Redknapp has a dig after Gardner's graft leaves Spurs frustrated
Sunderland 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0
This game had entered injury time when Gareth Bale broke through the heart of the Sunderland defence. As Harry Redknapp later agreed, it looked like one of those moments when Bale would polish his star. Instead, Craig Gardner appeared and produced a brilliantly timed, sliding tackle (remember them?). It brought spectators from their seats, and it deserved to.
But it was also the most vociferous moment of the game, and that should say as much. The gentle verbal jousting between both managers afterwards did appear at times to have a bit more penetration than their teams.
Redknapp called Sunderland the away team. Martin O'Neill was unimpressed and relishes the underdog tag. He rightly questions what clubs like Tottenham expect his side to do. They work hard, they close you down and they sit deep when they need to.
He also backed up his argument that teams will do what they have to do, as his men do, and used asproof the visitors' doubling upon James McClean.
"They set themselves up to frustrate us," said Redknapp. "They didn't come out that much. They were looking to hit us on the break. They were like the away team. We passed and passed but there was not space to get in behind them.
"They work hard. They do graft, Lee Cattermole and Craig Gardner are going to get after you. They put a shift in, all of them. They stuck in there. It is difficult when teams don't come out. There was not a lot of space to get into.
"We had one or two good chances. At half-time I said we'd be disappointed if we don't win here today, but a point is a point."
And O'Neill then made his. "The news has come through that Tottenham were a bit frustrated;oh well, we had to play strongly," said the Sunderland manager. "We don't have the same resources at this moment. Hopefully at some stage or another in our development it might happen. It was a tough afternoon for us, but it was for them as well.
"I naturally disagree. He [Redknapp] has the players to be able to play. Just last week at White Hart Lane, Harry set out in a manner in which to stop Swansea playing, initially. He would have known it was going to be tough here today.
"They are all good players. James McClean was up against one of the very best full-backs playing in the League and yet Tottenham had a man covering. We were terribly frustrated by that.
"The last two games we've played against sides vying for the title and the Champions' League, and while we didn't reach the same heights as we did last week against Man City, Harry would have known he was in for a tough afternoon, and that's the way you want it."
It was all about tenacity and attrition, which meant it was a game that suited Sunderland. As Redknapp correctly said, Cattermole and Gardner were relentless, and Scott Parker will have had few busier afternoons in the tackling stakes. The end product was a limited set of opportunities and a quiet afternoon for both goalkeepers.
In the 11th minute, Luka Modric turned and shot quickly from the edge of the Sunderland penalty area. Simon Mignolet got down quickly to make a relatively routine stop. In the 78th minute, Stéphane Sessègnon crossed from the left and Seb Larsson headed pretty much straight at Tottenham's Brad Friedel, who caught the ball fairly simply. That was pretty much the top and bottom of both goalkeepers' afternoon.
"We're in a great position," added Redknapp. "We're still in the box seat. We haven't got to play any of the top six. It's going to be close. It's going to go right down to the wire.
"Newcastle have done a miracle, they've done fantastically well, really full credit to them, it's been amazing, they're right in the picture. It is up to anyone who can have a good run. I feel we're playing well."
Sunderland (4-4-2): Mignolet; Bardsley (Richardson, 80), Turner, Kilgallon, Colback; Larsson, Gardner, Cattermole (Vaughan, 76), McClean; Bendtner, Sessègnon.
Tottenham (4-1-4-1): Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Parker; Van der Vaart (Defoe, 83), Sandro (Lennon, 65), Modric, Bale; Adebayor (Saha, 78).
Referee Chris Foy.
Man of the match Cattermole (Sunderland).
Match rating 3/10.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Manchester United player ratings: Match-winner Eden Hazard leads the way, but Radamel Falcao endures game to forget
Louis van Gaal gives increasingly intense interview as irritation with BBC grows following Manchester United defeat to Chelsea
David Moyes: I had to fight to STOP Wayne Rooney leaving Manchester United to join Chelsea in 2013
Philippe Coutinho 'goal': FA Cup semi-final strike was going 'miles wide' - leading to fury over first goal scorer betting
Mario Balotelli incident leaves Brendan Rodgers fuming after Liverpool's FA Cup exit to Aston Villa
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate