Wayne Bridge’s Sunderland pulled off a surprise 1-0 victory over Liverpool at the weekend to make the left back one of only two City loanees to claim three points.
The Black Cats’ revival under manager Martin O’Neill has seen them go from relegation cannon-fodder to European qualification contenders, and there was a rare start for Bridge, who played the full 90 minutes.
It was a much less successful afternoon for Emmanuel Adebayor’s Tottenham.
Spurs lost 1-0 at the hands of Everton as Harry Redknapp’s side slipped to a third consecutive league defeat – the first time they have suffered that fate since the favourite for the England hot-seat took over in 2008.
The Togolese striker was replaced by former Toffees forward Louis Saha just nine minutes into the second half, though neither man was able to find the net as Spurs drew a blank.
In Championship action, defender Greg Cunningham’s Nottingham Forest secured a crucial 3-1 win over relegation rivals Milwall.
The victory steered his side five points clear of the drop zone and left Alex Nimely’s Coventry scrambling for points.
The Sky Blues could manage only a draw in their West Midlands derby meeting with ten-man Birmingham, having surrendered the lead just two minutes after going in front
It also proved a difficult weekend for strike duo Roque Santa Cruz and John Guidetti, who were both denied victory on the continent.
Despite taking the lead against the La Liga leaders, Santa Cruz’s Real Betis suffered a 3-2 defeat at home to Real Madrid.
The Paraguayan – who entered the fray after 74 minutes – was unable to turn the result in his side’s favour as a Cristiano Ronaldo winner condemned Betis to a third game without a win.
Guidetti’s Feyenoord survived a late dismissal to cling on to a 1-1 draw with Utrecht. The Swedish striker played 90 minutes for the Dutch club, who slipped to sixth by conceding the lead.