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Gareth Bale scored a stunning free-kick and set up Aaron Lennon with a wonderful solo run to bring Liverpool's eight-match unbeaten run to an end at White Hart Lane.
The Welshman also scored what has to be one of the most unlucky own goals in Barclays Premier League history but Tottenham Hotspur still managed to come away with their second successive win despite a nervy second half in north London.
Bale began the match in devastating fashion, embarking on a 50-yard run before playing in Lennon for the opener after seven minutes. The Welshman then smashed home a brilliant swirling free-kick to make it 2-0 after 16 minutes, the ball looping and dipping over the wall leaving Pepe Reina completely non-plussed.
The win moves Spurs above Arsenal and Everton into fifth. Playing at the same high tempo that helped them to defeat West Ham United on Sunday, Spurs flew out of the blocks and stamped their authority on the game from the off on a bitterly cold night in north London.
Reina got a taste of things to come when he saw a swirling Bale free-kick fly at him from 30 yards in the fourth minute, punching away. Bale was key to Tottenham's quick start. The Welshman latched on to Jermain Defoe's pass after the England striker had pinched the ball off Steven Gerrard, but he could only shoot at Reina.
Tottenham's early pressure paid off as Spurs took the lead in style. Bale collected the ball on the half way line and breezed past four players before squaring to Lennon, who tapped home from close range.
Luis Suarez spearheaded the Liverpool fightback, testing goalkeeper Hugo Lloris with a low drive after Michael Dawson's tackle had knocked the ball in to the Uruguayan's path.
A mix-up between Lloris and Kyle Walker then almost gave the visitors an equaliser. The Frenchman rushed out of his goal to clear Suarez's through-ball but the defender took the ball away from his goalkeeper into the path of Jordan Henderson, who could not hit the target.
Henderson was adjudged to have fouled Clint Dempsey 30 yards out. Bale took a five-yard run up and despatched a powerful drive which dipped and swerved over the wall and into the net.
Liverpool appealed for a penalty in the 36th minute when Steven Gerrard went down under pressure from Mousa Dembele, but Phil Dowd waved play on. The danger was not over for Spurs though, as Suarez's shot was cleared off the line by Walker.
The visitors continued to push for an equaliser after the break but they almost conceded a third when Martin Skrtel's clearance led to a chance for Dempsey.
Spurs' best threat came from set plays. Bale fizzed another long-range free-kick just wide in the 68th minute but two minutes later Liverpool were back in the game. Lennon was well-placed on the line to clear Gerrard's header, but unfortunately for Spurs, the winger's clearance cracked Bale square in the face and flew in to the home net.
With 10 minutes to go Agger hooked the ball back for Suarez but the striker snatched at the ball and his volley flew over. Jonjo Shelvey chipped just wide but Tottenham held on until the final whistle, which Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas greeted with a huge double fist-pump.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas: "This is an important result given this is a midweek fixture when most of the teams have dropped points and we have gained some. It puts us in a really good position. If we can sustain this momentum in our next three games we can maybe join the top where we want to be.
"Tottenham as a club want to keep [Gareth Bale] here as long as we can but we understand players like this have propositions, have market which is the nature of the game. At the moment he's doing extremely well for Spurs and we are absolutely amazed with what he can do for us. Hopefully, we have no doubt he can become a top player in the future. He is on to a great career.
"[Cristiano] Ronaldo showed you can almost hit the ball from the bottom to the top and it has an effect it changes direction. Gareth has the power to hit the ball at that pace and that's why the ball gets so many effects."
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers: "We will struggle to play as well as that and not get anything. We were absolutely outstanding. We would have been disappointed had we come away from that game with a point."
|01 Dec 2012||v Fulham (A)|
|09 Dec 2012||v Everton (A)|
|16 Dec 2012||v Swansea (H)|
|22 Dec 2012||v Stoke (H)|
|26 Dec 2012||v Aston Villa (A)|
|29 Dec 2012||v Sunderland (A)|