Friday 27 December 2013
We remember Arsenal beating Chelsea at the Emirates, Wayne Rooney starring in a win over Hull City, and Gareth Bale's double helping Spurs overcome Norwich City
Gareth Bale struck twice in a 13-minute second half spell against Norwich City to strengthen Tottenham Hotspur's hold on third place in the Barclays Premier League.
Bale's double gave him seven goals for the season, six in the League, and it meant Spurs were five points ahead of north London rivals Arsenal in fifth place.
In the first half, Bale shot over the bar and was then thwarted by Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy. But he was not to be denied after the break as he gave the visitors a 55th minute lead. Emmanuel Adebayor picked up possession and kept the ball until passing it to Bale, whose slightly scrappy finish crept into the net.
In the 67th minute it was 2-0 as Luka Modric capitalised on a slip in the Norwich midfield to set free Bale, who raced clear of the defence before superbly lobbing the ball over Ruddy.
Russell Martin almost pulled one back in injury-time but his header went just wide.
The result stretched Norwich's winless Barclays Premier League run to three matches and dropped them down two places to 11th while Spurs stayed in third.
"Gareth is an amazing player, he's got everything, there’s not a weakness in his make-up," said Tottenham Hotspur manager Harrry Redknapp. "He can head the ball, is as strong as an ox and he can run, dribble and shoot. Most important of all, he’s a smashing lad."
Norwich City manager Paul Lambert added: "It's disappointing to lose but we gave it everything we had. They've got quality all over the pitch. I’ve got to have a realism factor, where we came from and the team we are up against."
Spurs finished fourth at the end of the season but missed out on a place in the following season's UEFA Champions League because Chelsea, who had finished sixth, won the 2012 competition with a dramatic victory over Bayern Munich in the final.
Norwich City, who had been promoted from League One to the Barclays Premier League in only two seasons, finished safely in 12th place in their first season back in the top-flight.