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Tottenham 2-1 Newcastle

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Bale: At the double

Bale: At the double

A brace from Gareth Bale saw Tottenham maintain their march towards a top-four finish as they saw off Newcastle 2-1 at White Hart Lane on Saturday afternoon.

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Welsh wizard Bale opened the scoring for the hosts with a sensational free-kick after just five minutes, while Yoan Gouffran levelled matters midway through the first-half.

However, Spurs' superstar winger-cum-striker ensured the points would remain in north London, slotting a neat finish under the goalkeeper after running through one-on-one.

The result left Tottenham one point behind Chelsea in third, while the Magpies are 15th with a six-point cushion above the relegation zone, but could see that tally reduced to three by the end of play on Saturday.

Spurs started quickly and Bale had already tested Tim Krul before the opening goal arrived inside five minutes.

Clint Dempsey was fouled just outside the box and Bale stepped up to hit a Cristiano Ronaldo-style dipping free-kick inside Krul's near post.

Krul was being worked on a regular basis as andre Villas-Boas' side looked to put the game beyond doubt in the early stages, but the Toon Army started to threaten on the break.

It came as no real surprise when Moussa Sissoko produced another powerful run before cutting back for Yoann Gouffran to drill into the top corner from the edge of the box on 24 minutes.

From then on it was nip and tuck with both defences looking well organised and the respective attacks struggling to find much joy.

However, Spurs have Bale and the Welshman capitalised on the slightest hesitancy from Fabricio Coloccini to race onto a weak pass before slipping the ball through the legs of Krul with just over 10 minutes to go.

There were seven minutes of injury time after a nasty-looking injury to Gouffran saw him stretchered off with his leg in a protective splint, and Bale should really have secured his hat-trick but fired over from six yards with his right foot.

Posted: 09/02/13 14:40

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