English Premiership

Bale stunner rescues Spurs

2013-01-31 08:48
Gareth Bale (File)

Norwich - Gareth Bale scored one of the goals of the season as the Tottenham Hotspur winger's stunning individual effort salvaged a 1-1 draw against Norwich City on Wednesday.

Andre Villas-Boas's side struggled to break down a stubborn Norwich defence after Wes Hoolahan gave the hosts a shock first-half lead at Carrow Road and it needed a moment of magic from Bale to save Spurs from an embarrassing defeat to a team beaten by non-league Luton in the FA Cup on Saturday.

With 10 minutes remaining, the Wales international took possession on the halfway line and surged towards goal, weaving his way past two defenders before blasting his shot into the far corner to conjure up memories of the brilliant Ryan Giggs strike for Manchester United against Arsenal in the 1999 FA Cup semi-finals.

Bale's heroics left fourth-placed Tottenham one point clear of Everton and four ahead of Arsenal in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

It also gave Bale the chance to hit back at his critics, who claim the winger is often guilty of diving.

"It was nice to get a goal of that nature and it was important to get back into the game," Bale said.

"For the people who think I am diving, Alexander Tettey caught me, but I stayed on my feet and scored with a good finish."

Villas-Boas added: "Gareth Bale has such pace and power. In the second half we really put on a show. It's a pity our first half cost us two points."

Norwich were much improved following the humiliating 1-0 FA Cup fourth-round loss to Luton, but their winless run in the league has now extended to seven matches.

Canaries boss Chris Hughton made nine changes to the team beaten by Luton and the hosts started with purpose and energy.

Grant Holt blasted well over from outside the area before tumbling between Jan Vertonghen and Benoit Assou-Ekotto only for referee Neil Swarbrick to ignore appeals for a penalty.

Holt had another header scrambled clear by Hugo Lloris after Michael Dawson failed to clear and Norwich's pressure paid off when they took the lead in the 32nd minute.

Robert Snodgrass's cross reached Holt at the far post and he flicked it to Anthony Pilkington, who picked out Hoolahan to slot past Lloris.

That setback sparked Tottenham into life and Jermain Defoe played a one-two with Aaron Lennon before drawing a smart save from Norwich goalkeeper Mark Bunn.

Bale then troubled the Norwich defence with a low shot that Bunn saved well.

Villas-Boas sent on German midfielder Lewis Holtby, recently signed from Schalke, for his debut in place of Clint Dempsey with 19 minutes left.

Holtby had a fairly quiet introduction to English football, so it was left to Bale to come to Tottenham's rescue in the 80th minute.

Collecting the ball on the halfway line, he raced by Alex Tettey and into the area, cutting onto his left foot to leave Javier Garrido and Michael Turner statuesque as he fired past Bunn.

Tottenham pressed for a winner and Bunn saved a swerving effort from Gylfi Sigurdsson and then used his feet to deny Bale.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Lakay on trial at Zwolle

20 minutes ago

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Tips on how to set your fitness goals

Before you embark on a fitness or training programme, set yourself clear and realistic long-term and short-term goals.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
The TRUTH about painkillers and exercise
WIN! Where were you when you last felt alive?
Watch: Fishing under ice
Fixtures
20 October 2014
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United, The Hawthorns 21:00
25 October 2014
West Ham United v Manchester City, Boleyn Ground 13:45
Liverpool v Hull City, Anfield 16:00
Southampton v Stoke City, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace, The Hawthorns 16:00
Swansea City v Leicester City, Liberty Stadium 18:30
26 October 2014
Burnley v Everton, Turf Moor 15:30
Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United, White Hart Lane 15:30
Manchester United v Chelsea, Old Trafford 18:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who is the best new player in the English Premiership this season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.