Sunderland strolled into their own personal last chance saloon at White Hart lane, desperately in search of three points that would have kept a mere flicker of hope alive that a great escape was possible. They walked out battered, beaten and stuffed 5-1 with barely a hint that they even cared.
It started well enough. Wes Brown flashed a header just wide and a foothold in the game was slowly established. Then, and we never thought we'd ever get to type these words on Roker Report for forgive us a little emphasis, LEE CATTERMOLE SCORED.
What is more, he did it from fully 30 yards after some calamitous Spurs defending presented the former skipper with an invitingly gaping goal before he expertly side footed it into the bottom corner.
It was alright for a while after that too. Well, 11 minutes anyway. That's all the swagger Sunderland could mention before some statuesque defending allowed Emanuele Adebayor to ghost in at the back post to equalise.
After the break, Sunderland had a little go to reassert the lead, though in fairness nothing at all ever looked like coming from it. It wasn't long before the hosts began to peg them back and when the second Spurs goal game it was far from a surprise.
Even less of a surprise was the manner of it. Another completely unopposed cross from the left, another routine finish having sneaked in behind Brown. This time it was Harry Kane who was the beneficiary of Sunderland's charity. By the time the excellent Christian Eriksen rocketed in a wholly unopposed third from 20 yards, it barely mattered. When Adebayor added a fourth from a yard out and from an offside position, even less so.
Sigurdsson added a fifth from, yes, about 3 yards out and without challenge. It was a surrender. A pathetic, cowardly surrender.
A relatively entertaining game I suppose, for the neutral at least, between two clubs with a penchant for self-destruction. Ultimately, Sunderland had just too much Sunderland-ness, that is to say spinelessness, and the result was by no means unjustified. This season looks all over bar the inquest, which is sure to be messy in the coming weeks.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Naughton, Chiriches, Kaboul, Rose, Lennon (Townsend 84'), Chadli (Sigurdsson 82'), Paulinho (Veljkovic 88'), Eriksen, Adebayor, Kane
Goals: Adebayor (28', 85'), Kane (59'), Eriksen (78'), Sigurdsson (90')
Sunderland: Mannone, Bardsley, Vergini, Brown, Cuellar (Scocco 72'), Alonso, Bridcutt, Cattermole (Gardner 72'), Ki, Johnson, Borini
Goals: Cattermole (no, really!) (17')