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Barclays Premier League

The Hawthorns (ATT 24,978) 3rd February 2013 - Kick off 13:30 Ref: M Clattenburg

W Brom West Bromwich Albion vs Tottenham Hotspur Tottenham

W Brom 0

G Popov (S/O 48)

ft

Tottenham 1

G Bale (67)

Sky Sports 1 HD

Premier League: Tottenham edge out 10-man West Brom at The Hawthorns

Last Updated: 03/02/13 7:34pm

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Gareth Bale netted another spectacular strike for Tottenham Hotspur as they overcame 10-man West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at The Hawthorns.

A close encounter swung in Spurs' favour three minutes into the second half when Baggies full-back Goran Popov was shown a straight red card for spitting at Kyle Walker.

Andre Villas-Boas' side were able to make their numerical advantage count on 67 minutes, with Bale shifting the ball onto his left foot and firing a 20-yard thunderbolt past a helpless Ben Foster.

Best of the match...

  • Man of the match: Gareth Bale. Posed a constant threat and maintained his fine goalscoring form with a spectacular winner.
  • Save of the match: Ben Foster did really well to tip a dipping effort from Bale over the crossbar moments before the interval.
  • Moment of the match: Goran Popov lost his composure three minutes into the second half, spat at Kyle Walker and ended up costing his side dear.
  • Taking point: Can Tottenham edge above Chelsea and claim a third-placed finish this season? What do West Brom need to do to stop the slide they are currently on?

The first half chance fell to Albion after Romelu Lukaku's flick-header found the recalled Shane Long in space and with only Hugo Lloris to beat. But his first touch was heavy and forced him out wide and he eventually overran the ball which went harmlessly out of play.

Lukaku was causing plenty of problems and the on-loan Chelsea striker forced a low save out of Lloris after good play by Baggies skipper Chris Brunt.

West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster came quickly off his line to hack the ball away from Jermain Defoe after he had anticipated a through pass from Bale.

Lloris pulled off a fine save to prevent the home side going ahead after 20 minutes. Graham Dorrans threaded a pass through the Tottenham rearguard to Long who took the ball in his stride and raced into the box. But Lloris was equal to the situation and blocked the resulting shot from the Republic of Ireland international.

Defoe, in front of England head coach Roy Hodgson, needed touchline treatment after landing awkwardly on his left ankle when avoiding a challenge from Long. He was unable to continue and was helped down the tunnel by two Spurs physios and replaced by transfer window signing Lewis Holtby - leaving Andre Villas-Boas desperately short on striking options.

Lukaku shot over from a narrow angle and in first-half injury time Foster tipped a dipping effort from Bale over the bar.

Albion were reduced to 10 men after only three minutes of the second half. Replays showed that Popov spat in the direction of Spurs defender Kyle Walker after the two had squared up to each other. Referee Marc Clattenburg instantly brandished a red card at the on-loan Dynamo Kiev left-back.

It was one-way traffic towards the Albion goal from that point on and Foster turned aside a low drive from Holtby. The former England international was also alert in blocking a close-range attempt from Bale.

But after 67 minutes a stunning strike from Bale put Tottenham in front. The winger, playing in a more central role, received a pass from Walker, brushed off the challenge of Brunt and his 20 yard shot flew past the despairing dive of Foster into the top corner of the net.

Foster did well to block Clint Dempsey's shot as Spurs searched for a second goal, but one was enough to consolidate their top-four standing and take them to within a point of third-placed Chelsea.

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 16 39
2 Manchester City 17 39
3 Manchester United 17 32
4 West Ham United 17 31
5 Southampton 17 29
6 Arsenal 17 27
7 Tottenham Hotspur 17 27
8 Swansea City 17 25
9 Newcastle United 17 23
10 Liverpool 17 22
11 Everton 17 21
12 Aston Villa 17 20
13 Stoke City 16 19
14 Sunderland 17 19
15 West Bromwich Albion 17 17
16 Queens Park Rangers 17 17
17 Crystal Palace 17 15
18 Burnley 17 15
19 Hull City 17 13
20 Leicester City 17 10

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