Club Focus – Sunderland – Gyan strikes again to ensure stalemate at White Hart Lane

The Mackems will surely have had the happier set of fans last night after taking an impressive point from the clash with Spurs in north London last night. Asamoah Gyan’s 67th minute strike immediately pulled back the visiting Black Cats, who had fallen behind to Rafael van der Vaart’s opener mere minutes earlier.

The first half had been a somewhat quiet affair, Tom Huddlestone’s shot rattling the woodwork being the highlight. Spurs had deservedly gone in the lead, however, when Gareth Bale’s cross was controlled by the divine Dutchman, who then slammed the ball home to give the hosts the lead. The goal ensured the last minute summer signing has thus far scored in each of his games at White Hart Lane – and it is little wonder he is being so adored by the Tottenham faithful already.

Speaking of summer signings, however, Sunderland’s record new boy Asamoah Gyan restored parity just three minutes later when an awful lack of communication in the Spurs defence allowed the Ghanaian to run through one-on-one, and he slotted home his fifth goal of the season.

The two sides remain level on points near the European spots in the Premier League, with Spurs in sixth and Sunderland in seventh. All five teams above them, however, have a game in hand following last night’s clash, as do many of the clubs directly below them in the league. With the other teams playing their matches on Wednesday evening, and with the table being so tight so far this season, both sides could mathematically drop significantly down the table before they even kick a ball again.

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce said in his post-match statement that the North-Easteners’ defence was key to keeping out the team who conquered European champions Inter Milan last week. He said: “You need your defenders and your goalkeeper to perform in circumstances like that and a big hats off to them. The defence earned that point for us because they were fantastic.” Striker Gyan, who has quickly endeared himself to last night’s visiting supporters following his £13m move from Rennes after the World Cup, felt it was easier to miss after Spurs’ defensive error allowed him a clear chance at goal: “I was very surprised. It was quite lucky. The defender was in front of me, he miskicked and then the ball was in front of the goal. I had to punish them for that mistake. I was a bit lucky there.”

The Cats must now focus on one of the toughest games any team is likely to face in a season – Chelsea at Stamford Bridge – on Saturday. The Blues have their local derby at home to Fulham this evening, and will be hoping Man City can do them a favour by holding their own neighbours, Manchester United, at the City of Manchester Stadium tonight.

With top scorer Darren Bent currently injured, Gyan appears to have stepped up to the plate at just the right time. Many fans were wondering where their goals would come from other than Bent, and Gyan has answered those questions resoundingly with his five goals so far this season, three of which have come during the England striker’s absence in the last two games.

Related posts

Leave a Comment