Gareth Bale scored two goals as Tottenham came back in the second half to defeat West Ham United 3 – 2 in the Premier League at Upton Park. Tottenham now move into 3rd place, two points ahead of Chelsea and four up on Arsenal who they play at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
Gareth Bale did it again for Tottenham to keep alive their challenge for a place in next seasons Champions League. After early West Ham pressure, it was Bale who put Spurs ahead after 12 minutes. He finished expertly when a ball from Mousa Dembele towards Emmanuel Adebayor, was deflected by a defender to Bale on the edge of the area. He controlled the ball, took on the defenders and fired past the goalkeeper.
Initially, West Ham were unsettled but through sheer effort, they came back into the game and were level after 24 minutes when Scott Parker brought down Andy Carroll in the penalty area. Carroll took the penalty sending Lloris the wrong way as he put the ball to the goalkeeper’s left.
Level at half-time, Jaaskelainen having made a great save from a header by Steven Caulker. West Ham again built up the pressure but Spurs had a chance to go ahead but the goalkeeper produced a double save to first save from Gylfi Sigurdsson and then from Adebayor as he headed the rebound. Less than two minutes later, Joe Cole got behind the Spurs defence to put West Ham ahead with 57 minutes played.
It then became a battle between Bale and Jaaskelainen as the goalkeeper produced a number of outstanding saves to deny him. West Ham broke and had a chance to increase their lead but Lloris came out and spread himself to make a great save to deny Taylor. The ball went to the other end and two minutes later, a Bale free-kick caused confusion in the West Ham area and Sigurdsson scrambled the ball home with 15 minutes remaining.
Spurs continued to press, Caulker had two further headers saved and as time was running out, Bale again produced the perfect response to West Ham’s spoiling tactics. As Spurs broke, Bale was fouled but the referee waved play on and when Tom Carroll gave the ball back to Bale, he sized up the situation and curled a perfect shot beyond Jaaskelainen with one minute of normal time to play. Spurs saw out added time to secure the win.
Tottenham have set themselves up nicely for the north London derby and Gareth Bale has delivered once again.