Bent 29, Zenden 86
Darren Bent scored twice against his old club Tottenham to put a huge dent in their quest for the fourth Champions League spot.
The England hopeful had a point to prove to the Spurs fans and former boss Harry Redknapp and it did not take him long to prove it. Frazier Campbell’s header was pushed into his path by Heurelho Gomes and the striker slotted the ball into the net after just 36 seconds. He and the 40,000 Sunderland fans in the Stadium of Light could not have asked for a better start. The Black Cats were well on top and were awarded a penalty after Malbranque’s parried effort struck Kyle Walker on the hand. Bent stepped up and struck the ball into the bottom left hand corner for his 22nd league goal of the season. Sunderland were awarded another penalty just before half time when Modric brought down Campbell. Bent again took the penalty but this time Gomes produced an excellent save down to his left to deny the Sunderland striker.
After a disastrous first half, Tottenham brought on Jermain Defoe and Niko Kranjcar. The former was straight into the action and saw his first shot at goal well saved by Craig Gordon. The visitors looked livelier in the second half and Gordon had to produce another quality save to this time deny a Bale header. Sunderland were awarded their third penalty after Palacios brought down Meyler in the area. Darren Bent saw his penalty saved by the Brazilian keeper for a second time leaving him in disbelief. The Wearsider’s thought they had wrapped up the game after Ferdinand’s placed shot hit the back of the net, only for the effort to be ruled out for a foul on the Gomes. Sunderland were made to pay for their missed opportunities as sub Peter Crouch headed Spurs back into the game with 20 minutes left. However Steve Bruce’s side finally wrapped up the game when Bolo Zenden volleyed superbly from Jordan Henderson’s cross, to quell any ideas of a Tottenham comeback.
Tottenham did not really turn up at the game until the second half and will be disappointed with their defending, which at times was amateurish. If they have any hope of gaining the fourth Champions League spot they must get their injured players back quickly as they have some tough games coming up. If they can get their defence in order and keep a consistent team they can challenge Manchester City all the way for the grail that is fourth place. Sunderland look to be safe from relegation and have the look of a mid-table side. Their home form has been their rock this season but they have been poor away from the Stadium of Light. This result will give them a lot of confidence and with their next three games being against opposition below them then can look to kick on up the table.