|Sunderland’s Asamoah Gyan adds to Tottenham’s woes just a week after their blistering performance against Inter Milan in the European Champions League [GALLO/GETTY]|
Asamoah Gyan earned Sunderland a vital point at Tottenham when the Ghana striker fired home his third goal in two matches to clinch a 1-1 draw in the English Premier League on Tuesday.
It was another setback for Tottenham, coming just a week after they overwhelmed European champions Inter Milan.
Spurs followed up that memorable victory by losing 4-2 to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday and their hopes of edging back towards the top four were further hampered by Steve Bruce’s Sunderland.
The night’s other match was full of action as Birmingham City, 2-0 down at Stoke City, fought back to 2-2 for the second time in four days only for the hosts to snatch a winner after four successive league defeats.
Gyan’s 67th-minute equaliser came after a mix-up in the Spurs defence between William Gallas and Younes Kaboul allowing Danny Welbeck’s pass through.
Rafael van der Vaart put Spurs ahead three minutes earlier, maintaining his record of scoring in all six home matches since being signed from Real Madrid in August.
Spurs striker Peter Crouch headed on Gareth Bale’s cross at the far post beyond goalkeeper Craig Gordon and Van der Vaart brought the ball down with his chest before spinning and sending it in the net.
Spurs were restricted to shots from distance in the opening stages. The first came after two minutes, with Luka Modric forcing Gordon into a low diving save on the goalkeeper’s first appearance of the season after recovering from a broken arm.
|EPL results & fixtures|
Tuesday November 9
Stoke 3-2 Birmingham
Wednesday November 10
Aston Villa v Blackpool
Another 25-yard attempt came from Roman Pavlyuchenko, with the Russia forward favoured over Peter Crouch, who has failed to score in the league all season.
The crossbar denied Tom Huddlestone after the midfielder unleashed a strike that took a deflection. Huddlestone turned provider in the 33rd minute, releasing Van der Vaart but the Dutchman was thwarted by Gordon’s two-handed save.
Spurs were seeing just why Sunderland had not conceded in four of their previous five matches, with the one blip a 5-1 loss at Newcastle.
Pavlyuchenko was hauled off at half time, with Crouch taking the Russia forward’s place.
The shots kept on coming, but a header from Van der Vaart lacked power, while Bentley had a penalty claim dismissed was being adjudged to have dived by referee Howard Webb under Bolo Zenden’s challenge.
Stoke led through Robert Huth’s first-half effort and Ricardo Fuller’s dazzling solo effort after 71 minutes.
Birmingham, who rallied to earn a 2-2 draw against West Ham United on Saturday, did so again with two goals in two minutes by Keith Fahey and Cameron Jerome.
Dean Whitehead then seized on some ragged defending to bundle in Stoke’s winner five minutes from time.