To say Steve Bruce’s Sunderland side were consistently inconsistent would be an understatement. We loved an unexpected win over a European contender as much as we loved a turgid 1-0 away defeat to Wigan Athletic. The upside of this was it gives us some great memories to look back on and the 3-1 win over Spurs in April 2010 certainly gave us that.
After a winter of discontent, Sunderland were beginning to get back on track with comfortable wins over Bolton and Birmingham as well as credible draws at home to Manchester City and away to Aston Villa.
But we were still very much outsiders going into the game as Spurs arrived at the Stadium of Light on the back of five straight victories.
The lads showed little regard for the form table, however and were in front after just a minute as Darren Bent followed in on a parry by Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes to fire the home side into the lead. Bent certainly enjoyed the moment and goaded the Spurs fans as he ran towards the south west corner, receiving a barrel load of abuse and a missile in his direction for his troubles.
Just before the half hour mark things got even better as the lads were awarded a penalty after Steed Malbranque’s effort was saved by Gomes before striking Kyle Walker on the arm. Bent stepped up and confidently stroked the ball home to double the lead.
But despite Sunderland’s dominance they had Craig Gordon to thank for preserving their two-goal advantage when he made a fantastic save from Eidur Gudjohnsen from point blank range.
We soon had the chance to be out of sight when Fraizer Campbell was tripped inside the penalty area, but Darren Bent suddenly decided that things were going far too swimmingly and his spot kick was saved by Gomes.
It was at this point when Sunderland started doing Sunderland things, after continuing to dominate proceedings, we were awarded another penalty in the second half after David Meyler was felled by Wilson Palacios. Bent again stepped up and again missed.
Anton Ferdinand soon had the ball in the net but his strike was disallowed as Campbell was adjudged to have prevented Gomes from regaining his feet after palming the ball into the path of Ferdinand and his Michael Jackson style celebration was cruelly cut short by referee Lee Mason.
In the 73rd minute Sunderland diligently stuck to their tradition of giving their supporters heart failure by allowing Peter Crouch to nod Spurs back into the game. There was more than a hint of a foul as Crouch climbed all over the back of Michael Turner, but the goal stood.
Thankfully it didn’t matter as Bolo Zenden wrote himself into Wearside folkore with a sensational volley. Jordan Henderson stood the ball up well and Zenden acrobatically stuck the ball into the top corner sending the home support wild and ensuring victory.
The win maintained Sunderland’s mid-table league position, and we went on to finish the season in a blissfully stress-free 13th place. Oh, take me back!