Sunderland 3 Tottenham 1. Three sublime points


A much-needed, well-won, heartstopping victory. Sunderland are just about safe now, barring a crazy run-in, and can even aspire to mid-table respectability. Here is an updated, edited version of our earlier attempts to offer running commentary (itself a rarity at Salut! Sunderland) …

This was a pulsating match and, in the end, an inspiring win. Darren Bent grabbed two goals before 30 minutes had passed, had a fabulous chance to score a hat trick before the interval and another chance afterwards, but twice had penalties well saved by Gomes.

After Peter Crouch made life uncomfortable by pulling Spurs one back, Zenden eased the nerves… and three more points were in the bag.

Sunderland’s first-half tenacity and surging pressure made them great value for the two-goal lead.

Bent’s first came from a clinical finish after Campbell’s goalbound effort was parried by Gomes. The second came from a penalty for a clear handball, though Spurs will question whether there was intent.

The third that eluded him would have been from a second penalty, this one harsher after Campbell seemed to run into an outstretched foot rather than actually be tripped by it. Outcome: reasonable spot kick, excellent save.

The third penalty was the clearest, but again Gomes defied Bent to end that part of their season (penalties saved and scored): Gomes 3 Bent 1.

But only a Spurs diehard would have doubted that SAFC fully deserved the lead. And we’ve certainly paid our dues in terms of dodgy decisions against us.

Then, with Pete Sixsmith inside the ground and the other half of Salut! Sunderland facing distraction by family commitments that threatened* access to screens or radio commentary, it remained only to hope nothing would go wrong.

Tottenham’s livelier start after the break – and our second penalty miss – made that caution appropriate. And then Crouch’s simple header put Spurs straight back in the game when we should have been out of sight.

Zenden’s goal came as Salut! struggled to keep in touch with the game, live commentary via the SAFC club site failing again for some reason and the dodgy streams dodgier than ever. It couldn’t have been more welcome.

Spurs had plenty of moments of their own in a game any neutral must have found totally fascinating. Their finishing, fortunately, was worse than ours (though no one did worse in front of goal than Kenwyne Jones, who squandered a massive opportunity to put the game out of doubt) and Craig Gordon was once again in terrific form. Steed Malbranque was outstanding, too, reminding Spurs that what Bernie Kingsley, the Tottenham Supporters’ Trust chairman speaking here the other day, called their “reserves” still have much to offer at the highest level.

And thanks to all those who have troubled to post entirely partisan comments below.

* Football triumphed in the end over family obligations.

Colin Randall

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10 thoughts on “Sunderland 3 Tottenham 1. Three sublime points”

  1. There was only one penalty in doubt in my mind, and it was the second one. And it was still a penalty, it was more Campbell decided to take it and just fall over.

    The handball, as unfair as it was, has to be given in all circumstances. And the third one he hasn’t got the ball and he’s pulled Meyler down.

    While none of them were particularly vicious, they were all fouls in the box so that means they were penalties. If they’d happened outside the box they would similarly have been given as free kicks and no one would have complained.

  2. I have not long been back from the game and even at 2-0 my heart was in my mouth. I have watched Sunderland too many times to feel safe with that scoreline. Two penalty misses and what seemed a good good goal disallowed, Crouch scoring after only being on the park for two minutes, even Gordon’s heroics (again) and Zenden’s wonderful goal didn’t calm the nerves. My natural pessismism was inclined to suggest dropping a point if not all three. It was only the 93rd minute when I finally relaxed.

    BTW Spurs man with the funny name, all three penalties looked fair enough from my seat in the ground but I shall be interested to see on MOTD whether or not Cattermole deserved his card. Maybe my red and white eyes deceived me but there seemed little if any contact. Unfortunately I am staying in the N.E. this weekend, in a Skyless household so I will have to rely on the BBC who seem overly reluctant to show referees’ weaknesses. Am sure it will be clear cut on Football First.

    But this was the sort of match that reminds us why we all love footy. More good results against West Ham, Burnley and Hull needed now Mr Bruce.

    Ha’way the Lads.

  3. As Ian says, “Man, what a life supporting Sunderland is.” I’ve only seen (on-screen, not live) two matches this season, both against Liverpool. We won the first because we ran all over them and didn’t let them play; we lost the second because we hardly ran at all and politely handed them every 50-50 ball. And then today, though it sounds as if the game at times could have gone either way, we rose beautifully to the occasion against a side that was working hard and not playing badly. Oh me of little faith, I’d been hoping for a single point. That’ll learn me. (No, it probably won’t.)
    If that man with the funny name is correct, Darren Bent must have spent most of the season having childish tantrums and I for one am glad. But that, of course, is a biased opinion.

  4. Congratulations to you Sunderland fans and also to Darren bent, my team doesnt deserve f**k all and you today gentleman have shown us up for the pampered, over paid, over hyped, underachieving w**ers that my team THFC are.
    yours faithully a very angry yid

  5. Davy41

    We’d have to be really trying to go down now. I repeat what I said when we ran the previews from Spurs fans – thanks to all of you (3000+) who’ve been this way in the past few days.

    Oh, and to the man with the funny name in the first comment, of course we’re biased.

  6. From the Blackcats list …

    We’ve absolutely battered a prospective top four side yet could easily have dropped another 2 points. Man what a life supporting Sunderland. As was said earlier we should have been out of sight. Knew Benty would miss his 2nd but thought he’d rattle in the 3rd!! What a goal by Zenden – very happy (relieved!) to see that go in. Don’t think Kenwyne will want to watch that miss – dear me.All the results have gone our way so I think 38 is enough & we can look forward to the transfer rumours now for the next 5 months. I personally would like us to finish at least higher than Stoke which means we need a couple more wins to finish off the season – an away win would be nice along the way as well.Also thought the crowd were excellent – atmosphere sounded top quality on the tele.

  7. well played sunderland , you deserved the win. SPURS were pretty average today but with half a team missing i thought today we might struggle. Anyway onwards & upwards to WEMBLEY & then the bring on the gooners for an almighty battle at THE LANE. COYS !!!!

  8. LOL

    What a load of biased nonsense

    Spurs are better than Sunderland that shows in the league positions

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