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Premier League

  • 7 April 2012
  • • 12:45
  • • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 39335

Sunderland 0-0 Tottenham: Stalemate still sees Redknapp's men climb above Arsenal into third

Sunderland 0-0 Tottenham: Stalemate still sees Redknapp's men climb above Arsenal into third

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Visitors left frustrated on Wearside as they struggled to break down a resilient Black Cats defence as both teams settle for a point at the Stadium of Light

Tottenham climbed above Arsenal into third place in the Premier League but were forced to settle for a point in a 0-0 draw with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Spurs should have taken the lead when Aaron Lennon dissected the Black Cats defence with a lovely through ball which Rafael van der Vaart latched onto but his chipped effort was cleared off the line.

Aside from that chance clear-cut opportunities were hard to come by as both teams struggled to break down the opposition due to some resilient defending.

Both managers opted for unchanged teams as Martin O’Neill stuck with the same side which drew 3-3 with Manchester City last week whilst Harry Redknapp chose the same 11 that beat Swansea last Sunday.

Tottenham began the game strongly and dominated possession for the opening five minutes, leading to a long-range chance for Benoit Assou-Ekotto who struck the ball from 25 yards only to see the ball creep just past the post.

Spurs had a shout for a penalty turned down by referee Chris Foy after Emmanuel Adebayor’s header from six yards appeared to strike the arm of Phil Bardsley on its way to goal.

7.5 The England full-back underlined his international credentials by subduing one of the best wingers in the Premier League in Irishman James McClean and pushing forward with plenty of purpose.

After Redknapp’s side dominance in the early stages, Sunderland began to creep into the game and forced some pressure through the boot of Sebastian Larsson. The forward hit three dangerous balls in succession into Brad Friedel’s area but all were well dealt with by the Tottenham defence.

The Black Cats also had a penalty claim turned down as it appeared Parker handled in the area when trying to clear the ball. The referee, however, waved play on leaving O’Neill and his players up in arms at the decision.

Spurs tried to regain their control of the game towards the end of the half, as they looked to give Gareth Bale as much of the ball as possible but, as for the majority of the first period, he was anonymous.

However, Sunderland defended deep and with resilience to ensure Redknapp’s side could not create anything meaningful as the half ended goalless.

The second period started similarly to the first as Spurs settled into possession whilst the Black Cats again opted to sit back and absorb the pressure as they had in the first half.

However, a mistake by Lee Cattermole nearly allowed Tottenham in. Luka Modric almost found Adebayor before Michael Turner cleared to Sandro who let fly with a vicious effort which was well blocked by Craig Gardner.

Spurs were beginning to click into gear and were finding a better rhythm to their passing which led to an opening for Bale. The Welshman found himself free in the area but could only head Assou-Ekotto’s cross over the bar.

Sunderland responded immediately to this threat with a decent chance of their own. Stephane Sessegnon found Larsson on the right who hit a dangerous ball into the area and Kyle Walker needed to be at his best to divert the ball behind for a corner with McClean lurking.

Redknapp’s side then had a glorious chance to take the lead when substitute Aaron Lennon slid a wonderful through ball for Van der Vaart who took the ball in his stride and chipped it towards goal but Turner was on hand to clear the ball off the line.

Sunderland applied late pressure through set-pieces from Larsson, however, the Tottenham defence - especially Younes Kaboul - were equal to the dangerous deliveries from the Swede.

Bale had an excellent chance to win the game for Spurs as he picked the ball up in midfield from a Jack Colback mistake and drove towards the box. However, he was well tackled by Gardner before he could threaten Simon Mignolet’s goal as both teams settled for a point.

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