Tottenham Hotspur 2 Sunderland 0: match report

07 November 2009 05:24
Tottenham Hotspur went back into the top four after a controversial and hard-fought victory over Sunderland that denied the visitors a chance to overtake the Londoners, and had manager Steve Bruce incandescent with rage.

The Sunderland manager was unhappy enough that Robbie Keane was allowed to give Spurs the lead in the 12th minute with a close range finish that Bruce and Sunderland's fans felt was offside, although TV replays showed the Irishman was marginally onside.

 Related ArticlesPremier League tablePremier League actionPremier League fixturesSport on televisionBut Spurs would surely not have won 2-0 if referee Kevin Friend had sent off Heurelho Gomes in the 50th minute when the Spurs goalkeeper fouled Darren Bent as he ran in on goal. Friend awarded a penalty but gave Gomes a yellow rather than red card, and the fact that the keeper saved Bent's penalty as well as making a string of other excellent saves can only have made the sense of injustice worse for the visitors.

Certainly Sunderland deserved something from the game, having dominated in midfield and giving Gomes far more work than Craig Gordon at the other end.

Jordan Henderson missed a sitter for Sunderland before Keane put Spurs ahead, volleying at goal from Peter Crouch's knockdown. Gordon made a great save but the ball dropped for Keane to run it over the line.

But Sunderland continued to play the better football, Andy Reid hit the post from long range and the Black Cats were denied a penalty when Gomes took the ball and Bent's feet in one movement.

The referee did award a spot-kick five minutes into the second half, but Gomes stayed on the pith to save Bent's penalty, and then made a superb save to keep out Michael Turner's header late in the game.

By then Spurs were 2-0 up after Tom Huddlestone thumped the ball in off the underside of the bar from 20 yards in the 67th minute, allowing Spurs to return to winning ways after two successive league defeats.

Source: Telegraph