Gyan rescues point for Sunderland
Tottenham threw away a hard-fought lead against Sunderland as their winless run in the Barclays Premier League extended to four matches following a 1-1 draw.
Rafael van der Vaart maintained his remarkable record of scoring in every home game since joining Spurs with a trademark 64th-minute finish.
But a horrible mix-up between William Gallas and Younes Kaboul gifted Asamoah Gyan an equaliser just three minutes later to leave the home side seven points adrift of the top four having played a game more.
Spurs started in determined fashion with Luka Modric's low strike forcing a fingertip save in the third minute from Craig Gordon, who was making his first appearance of the season after recovering from a broken arm.
Gordon then tipped over an ambitious David Bentley free-kick from wide on the left, while Gyan did well to direct a header on target from Boudewijn Zenden's cross.
A disappointing half looked destined to end goalless as Bentley, starting a league game for the first time in more than six months, unleashed a brilliant left-foot strike which Gordon did well to turn behind.
The game's first real talking point came with Bentley going down in the box under a challenge from Zenden. Referee Howard Webb booked Bentley for diving, and although television replays proved inconclusive, the home fans were furious.
Gareth Bale blew a great chance to play Van der Vaart clean through just past the hour mark but made amends in the 64th minute by helping set up what has become a trademark goal from the Dutchman. The winger's cross found Peter Crouch at the back post and the substitute's header landed at the feet of Van der Vaart to turn and fire home.
Spurs had not kept a clean sheet in the league since the opening day and they gifted the visitors an equaliser three minutes later, Gallas and Kaboul getting in each other's way and allowing Gyan all the time he needed to slide the ball beyond Heurelho Gomes.
There was a major flashpoint moments later when Lee Cattermole left Modric on the floor with a studs-first challenge that did connect with the ball before catching the Croatian. A mass shoving match ensued before Webb produced the game's second yellow card.