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Spurs 2-1 Liverpool - Bale Leads Th..
SPURS 2-1 LIVERPOOL - BALE LEADS THE WAY
Posted 29 November 2012 01:33am
Gareth Bale took centre stage as we secured a 2-1 win against Liverpool at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night.
The flying winger was involved in all the key incidents - including scoring at both ends - as we held on under pressure to secure a second victory in the Premier League at the Lane in the space of four days.
Bale was inspirational in the opening 20 minutes - another lightning start that laid the foundations as we ended Liverpool's eight-match unbeaten run in the Premier League.
He produced one if his trademark runs to set-up the first goal for Aaron Lennon on seven minutes and then hit a dipping, swerving free-kick to double the lead with just 16 minutes on the clock.
After our excellent opening spell, Liverpool clawed their way back into the game, missed chances and after pushing us back in the second half, eventually pulled a goal back when Bale was on the wrong end of Lennon's clearance off the line and ended up diverting the ball into his own net.
Liverpool continued to press but we held firm to move up to fifth in the table.
Andre Villas-Boas made two changes to the team that started against West Ham on Sunday with William Gallas returning in central defence for Steven Caulker and Mousa Dembele back in midfield for Tom Huddlestone. Michael Dawson wore the captain's armband.
Bale was straight into the action with the first of three free-kicks on the night. This one was struck from distance and swerved noticeably, forcing Reina into a somewhat uncomfortable save. Jermain Defoe was first onto the rebound but Reina was there to block.
Defoe then released Bale for a shot that zipped across Reina but wide of the far post.
The tempo of our start matched Sunday's against West Ham and this time we opened the scoring after seven minutes.
The build-up was all about Bale again. Taking off on halfway, he turned inside Gerrard and Glen Johnson, beat Gerrard again and sped past Joe Allen before crossing low for Lennon to tap home at the far post.
Liverpool had the next two chances as Hugo Lloris got down to block Suarez's measured shot from 18 yards before the Uruguayan released Jose Enrique through the middle, he was stopped by a combination of Lloris and Dawson but the ball squirted out to Jordan Henderson, who fired wide as Kyle Walker slid in to block.
It was soon 2-0 as Clint Dempsey was fouled by Henderson, allowing Bale to take aim again. This time the free-kick was right of centre, 22 yards out and Bale managed to strike the ball up and over the centre of the wall before it swerved and dipped off to the left, leaving Reina stranded in goal.
Defoe and Dembele tried their luck but the Reds carved out the better chances for the rest of the half.
Suarez burst into the box and fired straight at Lloris, Enrique turned sharply but did the same and then Walker got back to clear off the line from Suarez after Gerrard was halted in front of goal by Dembele and Lloris.
Bale still managed to have the final say though as his low drive from 25 yards was taken by Reina down to his left just before half-time.
Liverpool had the better of the second half in terms of possession and chances created, although Lloris actually had few saves to make.
Enrique, who saw plenty of the ball in his advanced position down the left, opted to try and find Stewart Downing with a header from Suarez's cross and then Dempsey fired wide from just inside the box.
Bale wasn't far off with his third free-kick from 25 yards but he was then central to Liverpool's response at the other end. It was pure misfortune as Daniel Agger flicked on substitute Jonjo Shelvey's corner, Gerrard headed at goal and Lennon hacked off the line, only for his clearance to strike Bale full in the face and fly back into the goal for 2-1, 72 minutes on the clock.
A succession of corners were headed away by Dawson and Sandro and the next serious chance arrived after 80 minutes as Agger hooked the ball back from the byline and Suarez connected sweetly with a volley that fizzed just over.
Enrique volleyed wide and the final chance of note fell to Suarez, picked out by Enrique and stopped by a combination of William Gallas and Lloris.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Gallas, Vertonghen; Dembele (Huddlestone, 88), Sandro; Lennon, Dempsey (Sigurdsson, 64), Bale; Defoe. Unused subs: Friedel, Naughton, Carroll, Livermore, Townsend.
Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Reina; Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Downing (Assaidi, 79); Allen, Gerrard; Sterling, Henderson (Shelvey, 63), Enrique; Suarez. Unused subs: Jones, Sahin, Carragher, Suso, Wisdom.
Goals: Spurs - Lennon (7), Bale (16). Liverpool - Bale own goal (72).
Yellow cards: Spurs - Bale. Liverpool - Skrtel, Enrique.
Referee: Mr P Dowd.