Gareth Bale leads Spurs to 2-1 win over Liverpool
(AP Photo/Tom Hevezi)
LONDON (AP) Gareth Bale was involved in all three goals Wednesday as Tottenham beat Liverpool 2-1 to end the visitors' eight-match Premier League unbeaten run.
The Spurs winger eluded several defenders after collecting the ball in his own half before crossing inside the box for Aaron Lennon to tap in at the far post in the seventh minute at White Hart Lane.
Bale's swerving free kick then gave Spurs a deserved 2-0 lead by the 16th minute, the ball looping over the wall to leave unmoved goalkeeper Pepe Reina no chance.
Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson gave away the foul that preceded the free kick, although his earlier miss on an open goal with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris stranded was even more culpable.
The Reds improved after the break by playing at a higher tempo, but it took a freakish goal to get them back in the match. Steven Gerrard's header from a nodded-on corner fell to Lennon guarding a post, but his attempted clearance smashed Bale in the face and the ball ricocheted into the net in the 72nd.
Liverpool forward Luis Suarez was a dangerous presence but his sometimes erratic finishing, despite his league-leading 10 goals this season, was again in evidence when he shot straight at Lloris in the first half and blazed over the crossbar on the six-yard line from Daniel Agger's hooked cross.
Gerrard and Suarez had penalty claims waved away by referee Phil Dowd, while Bale continued to be at the heart of the action when he was booked for diving in the second half.
Spurs rose above top-four rivals Arsenal and Everton to move into fifth place, only three points out of the Champions League spots. Liverpool stayed in 11th place after its fourth straight loss at White Hart Lane.
Updated November 28, 2012