Saturday 10 December 2016

Bale spurred by Euro push

TOTTENHAM 3 BLACKBURN 1

Published 14/03/2010 | 05:00

Gareth Bale feels Tottenham's latest victory is another crucial step to securing fourth place in the Premier League.

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Jermain Defoe scored Spurs' opener with his 17th Premier League goal of the season a minute before half-time and Roman Pavlyuchenko added a second 10 minutes into the second period when his shot squirmed under the body of Rovers' substitute goalkeeper Jason Brown.

Chris Samba pulled one back for Blackburn with a header following a corner, but Pavlyuchenko added a simple third to clinch victory after Bale drove the ball low across the box from the left.

The result strengthened the north Londoners' grip on fourth place in the league, taking them three points clear of Manchester City, although the Blues have two games in hand, the first of them at Sunderland today.

Welsh international Bale expects it to be a tough run-in, with City plus Liverpool and Aston Villa vying with Spurs for Champions League qualification. "Every match is a crucial match; it's very tight up there for fourth spot and every win is vital for us," he said

Bale felt aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty when he was tripped in the box by Rovers defender Michel Salgado. "He made contact, I went down and it should have been a penalty, but the referee thought otherwise," he said.

Bale was also impressed by Pavlyuchenko's contribution, the in-form Russian having now scored eight goals in his last six matches. "Everybody knows how good Pav is; he showed in Euro 2008 how good a player he is and he showed it again here," said Bale.

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp remains confident his squad are capable of still occupying fourth spot at the end of the season.

"People have always got doubts about everything; all I've said is we have got a chance. It's not impossible, we have had a great year. It was a terrific result. I felt today was going to be a difficult day. Blackburn started the game well, they came out on the front foot. This was a big three points for us."

Redknapp was bemused by some of the decisions of England's World Cup referee Howard Webb. "I never have a good day with Webb," Redknapp added.

"I could tell you five or six games he has refereed, I seem to be very unlucky. Certainly we had two good shouts (for a penalty) and for their goal our keeper was fouled; I could see that from where I was sitting."

Sunday Independent

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