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Sunderland 0-0 Spurs - Lads held by Black Cats

Posted on 7 April 2012  - 18:18

We had to settle for a point after dominating a game of few chances in Saturday's goalless draw at Sunderland.

Sunderland 0-0 Spurs - Lads held by Black Cats

Martin O'Neill set his team up to soak up pressure and frustrate us and his game plan worked as we failed to find a way through at the Stadium of Light.

The point edged us ahead of Arsenal and back into third place in the Premier League, with our rivals up against City on Sunday.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto whistled a shot inches wide in the fourth minute and that was just about as close as either team got.

There were half-chances for Rafa van der Vaart - one particular effort blocked at the end of the first half - and Gareth Bale, but that was that, and Sunderland rarely threatened either.

Harry Redknapp stuck with the same team that started against Swansea last weekend with Niko Kranjcar back on the bench for Danny Rose the only change to the 18.

We dominated the first half in terms of possession with the home team happy to sit back, soak up pressure and look to hit us on the counter.

It was a half of few chances and the first effort proved the closest as Assou-Ekotto's 30-yarder zipped just wide.

Luka Modric shot straight at Simon Mignolet and Emmanuel Adebayor's header from van der Vaart's free-kick appeared to strike Phil Bardsley on the hand, but penalty appeals were waved away.

At the other end, Craig Gardner headed tamely at Brad Friedel on the half-hour and Michael Turner's header from Sebastian Larsson's free-kick flicked off Sandro and sailed over.

The final action of the half saw Matthew Kilgallon make a fine block from van der Vaart's goalbound shot.

The second half followed the same pattern as we dictated play and tried to carve out that one golden chance.

Bale beat two defenders to get to the byline in the 55th minute, he found Modric who rolled it to van der Vaart, who curled over.

Bale looped a header onto the roof of the net from 14 yards and then a threat from the home team as Kyle Walker did well to touch Criag Gardner's cross away from James McClean.

Aaron Lennon entered the fray for Sandro on 65 minutes as we looked to push on and he soon picked out van der Vaart, but the Dutchman couldn't quite get the ball out of his feet and eventually clipped his effort wide of the target.

Louis Saha and Jermain Defoe also came off the bench but that valuable goal remained elusive.

Sunderland (4-4-2): Mignolet; Bardsley (Richardson, 80), Kilgallon, Turner, Colback; Larsson, Gardner, Cattermole (Vaughan, 76), McLean; Sessegnon, Bendtner. Unused subs: Westwood, Kyrgiakos, Bridge, Meyler, Ji Dong-Won.

Spurs (4-3-3): Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Parker, Modric, Sandro (Lennon, 65); Van der Vaart (Defoe, 83), Adebayor (Saha, 78), Bale. Unused subs: Cudicini, Nelsen, Kranjcar, Livermore.

Attendance: 39,355.

Referee: Mr C Foy.