AVB praise for match-winner Bale
Updated: Tuesday, 26 Feb 2013 13:01
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas sent a warning to other Barclays Premier League clubs that winger Gareth Bale can only continue improving after the Welshman scored a fantastic double to seal a 3-2 win over West Ham.
Bale opened the scoring with a low, driven finish before securing a dramatic win for Spurs with a stunning goal in the final moments of last night's game.
The Hammers had looked like capping their Bobby Moore tribute night, marking 20 years since his death, with a win after an Andy Carroll penalty and Joe Cole effort had put them in front following Bale's first strike.
But a scruffy equaliser from substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson set up a grandstand finale with no prizes for guessing which player delivered the sublime piece of skill to ultimately secure a win that takes Spurs above Chelsea and into third place in the table.
Villas-Boas believes Bale, 23, can continue to improve after his latest showing and felt his side deserved the three points after deciding not to shut up shop after pulling level.
"I think he is on a tremendous level this season," the Portuguese said of Bale.
"[He is] really enjoying his football, now playing as a striker. When you are able to make a player feel comfortable things can only get better and it is down to him and his motivation and also what the team wants to achieve, they create things for him.
"We were very, very persistent, after 2-2 we didn't drop back and try to play for a point - in the Premier League we are always positive - we kept pushing for that winning goal and I think we got rewarded in the end for doing exactly that."
Bale's match-winning effort was also praised by West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, although he felt his side should have already had the game wrapped up at that point.
Matthew Taylor, who replaced injured skipper Kevin Nolan, was played through on goal with a chance to make it 3-1 to the hosts but his effort was well saved by a charging Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal and Allardyce was left ruing the miss.
"The key moments for me are when you're moving into final quarter of the game," he said.
"One on one, it was the best chance of game for both sides, the best chance that you can get and you miss it, that was a telling moment, I don't think Tottenham are coming back from 3-1.
"If you're going to beat Tottenham like we beat Chelsea you have got to put those in back of net. We put them in back of net against Chelsea to win 3-1.
“This time Tottenham came back from that [with] the second goal and then the 'worldy' at the end that killed us off."