Sunderland 1 Tottenham 2

Spurs turn first-half deficit around to take three points.

Sunderland suffered defeat against in-form Spurs despite taking the lead as two goals early in the second half earned victory for the visitors.

The Black Cats, who had won three of their previous four games, went ahead just before the break when John O'Shea converted from close range.

However, the Sunderland skipper's first goal for the club was cancelled out just three minutes into the second half as the unfortunate Carlos Cuellar headed into his own net.

And Aaron Lennon soon added a quick-fire second, beating two men to fire home and seal three points for a Spurs side who have scored in every away league game this season.

Sunderland acquitted themselves well just three days after seeing off champions Manchester City, but were undone by Spurs' goalscoring spell early in the second period.

On-loan defender Danny Rose was forced to watch from the stands against his parent club and was replaced by O'Shea, returning following illness.

The visitors had lost just two of their previous 19 all-time Barclays Premier League games in the month of December and ran out 4-0 winners at Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

They threatened first as Emmanuel Adebayor tested Simon Mignolet down low four minutes in, just before Craig Gardner responded with a well-struck free-kick which was gathered by visiting keeper Hugo Lloris.

Just as in their win over City, Sunderland played at a high tempo, pushing and pressuring all over the pitch.

They could have profited from a good move 19 minutes in, but no-one was there to tuck the ball home from close quarters after Adam Johnson knocked James McClean's inswinging cross back across the face of goal.

But Spurs were proving to be a potent force going forward as Sandro's shot was well saved by Mignolet at the second attempt before the Belgian produced one of his patented close-range blocks to deny Adebayor.

The dangerous Gareth Bale got his first sight of goal just before the half-hour, heading just off-target from close range after Lennon stood up a dangerous cross from the right.

The visitors were certainly in the ascendancy and they should have been ahead on the half-hour.

Jermain Defoe's curling shot from the left was miskicked by Cuellar into the path of the stretching Adebayor, who managed to nudge the ball up and over Mignolet only to see his effort come down off the crossbar before being hurriedly cleared.

But Villas-Boas' men couldn't turn their considerable possession into goals and were punished when O'Shea picked the perfect time to score his first goal for the club five minutes before the break.

An excellent delivery from Seb Larsson was forced goalwards by Steven Fletcher, and although Lloris made a superb save from close range, he couldn't prevent the ball running free to O'Shea who was left with the simplest of finishes from six yards.

The goal was enough to see Sunderland go in ahead at the break, but the hosts were pegged back just three minutes after the restart.

Cuellar rose to head away a corner at the near post but only succeeded in nodding the ball back towards his own goal and into the net, leaving Mignolet with no chance.

Spurs took full advantage of the momentum change and established a lead for the first time just three minutes later as Lennon beat two defenders to stroke the ball under the advancing Mignolet from 14 yards.

It should have been three when Bale burst forward and squared neatly for Defoe, but the striker waited to pull the trigger, giving Mignolet enough time to get set and pull off yet another stunning save.

Spurs, well marshalled by the excellent Lloris, kept Sunderland largely at bay although Stephane Sessegnon did manage to find some space but fired wide just before the hour.

The hosts had plenty of possession and O'Neill threw on extra attacking options in the shape of Fraizer Campbell and Connor Wickham, but there was to be no way through for the Black Cats.

Indeed Spurs came closest in the closing stages as Adebayor raced clean through only to be denied once again by another excellent block by Mignolet.

Sunderland's best late chance came three minutes from time when Johnson fizzed an excellent ball across the face of the box, but the Spurs defence hurriedly cleared before any of the hosts' attacking options could react.

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Team Sheet

Mignolet
22
Gardner
8
Kilgallon (Campbell)
12
O'Shea (Bramble)
16
Yellow Cuéllar
24
McClean
23
Colback
14
Larsson (Wickham)
7
Johnson
21
Sessegnon
28
Fletcher
26
Lloris
25
Naughton
16
Caulker
33
Walker
28
Dawson Yellow
20
Lennon (Parker)
7
Dembélé Yellow
19
Guimarães Cordeiro
30
Bale (Sigurdsson) Yellow
11
Defoe (Dempsey)
18
Adebayor
10

Substitutes

Vaughan
15
Ji
17
Wickham
10
McFadden
11
Bramble
19
Westwood
20
Campbell
9
Livermore
29
Dempsey
2
Friedel
24
Vertonghen
5
Parker
8
Sigurdsson
22
Huddlestone
6