied by an in-form Irishman in the Sunderland goal.

However, an equaliser was not forth-coming, and with Nicolas Bendtner’s miscued volley, Sunderland lost a match they probably deserved a point from.

Man of the Match: Kieren Westwood – Sunderland’s ‘keeper looks like being one of the best legacies left by Steve Bruce. He played the game of his life today, and was unlucky not to keep a clean sheet against one of the division’s most dangerous attacks.

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