• English Barclays Premier League
  • 29 December 2012, 12:45pm
  • Stadium of Light
  • Attendance: 41,168
  • O'Shea, 40
  • Cuéllar, og 48
  • Lennon, 51

live commentary

FULL-TIME:Tottenham hold on to seal a deserved victory which takes them above Chelsea into third place. They were unlucky to be 1-0 down at the break and hit back with two early goals in the second half to turn the game around. Sunderland pressed for a late equaliser, but were only in the game after a string of superb saves from Mignolet. Thanks for following our coverage. Scroll down to see how it all unfolded.

90+3 mins:Johnson whips a corner into the middle but Lloris again punches clear under pressure from Fletcher and wins a free-kick for his side. Lloris has dominated his area today.

90 mins:Bale is being replaced by Sigurdsson. The fourth official holds up his board, indicating five minutes added on.

88 mins:Johnson fizzes in a low cross which gets stuck inside the Spurs six-yard box before Naughton hoofs clear. "Knew this was coming, squeaky bum time lads," says Dave from Harlow. Sanchez from Sheffield is predicting a late Sunderland goal, adding, "Spurs are an 80-minute team. Statistics show this."

86 mins:Bale, who is being booed now by the Sunderland fans, fires a shot goalwards but Mignolet is behind the ball.

84 mins:Spurs are tightening things up as Parker replaces Lennon, who has had an excellent game.

83 mins:Adebayor has a golden chance to put the game to bed after being played in on goal by Dempsey's clever flick, but Mignolet spreads himself well and makes another brilliant save.

81 mins:Bale breaks into the Sunderland box and goes down under Gardner's challenge. Atkinson blows his whistle, but instead of pointing to the spot, the referee awards Sunderland a free-kick and books Bale for diving. It's a common theme this season, but in Bale's defence, he definitely had his knee clipped. His reputation for going down too easily has cost his side a penalty. That's also his fifth yellow card of the season, ruling him out of Tottenham's game with Reading.

79 mins:The game is becoming really stretched as Sunderland search for an equaliser. They win a free-kick near the corner after Dembele is shown a yellow card for a foul on Gardner, but Spurs survive.

78 mins:Lennon earns a corner after his low cross is cleared behind by Bramble. Dembele gets his head to the set-piece but it's straight at Mignolet.

76 mins:Spurs make their first sub as Defoe is replaced by Dempsey.

73 mins:Sessegnon draws another foul from Dawson, but Lloris again punches the Sunderland free-kick away from the Sours danger zone.

70 mins:Dawson is booked for clattering into Sessegnon in the Sunderland corner, before Lloris punches Campbell's free-kick clear.

68 mins:O'Shea is hobbling off and passes the captain's armband to Cuellar. Bramble is his replacement in defence.

66 mins:Concern for Sunderland as O'Shea appears to have damaged his hamstring. The physio is on.

63 mins:Sunderland make their first change as Campbell replaces Kilgallon, who has been rinsed by Lennon this afternoon. Colback moves to left-back.

62 mins:Sessegnon finds a yard of space on the left of the Spurs box but slices his shot wide of the target. It's been a really open game this half.

60 mins:What a chance for Spurs to score a third. Bale blitzes through the Sunderland defence and lays it on a plate for Defoe in the centre of the box. Defoe almost stumbles over the ball as he takes a touch before shooting, only for Mignolet to pull off a quite stunning save.

56 mins:Fletcher is down and needs treatment after a clash with Dawson.

54 mins:Sunderland look to hit back as Johnson lines up a shot from 20 yards, but Lloris palms the ball away before Caulker clears the rebound.

52 mins: SPURS TURN THE GAME AROUND!Nightmare start to the half for Sunderland. Lennon gets a bit of luck as the ball cannons into his path off Kilgallon, but he's still got plenty of work to do as he slips past O'Shea before tucking the ball into the corner of the net. Lovely finish.

