Bale stars as Spurs beat Reds
Published 28/11/2012 | 22:04
Gareth Bale scored a stunning free-kick and set up Aaron Lennon with a wonderful solo run to bring Liverpool's eight-match unbeaten run to an end with a 2-1 win at White Hart Lane.
The Welshman scored what has to be one of the most unlucky own goals in Premier League history to tarnish his evening slightly but Tottenham still managed to come away with their second successive win despite an edgy second half in north London.
The win, which moves Spurs above Arsenal and Everton into fifth, did not come easily - but it did remind the club's critics that in Bale they have a man capable of winning a match almost single-handedly.
Tottenham's early pressure paid off as they took the lead in style. Bale collected the ball on the half way line and breezed past four players before squaring to Lennon, who tapped home from close range.
A mix-up between Hugo Lloris and Kyle Walker then almost gifted the visitors an equaliser. The Frenchman rushed out of his goal to clear Luis Suarez's through-ball - but the defender took the ball away from his goalkeeper into the path of Jordan Henderson, who blazed wide of an open goal.
The Spurs fans mocked Henderson for his miss and the midfielder's evening took another turn for the worse moments later when he was harshly adjudged to have fouled Clint Dempsey 30 yards out.
Bale took a five-yard run up and despatched a powerful drive which dipped and swerved over the wall, completely bamboozling Jose Reina, who could only stand and watch the ball sail in to his right.
Liverpool thought they should have had a penalty in the 36th minute when Steven Gerrard went down under pressure from Mousa Dembele, but Phil Dowd waved play on. The danger was not over for Spurs though, as Michael Dawson dribbled in to the path of Suarez, whose shot was cleared off the line by Walker.
In the 70th minute Bale unwittingly put Liverpool back in the game. Lennon was well-placed on the line to clear Gerrard's header, but unfortunately for Spurs, the winger's clearance cracked Bale square in the face and flew in to the home net.
Jonjo Shelvey chipped just wide and Suarez thought he should have had a penalty in a nervous final few minutes, but Tottenham held on until the final whistle, which manager Andre Villas-Boas greeted with a huge double fist-pump.