Campaign ends with away day defeat.
Sunderland ended a lackluster campaign with a defeat at White Hart Line, but the score line was harsh on the Lads.It took only five minutes for Spurs to make the first chance of the game. The Sunderland back line was caught out by the bouncing ball and Adebayor muscled his way through on goal. The striker still had a lot to do as he was at a tight angle but his shot was well saved at Mignolet’s front post.
A possible penalty was the talking point of the 20th minute when Bale went down under Larsson’s challenge. The Welshman’s reputation preceded him as he was booked for diving when it looked a certain penalty. This angered the already emotional Spurs fans as they competed for a top four place with their bitter rivals Arsenal.
With their first attack, Sunderland had the best chance of the game. Some good inter play between Connor Wickham and Danny Graham saw the former in a good crossing position. The striker played the ball to his partner and Wickham flicked it point blank towards Lloris, who brilliantly saved the ball.
Five minutes after the interval, Sunderland were presented with another brilliant opportunity. Wickham caught Huddlestone napping and sent Graham battling with Vertongen. This was a battle which the front man won but his shot was palmed away by the diving Lloris. Vertongen had to be awake to clear the rebound as Wickham was lurking.
In the 69th minute, a Michael Dawson header from a corner was well saved by Mignolet as Spurs needed the win to get a Champions League place. Before, Colback was the hero as he cleared the ball twice off the line, the last clearance hitting off the post. Sunderland was hanging on.
However, their chances were severely limited when David Vaughan was sent off for a second bookable defence and with the bench only being u21s, Sunderland were up against it.
Gareth Bale, as so often, was the difference for the North London side. Cutting inside and beating Adam Johnson, the Welshman detonated an explosive shot that screamed into the top corner from 30 yards out. This last minute goal didn’t get Spurs a Champions League place though.
Paolo Di Canio will now spend the summer rebuilding the squad in the hope that Sunderland will challenge for a mid table place than fighting in a relegation dog fight.
Hugo Lloris, Kyle Walker, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Michael Dawson, Jan Vertongen, Tom Huddlestone, Scott Parker, Aaron Lennon, Gareth Bale, Clint Dempsey and Emmanuel Adebayor.
Simon Mignolet, Seb Larsson, Jack Colback, Carlos Cuellar, John O’Shea. Alfred N’Diaye, David Vaughan, Adam Johnson, James McClean, Connor Wickham and Danny Graham.