48 mins: SPURS GIFTED AN EQUALISER!Another Sunderland central defender scores - but it comes at the wrong end. Walker's corner should be cleared but CUELLAR and Gardner both go to head the ball and Cuellar ends up glancing it in the wrong direction past his own keeper.

47 mins:Cuellar is shown the first yellow card of the afternoon after a rash challenge on Defoe inside the Sunderland half.

46 mins:Sunderland restart the action as they seek their fourth win five games.

HALF-TIME:Tottenham dominated most of the half but they go into the break a goal down. O'Shea was the unlikely scorer with five minutes remaining after Spurs failed to clear Larsson's excellent free-kick. Adebayor has wasted his side's best chance, hitting the crossbar from close range when he should have scored. Join us for the second half soon and keep your comments coming in.

45 mins:Defoe goes down on the edge of the Sunderland box looking for a free-kick but he doesn't get one. If Atkinson didn't think that was a foul then he should have booked Defoe for impersonating Bale. Two minutes added on.

43 mins:That goal has shaken Spurs, who were comfortably on top prior to O'Shea's strike.

40 mins: SUNDERLAND PINCH A GOAL!Well this has come against the run of play. Larsson deserves credit after whipping a dangerous free-kick with plenty of pace into the heart of the Spurs box. The ball breaks to Fletcher, whose close-range strike is well saved by Lloris, but O'SHEA is lurking and sidefoots the rebound into an empty net to bag his first ever goal for the Black Cats, ruining first goalscorer bets up and down the country.

37 mins:Johnson bends a free-kick into the Spurs box. Cuellar flicks it on with his head, forcing Lloris to scramble back to his line, but the ball loops over and lands on the roof of the net.

33 mins:Spurs are well on top as they force another corner which Sunderland defend. Lloris has been a spectator at the other end. John from Scarborough says, "Defoe first and 3-1 Spurs. Only 50/1 but most likely outcome."

30 mins:Spurs denied by the crossbar! Defoe curls the ball into the danger zone from the edge of the box. Cuellar should clear but completely miskicks five yards from his own goal, gifting Adebayor a gilt-edged chance to score, but the Togolese striker pokes his effort against the bar. Should have buried that.

29 mins:Kilgallon is really struggling to defend against the speedy Lennon. The defender is left flat on his backside after another jinking run before Lennon stands the ball up for Bale, who heads just wide from 10 yards.

25 mins:Sunderland clear a couple of corners before Spurs carve out the best chance of the game. Lennon threads a precise pass through to Adebayor, but Mignolet quickly closes down the angle and makes a crucial block with his legs.

24 mins:Lennon races towards Kilgallon and finds some space to deliver a cross which is cleared behind for a corner.

21 mins:Sandro tests Mignolet with a low 20-yard shot which the keeper fumbles but gathers at the second attempt. Cuellar needs treatment on his leg for a tackle on Lennon in the build-up to that attack.

18 mins:Danger for Spurs. McClean delivers a teasing cross to the back post. An unmarked Johnson does well to stab the ball back into the mixer, but Dawson is well positioned to hack it out for a throw. "A nice little 2-0 win to take us up to 3rd please boys," says Clare from Cheshunt.

15 mins:Lennon gets in behind Kilgallon down Tottenham's right and cuts the ball back for Dembele, but the Belgian can't control it and concedes a foul after shoving Gardner to the ground.

12 mins:Bale sets off on another barnstorming run but this time his cross is blocked by Gardner before Sunderland clear their lines. A confident David from Barnsley says, "We are Tottenham...super Tottenham...we are Tottenham...from the Lane! 0-2 Spurs today, no danger."

8 mins:Sessegnon tries to turn past Naughton inside the Spurs box, but the full-back holds his position and watches the ball out for a goal kick.

5 mins:This time Johnson does win a free-kick after being bundled over by Dembele, but Gardner's driven free-kick deflects off Defoe and into the safe hands of Lloris.

3 mins:Half-chance for Spurs. Bale spins past Gardner and pulls the ball back to Adebayor on the edge of the area, but the striker is off balance as he strikes the ball and Mignolet makes an easy save.

