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Inside Lane: A Spurs fan’s view of the victory at Sunderland

Mousa Dembele (right) holds off Sunderland's Jack Colback on the way to forcing Tottenham's winning goal Mousa Dembele (right) holds off Sunderland's Jack Colback on the way to forcing Tottenham's winning goal

By George Lacey
Monday, December 9, 2013
11:57 AM

Tottenham blogger George Lacey looks back on Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

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After Saturday night’s victory at Sunderland, Spurs have now taken seven points from a possible nine since the 6-0 drubbing at Manchester City,

The reaction to that defeat at at the Etihad has been very positive, and we are very unlucky not to have three wins from three after conceding a penalty in the 2-2 draw with Manchester United at White Hart Lane.

That has been followed by victories over Fulham and Sunderland, with the wins coming in a similar manner, as Tottenham trailed away from home on both occasions but fought back to win 2-1.

Andre Villas-Boas opted for Jermain Defoe up front again at the Stadium of the Light at the weekend, after he started at Fulham in midweek - and the forward could have had a hat-trick, seeing two efforts crash against the post and another shot across goal squirming just wide.

It was a game where, despite going a goal behind after Hugo Lloris flapped at a cross, we showed durability and a Paulinho goal before half-time levelled the scores.

The second-half display of free-flowing attacking football was then a joy to watch as we created many chances but just didn’t kill the game off. Ultimately though, a convincing away win left us unbeaten in three games – and it also left Sunderland rooted to the foot of the table.

With the absence of Christian Eriksen, and Lewis Holtby in and out of the team, I had made a case for Mousa Dembele to be used further forward than his usual central midfield position.

And, at the Stadium of Light, Dembele showed his attacking prowess in the penalty area when his powerful dribble and cross was deflected in for an own goal by Sunderland skipper John O’Shea.

Although Holtby impressed again after his cracking winner at Fulham, I just feel that against stronger opposition Dembele is the better option in the No10 role - but at least we have strong competition for a position that is still up for grabs.

‘Bouncebackability’ is a cliché that is often used prematurely in football but, after such a humbling defeat at the hands of the Citizens, a draw against the reigning champions and an additional two victories at Fulham and Sunderland have some substance.

The results on paper suggest tight affairs but our latest win was a performance of high energy and attacking football – the sort that Spurs fans are so accustomed to - so long may it continue as the games continue to come thick and fast over Christmas.

Have we got our Tottenham back? I think Sunday’s home game against Liverpool should give us a better answer.

It is certainly another crucial game in relation to our top-four hopes, given that Brendan Rodgers’ side are competing strongly for a Champions League spot, currently sitting second.

Overall, Spurs endured a very positive week, which ended with the draw for the FA Cup third round on Sunday evening, where the big boys enter the competition.

Spurs were handed a mouth-watering tie away at north London rivals Arsenal, which will come just three or four days after a trip to Old Trafford in the Premier League on New Year’s Day – the date is yet to be decided.

It promises to be an interesting start to 2014…

Follow me on Twitter @Georgie_Lacey

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