Belfast Telegraph

Bale brace sets up Spurs triumph

Gareth Bale scored twice to give Tottenham a 2-1 victory against Stoke in a controversial Barclays Premier League match at the Britannia Stadium.

The Wales full-back made the breakthrough with a header following an attempted clearance by Ryan Shawcross. Ricardo Fuller equalised for Stoke only for Bale to strike again with a superb volley.

Stoke thought they had equalised on the stroke of full-time when Jon Walters' effort appeared to go over the line but were furious when referee Chris Foy allowed play to continue.

Tottenham made the breakthrough in the 20th minute with Bale at the heart of things.

The Wales full-back cracked in a shot that was blocked by goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen. Peter Crouch was first to react but his effort came back off Ryan Shawcross. However, to the Stoke skipper's horror, his clearance went straight to Bale who headed home.

Stoke drew level in the 25th minute with Tottenham guilty of poor defending. Younes Kaboul directed Matthew Etherington's corner into the area and Fuller fired home.

Tottenham regrouped and regained their lead in the 30th minute with a stunning effort. Aaron Lennon began the move and got beyond the defence before lofting the ball into the Welshman's path. Bale showed superb technique to crack in a volley that flew over Sorensen and high into the right hand corner of the net.

Fuller carved out an opening for himself with a quick turn on the edge of the area which left him with only Heurelho Gomes to beat but his effort was weak.

Sorensen twice denied Jermaine Jenas from adding to Spurs' lead while Tuncay Sanli and Shawcross had chances before Bale was denied a hat-trick.

The final word went to Foy, however, as Walters' effort was ruled not to have crossed the line.


From Belfast Telegraph