Bale bags brace as Spurs beat Magpies
Published 09/02/2013 | 15:01
Gareth Bale lived up to his billing as Tottenham's own Cristiano Ronaldo after firing Andre Villas-Boas' side to an entertaining 2-1 victory over Newcastle at White Hart Lane.
Villas-Boas was at pains to point out the similarities between Bale and Ronaldo during the week, and the Welshman put in a performance the Portuguese would have been proud of.
Bale beat Tim Krul with a 25-yard free-kick to open the scoring for the Londoners and he then sealed the win with a superb break-away goal that ended with him slotting the ball between the Newcastle goalkeeper's legs. Newcastle's goal came from Yoan Gouffran, who was later carried off on a stretcher with a serious-looking leg injury.
Just 70 seconds had elapsed when Bale burst down the left after a clever one-two with Lewis Holtby, but Davide Santon cut the Welshman's cross out before Clint Dempsey could convert.
Three minutes later and Spurs had the lead. Fabricio Coloccini clattered into Dempsey 25 yards out and Bale stepped up to deliver a Ronaldo-esque free-kick which dipped over the wall past a diving Krul.
Newcastle's seemingly inevitable equaliser came with 24 minutes gone. Moussa Sissoko galloped down the right on a Newcastle counter and pulled the ball back to Gouffran who beat Hugo Lloris via a deflection from the diving Michael Dawson.
Tottenham failed to up their performance straight after the break and the game came to a pause for seven minutes as Gouffran received treatment for what looked like a serious injury.
Kyle Walker clipped the forward's right shin on the halfway line and he needed oxygen before being carried off on a stretcher. He was then taken to hospital for an x-ray.
Bale looked to be Tottenham's best hope of finding a winner and came forward again, charging at the defence before firing a powerful shot which Steven Taylor blocked bravely.
Taylor went from hero to villain moments later, however, as his mix-up with Coloccini allowed Bale to race through the Toon defence and fire between the legs of Krul to make it 2-1.