Bale bags brace as Spurs move into third
Published 25/02/2013 | 22:21
Gareth Bale scored yet another brilliant last-gasp winner to move Tottenham up to third after a cracking London derby in which they edged West Ham 3-2 at Upton Park.
Jussi Jaaskelainen rolled back the years to keep the Hammers in the game for most of the clash, but there was nothing the 37-year-old could do to stop Bale's blistering 25-yard shot flying in to the top corner with just 10 seconds remaining.
Bale put Tottenham ahead in the first half, but Andy Carroll scored a penalty after being brought down in the box by former Hammers midfielder Scott Parker, who was booed throughout. Joe Cole thought he had grabbed the Hammers a morale-boosting win, but substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson equalised and Bale provided the killer blow in the final minute.
Bale, like Parker, was subjected to jeers from the home fans, but he had stunned the West Ham faithful with the opener after 12 minutes.
The Welshman gained a yard on James Collins and another two Hammers defenders before firing across Jaaskelainen into the back of the net.
Spurs were made to pay thanks to Carroll's second goal of 2013. Parker put in an ill-advised two-footed challenge on Carroll in the box and referee Howard Webb pointed to the spot.
The former Newcastle striker picked himself up and smashed the ball past Hugo Lloris.
West Ham still had the majority of possession and they made it count with their second just before the hour. Cole timed his run to perfection, gaining two yards on Steven Caulker before slotting past Lloris and removing his shirt in a wild celebration.
After 76 minutes, the Hammers failed to deal with Bale's free-kick, a melee ensued in the box, but Sigurdsson held his nerve to poke past Jaaskelainen from close range.
Then with 10 seconds left, Bale picked himself up after being flattened by a tackle, collected the ball off Tom Carroll and let fly with an audacious 25-yard bullet that beat Jaaskelainen.