Bent pulls Spurs' fourth dimension out of shape

Sunderland 3 Tottenham Hotspur 1

Harry Redknapp has known better days against Sunderland. Such as 18 October 1968, the afternoon he supplied the right-wing ammunition for the West Ham team who subjected Sunderland to a record 8-0 defeat at Upton Park. Forty-two years on, Redknapp had another record in his sights when his Spurs lined up on Wearside yesterday. A sixth successive victory would have extended their winning streak to their longest ever in the Premier League. It was not to be. His Tottenham team were dealt a hefty blow in their quest for fourth spot.

They were Bent double by an old boy and ultimately finished off by a left-foot chop of a shot by Boudewijn Zenden, a former junior judo champion of Limburg. Darren Bent, deemed surplus to Spurs' striking requirements by Redknapp before his pre-season £10m move to Sunderland, scored from open play after 34 seconds and from the penalty spot in the 29th minute. He also missed two penalties, while Peter Crouch, who spurned Sunderland for Spurs last summer, gave Redknapp's men hope with a goalscoring header from his first touch before Zenden's spectacular 86th-minute clincher.

All of which left Redknapp suffering a first taste of defeat since a 1-0 loss away to Wolves on 10 February. "Good luck to Darren Bent," the Tottenham manager said. "He scored a couple of goals. And fair play to Sunderland. They were up for it today."

They were that – against a Spurs back four missing the injured Michael Dawson. The home fans were still taking their seats when Kieran Richardson dispatched a low right-wing corner, Heurelho Gomes flapped at a diving header from Fraizer Campbell and Bent bundled in the loose ball from six yards. With less than a minute gone, Redknapp was stone-faced in the dug-out.

It was a flying start for Sunderland and they proceeded to get a grip on the first-half, Lee Cattermole and David Meyler holding sway in central midfield. They had a claim for a penalty turned down when Jordan Henderson cut in from the right and fell under challenge from Wilson Palacios. It was different in the 29th minute, though, when Gomes parried a drive from Steed Malbranque on to the arms of Kyle Walker. Referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot and Bent buried a right-foot shot in the bottom left corner.

It was his 22nd Premier League goal of the season and the 23rd should have followed in the 41st minute. After Luka Modric felled Campbell on the right side of the area, Bent could not beat Gomes from the penalty spot a second time, the Brazilian keeper diving to his left to push the kick wide. It was the sometime England striker's second penalty miss of the season against his old club – having drawn a blank at White Hart Lane in November – and the third came in the 62nd minute.

Mason pointed to the spot again, adjudging that Palacios had nudged Meyler, and Gomes pushed Bent's effort on to his right-hand post. Not that it was all one-way traffic. Craig Gordon made a string of first-class saves, thwarting Eidur Gudjohnsen, Jermain Defoe (on at half-time for David Bentley) and Modric. Then, after an Anton Ferdinand strike had been disallowed for a push on Gomes, Crouch headed in a 72nd minute left wing cross from Niko Kranjcar.

Spurs were scenting salvation. That was until Meyler worked his way clear on the right with four minutes to go and crossed to the far side of the box, where Zenden hit the target with a cracking left-foot volley.

Attendance: 25,708

Referee: P Dowd

Man of the match: Koren

Match rating: 6/10

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor