Gareth Bale maintained his sublime form with a brilliant brace to inspire Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 victory over Newcastle United at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
Bale added to the growing belief that he is currently the best player in the Premier League with a superb free-kick to open the scoring early in the first half.
The Wales winger then bagged the late winner after Yoan Gouffran had equalised with his first Premier League goal for Newcastle.
Bale’s heroics extended Tottenham's unbeaten run to 10 Premier League games.
“It was a massive game. It was just important to come back and put pressure on the teams above us,” said Bale.
Manager Villas-Boas had admitted earlier this week that he fears Bale would be tempted to leave Spurs if the club don’t qualify for next season's Champions League.
To achieve that target Villas-Boas needs Bale to remain at his best, so he would have been delighted with his winger’s early impact against Newcastle.
Fabricio Coloccini, caught out of position, conceded a free-kick in a dangerous area after a trip on Clint Dempsey in the fifth minute.
Bale stood over the ball sizing up his options before unleashing a dipping strike that flashed past Newcastle’s wall and beat goalkeeper Tim Krul at his near post.
In between those chances, Newcastle was able to establish a foothold in the contest and it drew level in the 24th minute.
It was a goal that owed everything to Newcastle’s recent recruitment drive in France as Moussa Sissoko combined with fellow new signing Gouffran.
The result: Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Bale 5, 78) bt Newcastle United 1 (Gouffran 24). — AFP