Spurs sink gutsy Black Cats
By Mark Buckingham. Last Updated: 03/12/05 4:55pm
Tottenham Hotspur moved into fourth in The Premiership after overcoming a spirited Sunderland 3-2 at White Hart Lane.
A stunning free kick from Dean Whitehead put the top-flight's bottom club in front before Mido's close-range finish sent the teams in level at the break.
An own goal from Danny Collins handed the hosts the advantage, before Anthony Le Tallec levelled, only for Michael Carrick to grab a winner with his first goal for the club after Robbie Keane had missed a penalty.
Spurs dominated the first half, during which the Sunderland defence spent most of their time in a state of pandemonium.
After goalkeeper Ben Alnwick wafted at Jermaine Jenas' cross, Teemu Tainio's ball into the box was headed over by Mido.
Alnwick then saved well from Tainio before the visitors' panicking back-line eventually cleared the ball at about the fifth attempt after Ledley King's volley was blocked.
Miraculously, Sunderland went ahead on 15 minutes when Whitehead curled a sumptuous 25-yard free kick into the top corner.
Normal service was quickly resumed as Lee Young-pyo's teasing centre left the Black Cats defenders feeling queasy once more.
Jenas curled a free kick straight into Alnwick's arms on the half hour mark after Gary Breen was booked for a rash tackle on his Republic of Ireland team-mate Keane.
The hosts deservedly drew level on 37 minutes when a clever reverse pass from Paul Stalteri freed Keane on the right of the box and his cross was converted at the far post by Mido, after more flimsy defending from Sunderland.
Egyptian ace Mido then had further chances to score, firstly heading over the bar and then blazing off target after a sharp turn on the edge of the box.
Into the second half and Spurs forged in front in comical circumstances on 51 minutes after Martin Jol's side took the direct route to goal.
Paul Robinson's punt down field was flicked on by Mido and, under pressure from Keane, Alnwick and Collins collided with each other, with the ball coming off the defender and trickling over the line, although it may also have inadvertently touched the Spurs striker's hand.
Following the home defeats to Birmingham and Liverpool in the past week, Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy had demanded a greater show of character and his request was granted when the visitors equalised on the hour mark.
Andy Gray mis-controlled a header forward, but the ball broke kindly for another substitute and Le Tallec placed the ball beyond Robinson.
Within 60 seconds, Spurs could have been back in front as Stalteri's cross was glanced towards goal by Tainio, but the Finland international's header bounced off the post.
Spurs passed up another chance to go back ahead when they were awarded a dubious penalty after Breen was adjudged to have used his hand to block Keane's flick, when the ball appeared to strike him in the midriff.
A sense of justice prevailed, though, when Alnwick dived superbly to his right to push away Keane's spot kick.
But Sunderland wilted once again on 77 minutes when Carrick was afforded the freedom of White Hart Lane to cut in to the box and caress the ball into the far corner, somehow managing to avoid the retreating visitors with his finish.
The Black Cats lacked the quality to create the necessary chance for another equaliser and they remain adrift at the foot of The Premiership, while Spurs leapfrog North London rivals Arsenal in the table.
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|Tottenham Hotspur||Team Name||Sunderland|
|6||Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||2|
|4||Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||3|
|8||Total Fouls Conceded||20|
Barclays Premier League
|4||West Ham United||17||31|
|15||West Bromwich Albion||17||17|
|16||Queens Park Rangers||17||17|