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Premier League

  • December 27, 2011
  • • 19:30
  • • Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk
  • Referee: M. Oliver
  • • Attendance: 26807

Norwich City 0-2 Tottenham: Magical double from Gareth Bale sees Spurs pull clear of Champions League rivals

Norwich City 0-2 Tottenham: Magical double from Gareth Bale sees Spurs pull clear of Champions League rivals

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Two goals from the Welsh wizard were enough to settle matters in Norfolk, as Harry Redknapp's side bossed proceedings to keep themselves firmly in the title hunt

Tottenham Hotspur put daylight between themselves and their rivals for a Champions League spot with a convincing 2-0 victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road.

Two goals from Gareth Bale, the second a majestic solo effort, were enough to settle the match as Harry Redknapp's side dominated from start to finish against Paul Lambert's brave Canaries.

Tottenham were buoyed by the return of Rafael van der Vaart to the starting XI, as they looked to secure a win which would put some distance between themselves and the chasing pack of Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Norwich, meanwhile, opted for a 4-4-2 system with Steve Morison paired up front with Grant Holt, as the hosts looked to add to their impressive haul of 27 goals – more than any other side outside of the top five has managed this season.

The match kicked off in front of a vociferous sell-out crowd at Carrow Road, with the home side looking to continue their fine home form against a Spurs team bidding to haul in the Manchester clubs at the top of the table.

The visitors controlled the proceedings for the first half-hour but were unable to convert their possession in to chances, with wayward shots from Kyle Walker and Younes Kaboul and a deflected Bale strike the only efforts Spurs could muster.

That was until just after the 30-minute mark, when two clear-cut chances came in quick succession. First, Bale robbed Russell Martin on the edge of the area, before driving in to the box only to fire his shot well over John Ruddy’s crossbar.

Emmanuel Adebayor then had an opportunity after being played through from a glorious long ball from Modric, but his first touch was too heavy and only succeeded in poking the ball out of play beyond the on-rushing Ruddy.

Bale then teed himself up on the edge of the box with a glorious first touch and darting run, but his left-footed shot was well parried by the keeper.

At the other end, Morison tried to curl a shot beyond Brad Friedel but got his angles wrong after being played in by Holt, but the hosts were struggling to create anything of note as the visitors dominated the ball.

Tottenham then had a good shout for a penalty turned down, as William Gallas was tripped deliberately by Morison in the run-up to a corner kick, but the clash went unnoticed by the officials and the scores remained level until half-time.

Two good | Bale's impressive second-half double saw off Norwich

The second half started at the same high tempo, with Spurs continuing to look dangerous in wide areas whenever Bale and Modric got in to space.

It was Norwich, however, who came closest to opening the scoring. Andrew Surman was brought down by Gallas on the edge of the area, and the midfielder curled the resulting kick inches wide of Friedel’s post in what proved to be the hosts' one and only clear opportunity.

Just as Norwich looked to be asserting themselves more on the match, Spurs finally broke the deadlock.

Van Der Vaart slipped the ball through to Adebayor in the box, and the big Togo striker showed some great footwork to keep hold of the ball before playing it across to Bale, who slotted home low under Ruddy.

Walker then had the chance to double the advantage a few minutes later after being teed up by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, but his shot once again flew wildly over the bar.

The visitors did not have long to wait to double their lead, however. Bale was played through by Modric, and the Welshman ran straight through the heart of the Norwich rear-guard in a blistering display of pace before chipping coolly over Ruddy to dampen the spirits of the home fans.

The Canary faithful tried to rouse their beleaguered side, but Spurs were in total control of the game, with Modric majestic as he dominated the midfield alongside Sandro and Scott Parker.

Harry Redknapp was able to use his substitutions to give some key first-team stars a well-earned rest as his side cruised through the final few minutes to victory.

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