Bale double kills off QPR, Spurs up to fifth

Updated: 31 October 2011 11:20 IST

Gareth Bale scored twice as Tottenham reinforced the growing belief they are on course for a return to the top four with a 3-1 victory over QPR on Sunday.

Bale double kills off QPR, Spurs up to fifth
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London:

Gareth Bale scored twice as Tottenham reinforced the growing belief they are on course for a return to the top four with a 3-1 victory over QPR on Sunday.

Rafael Van Vaart was also on target for Spurs, scoring for a fifth successive Premier League game, as Harry Redknapp's side moved fifth.

Jay Bothroyd's second half reply provided little consolation for a Rangers side whose preparations had been overshadowed by the fall-out from the previous week's win over Chelsea that prompted an FA investigations of allegations of racial abuse directed at Anton Ferdinand by Blues captain John Terry.

Ferdinand was included in the Rangers starting line-up and newspaper reports on the morning of this game suggested Ferdinand will shortly make his first public statement on the allegations that have been strenuously denied by Terry.

That issue was finally put to one side, however, as Rangers struggled to handle a Tottenham side who produced a display that confirmed they are a team on the rise.

"It was a fantastic performance," Redknapp said. "In the first half we played some great football and moved the ball quickly. The movement and passing was incredible.

"They changed how they played, got it forward and played with more intensity in the second half but Gareth finished them off with a great goal."

Redknapp's side were unbeaten in 10 games coming into this clash and the way they took the game to the visitors confirmed there is no lack of confidence at White Hart Lane right now.

Less than two minutes into the game Van der Vaart turned Luka Modric's half-hit shot into a pass, turning sharply before striking a left foot effort that brought a good save from Rangers keeper Paddy Kenny.

Kenny needed to enlist the help of team-mate Heidar Helguson at the resulting corner, with the QPR forward clearing Bale's header off the line before the keeper once again reacted well to deny Van der Vaart.

That forced Rangers to reorganise their backline and the confusion caused by the changes became apparent five minutes later when Emmanuel Adebayor met Van der Vaart's free kick with a free header six yards out.

On that occasion the striker missed the target, just as he did moments later when he met Bale's low cross.

But it was clear the QPR defences were creaking and Bale finally found a way through when he put Tottenham ahead in the 19th minute.

Adebayor won a header after a long punt forward and Van der Vaart and Aaron Lennon helped the ball on to Bale, who finished ruthlessly with an angled shot.

The move was simple enough, and its execution summed up the difference between the two sides in the first half.

A second Tottenham goal was always likely before the interval and it came in the 32nd minute when Van der Vaart once again made the most of a mishit shot, this time from Ledley King.

On this occasion the Holland international showed more conviction with his finish, placing the ball inside the far post giving Kenny no chance of repeating his earlier heroics.

QPR manager Neil Warnock responded with a double half-time substitution, withdrawing Adel Taarabt and Shaun Derry for Jay Bothroyd and James Mackie.

The changes had the desired effect with the visitors offering a greater threat, even if Spurs were clearly still the better team.

Kenny once again produced a fine save to deny Van der Vaart shortly after the break but Rangers began to push Tottenham back and they were back in the game thanks to Bothroyd's header from a Joey Barton corner in the 61st minute.

Kenny produced a string of good saves to deny Van der Vaart, Bale and Modric but he had no chance of denying Bale in the 72 minute.

The build-up was even slicker than for the first goal with Van der Vaart and Lennon once again involved with the England winger exchanging passes with Bale before the Welshman curled in an excellent shot from the edge of the area.

Topics : Mark Hughes Alex Ferguson Manchester City Football Tottenham Hotspur Queens Park Rangers Gareth Bale English Premier League
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