2 mins:Johnson claims for a foul after running into Naughton about 10 yards outside the Spurs box, but referee Martin Atkinson tells the winger to get back to his feet.

0 mins:Spurs get us underway, knowing they will leapfrog Chelsea into third with a win today.

1241:The festive feast of football continues in the North East as the players make their way out to the pitch. Chris from Belfast predicts, "2-1 Spurs, Defoe double and own goal."

1205:Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage from the Stadium of Light. Sunderland have made one change from their Boxing Day win over Manchester City. Danny Rose is ineligible against his parent club as a condition of his season-long loan agreement and is replaced by John O'Shea, who returns from illness. Spurs make two changes in defence as Steven Caulker and Michael Dawson replace Jan Vertonghen and William Gallas, who doesn't even make the bench.

  • English Barclays Premier League
  • 29 December 2012, 12:45pm
  • Stadium of Light
  • Attendance: 41,168
  • O'Shea, 40
  • Cuéllar, og 48
  • Lennon, 51

match report

Tottenham cemented their place in the top-four as Aaron Lennon sealed a 2-1 comeback win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

John O'Shea had given Sunderland the lead just before half-time, but Lennon netted a solo effort as Spurs hit back in the second-period with two goals in a frantic three-minute spell.

Emmanuel Adebayor spurned an early opening for Tottenham when he scuffed the ball at Simon Mignolet, while at the other end Craig Gardner's deflected free-kick failed to trouble Hugo Lloris.

There was plenty attacking intent from both sides and Adam Johnson's dangerous cutback was cleared by Michael Dawson before Mignolet almost made a mess of a low shot from Sandro.

Spurs twice went close within a few minutes as Adebayor saw his shot blocked by Mignolet after racing clear and Gareth Bale then nodded narrowly wide.

Adebayor endured more frustration when he somehow blazed against the bar from a few yards out following Carlos Cuellar's clumsy attempt to cut out Jermain Defoe's cross.

Sunderland made the most of this reprieve in the 40th minute as Tottenham's failure to clear Sebastian Larsson's free-kick allowed O'Shea to stab the ball home.

But the happy hosts were soon deflated in the second period when Cuellar (48) needlessly nodded a corner into his own net after an aerial clash with team-mate Gardner.

A fine individual goal from Lennon (51) then stunned Sunderland as he left O'Shea in his wake with a lightning burst of pace and prodded the ball past the onrushing Mignolet.

Johnson tried to hit back with a low drive that was pushed away by Lloris, but the normally deadly Defoe then had a moment to forget, shooting too close to Mignolet after a fine run and cross from Bale.

The Welsh wide man was felled in the box by Gardner in the closing stages, but he was left bemused when the referee booked him for simulation instead of awarding a penalty.

Adebayor's finishing was yet again at fault soon afterwards when he burst into the box and fired at Mignolet, but Kyle Naughton was forced to make a timely interception as Sunderland searched for a late leveller.

text the commentator

team line-up

22Simon Mignolet
8Craig Gardner
12Matthew Kilgallon62
16John O'Shea68
24Carlos Cuéllar
23James McClean
14Jack Colback
7Sebastian Larsson80
21Adam Johnson
28Stéphane Sessegnon
26Steven Fletcher


15David Vaughan
17Ji Dong-Won
10Connor Wickham80
11James McFadden
19Titus Bramble68
20Keiren Westwood
9Fraizer Campbell62


Martin Atkinson

team line-up

25Hugo Lloris
16Kyle Naughton
33Steven Caulker
28Kyle Walker
20Michael Dawson
7Aaron Lennon83
19Mousa Dembélé
11Gareth Bale90
18Jermain Defoe76
10Emmanuel Adebayor


29Jake Livermore
2Clint Dempsey76
24Brad Friedel
5Jan Vertonghen
8Scott Parker83
22Gylfi Sigurdsson90
6Tom Huddlestone


Martin Atkinson

match stats

possession %4455
shots on target48
shots off target14
tackles won1412