Football: Christmas might be over, but Sunderland are still handing out gifts. Two Spurs goals in three second-half minutes ended the festive party and sent the visitors up to third in the table.
However their win was somewhat marred by Gareth Bale receiving yet another yellow card for simulation — his third in five games — which will now see him miss Tottenham’s game against Reading.
With nine minutes left and Spurs pushing for a third to kill the game off the winger went down under a challenge in the area from Craig Gardner, but instead of seeing referee Martin Atkinson pointing to the spot, Bale saw yellow.
“It was a difficult decision for the referee,” acknowledged Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas. “But it was a big mistake as Gareth will miss our next game.”
Sunderland deservingly took the lead, John O’Shea sidefooting home from close range.
Carlos Cuellar put through his own net after the break to level matters before Aaron Lennon evaded O’Shea to fire past Simon Mignolet.
“It was a brilliant game,” said Villas Boas. “We didn’t deserve to go one down. We told the players at half time to keep going. We felt that if we could get one goal we could get two or three.”