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6 Things We Learned from Tottenham's 2-1 Win at Sunderland

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2012

6 Things We Learned from Tottenham's 2-1 Win at Sunderland

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    On Saturday, Tottenham Hotspur defeated Sunderland 2-1 at the Stadium of Light.

    Spurs received a gift in the form of a Carlos Cuellar own goal to open the second half, which was followed three minutes later by a piece of brilliance from Aaron Lennon to score the second Spurs goal. 

    The two goals helped the North London club recover from conceding a late first half goal.

    There were plenty of things—positive and negative—to take from Saturday's match. Here are six things we learned from Tottenham's victory at the Stadium of Light. 

Whatever AVB Said at Halftime Worked

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    In the final five minutes of the first half, Tottenham gave up a goal to Sunderland and faced a deficit to begin the second half.

    That deficit lasted all of three minutes after Spurs came out strong to start the second half, producing a corner kick, which was headed in for an own goal by Carlos Cuellar.

    Andre Villas-Boas did not make any personnel changes after the break, but whatever he said in the dressing room during the half clearly inspired his players. 

    Just three minutes after the equalizer, Aaron Lennon put home the second goal of the match to secure the win for Spurs. 

    From that point on, Tottenham dominated possession and gave their hosts very few opportunities on goal. 

Sunderland Did Its Best to Exploit the Weaknesses of Michael Dawson

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    When the starting 11 was released before the match, one player who surprisingly found his way onto the team sheet was Michael Dawson. 

    From the opening whistle, the Sunderland attack tried to exploit the weakest player in the Tottenham back four. 

    Stephane Sessegnon gave Dawson plenty of fits throughout the match, even causing Dawson to pick up a yellow card in the 69th minute. 

    Luckily for Tottenham, Dawson will not be a permanent starter ahead of William Gallas and Jan Vertonghen at the centre-back position. 

Tottenham Have Never Lost When Aaron Lennon Scores

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    According to Opta, Tottenham have failed to lose a match when Aaron Lennon scores a goal for the club.

    20 - Spurs' record in the Premier League in the 22 games that Aaron Lennon has scored in (before today) is W20 D2. Charm.

    — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 29, 2012

    Lennon provided the second goal in Saturday's match for Spurs in the 52nd minute. 

    With a lucky charm like Lennon in the starting 11 on a regular basis, supporters of the club will be hoping that the winger scores more often to continue this amazing streak. 

Gareth Bale Was Punished for His Reputation as a Diver

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    In the 81st minute, Gareth Bale was wrongly booked for what referee Martin Atkinson believed to be a dive.

    The replays clearly showed that Bale was actually fouled in the penalty area by Craig Gardner. 

    The yellow card was the Welshman's fifth of the season, which means he will miss the match against Reading on New Year's Day. 

    With his reputation as a diver following him around for the rest of the season, this may not be the last time Bale is booked for going down easily. 

Emmanuel Adebayor Is Turning into the Tottenham Version of Gervinho

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    Emmanuel Adebayor has not scored a goal in the EPL since the North London Derby against Arsenal on November 17.

    With his recent performances, Adebayor is beginning to look like the Tottenham version of the dubious Arsenal finisher, Gervinho.

    Adebayor missed two goal scoring opportunities against Sunderland.

    The first came in the 30th minute when the Togo international hit the top of the crossbar after being left wide open in front of the Sunderland goal. 

    Adebayor had a chance to redeem himself in the 82nd minute when he was sent in towards goal by a Clint Dempsey pass.

    However, Adebayor failed to finish, as his shot was saved by the brilliant Simon Mignolet. 

    If Adebayor continues to miss open chances, the Gervinho comparisons will no doubt continue.

Kyle Walker's Mistake Handed Sunderland Their Only Goal

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    Not only did Stephane Sessegnon cause trouble for Michael Dawson in the back four, he caused problems for Kyle Walker as well.

    Walker took down Sessegnon in the 40th minute, and the ensuing free kick led to the Black Cats' only goal.

    Sebastian Larsson took the free kick, and the ball fell to John O'Shea, who scored his first EPL goal since 2009.

    Walker also had a few other dodgy moments against the speedy Sessegnon on Saturday.

    The Spurs right-back must make improvements to his play during the second half of the season, as Sessegnon is certainly not the only speedy winger he will face in the EPL.

     

    What did you learn from Tottenham's win on Saturday?

    Comment below or leave me a comment on Twitter, @JTansey90

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