The visitors made it two away wins out of two over the festive period after coming from behind to secure victory over the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light
The hosts made one enforced change from their Boxing Day win over Manchester City, with O’Shea replacing left-back Danny Rose, who was ineligible against his former club, while Spurs made a change to their central defensive pair, with Steven Caulker and Michael Dawson coming in for Jan Vertonghen and William Gallas.
The opening 20 minutes on Wearside was a tight and cagey affair, with neither side able to take control of the game, however as the half wore on it was the visitors who began to dominate proceedings.
Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham
The visitors kept up a sustained period of pressure, creating several half-chances, so when the first goal came, it did so very much against the run of play.
Sebastian Larsson whipped in a devilish free-kick from the left which found Steven Fletcher at the near post and he got the better of several Spurs defenders and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to flick the ball into the path of a totally unmarked O’Shea who rolled the ball into the empty net to give his side a somewhat undeserved lead.
That was the last chance of the half, but just three minutes into the second Tottenham grabbed a well-deserved leveller.
Kyle Walker took an in-swinging corner from the left which would have been met by the head of Gareth Bale, but before it reached the Welshman it deflected into the net off the head of Cuellar after he collided with team-mate Craig Gardner.
And just two minutes later the comeback was complete, as Lennon scored an outstanding goal to edge the visitors in front.
The England winger picked up the ball just outside the penalty area and nudged it into space before speeding around a static O’Shea to expertly finish past a helpless Simon Mignolet.
Ten minutes later Tottenham had a great chance to put the game beyond doubt as Bale picked up the ball inside his own half and drove forward down the left before squaring for an unmarked Defoe who from four yards out was denied by a stunning save by Mignolet - although the England striker will know he should have done better.
Bale was then in the thick of the action once again, going down in the area under pressure from Gardner, but the referee waved away appeals for a penalty and booked the Welshman for diving, his fifth yellow card of the season.
Sunderland were struggling to get themselves back into the game, and Mignolet was forced once again to save his side when he denied Adebayor with 10 minutes left.
The final minutes failed to produce any outstanding chances, and Spurs held on to record a second consecutive away win.