Stoke Ends Tottenham’s 11-Game Unbeaten Run; O’Neill’s Sunderland Wins
Stoke beat Tottenham 2-1 to end the London team’s 11-game unbeaten run in soccer’s Premier League. Sunderland rallied with two goals in the last six minutes to beat Blackburn Rovers in coach Martin O’Neill’s first game in charge.
Matthew Etherington got both goals for Stoke in the first half at Britannia stadium before Emmanuel Adebayor converted a penalty and had another score ruled out for offside. Spurs had Younes Kaboul red-carded in the 82nd minute.
Third-placed Tottenham’s first league loss since Aug. 28 leaves coach Harry Redknapp’s team on 31 points. Manchester teams City and United have 38 and 36, respectively. Stoke rose to eighth after its third straight win.
Earlier, Sebastian Larsson scored a stoppage-time winner for Sunderland with a free-kick at the Stadium of Light after David Vaughan leveled for the Black Cats. Simon Vukcevic had got Blackburn’s goal in the 17th minute.
Sunderland’s first win in six matches moved it out of the three-team relegation zone as its third win in 15 games took its tally to 14 points. Blackburn stays second-last with 10 points, one more than Bolton.
O’Neill was hired to replace Steve Bruce on Dec. 3, although he didn’t oversee a 2-1 defeat against Wolves two days later. It’s his first coaching job since quitting Aston Villa in August 2010, five days before the start of the season, after being in charge of the Birmingham team since 2006.
The Northern Irishman joined Villa from Celtic, where his team won the Scottish Premier League three times and was runner up in the 2003 UEFA Cup. He has also managed Leicester City, Norwich and Wycombe. As a player, O’Neill won two European Cups under Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest.
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