The race is on: Speedy Spurs forward Bale turns up heat on top two
Harry Redknapp hailed Gareth Bale as ‘unplayable’ after the Wales star fired Tottenham firmly into the title chase.
Bale scored both second-half goals as Redknapp’s side breezed past Norwich 2-0 to move four points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea and within touching distance of the two Manchester clubs at the top of the table.
Nice move: Gareth Bale (left) celebrates scoring his goal with team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor
Seven points separate Tottenham from City and United but their game in hand means a first League title since 1961 is more than a pipedream.
Bale put in a quite sublime performance in an unfamiliar central position last night — his best moment coming when he ran almost half thelength of the pitch to score his second goal.
‘Gareth is amazing,’ said Redknapp, whose side took advantage of slip-ups from Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in the past few days. ‘When he started to run for the second goal, there was nocatching him. He’s a special talent and he’s got everything. I played him in a front three rather than sticking him out on the wing.
‘Sometimes he stands out wide on the touchline and it’s difficult to getin the game. When he frees himself, he’s difficult to get hold of. He’s unstoppable. He’s unplayable.’
Dou-bale: Gareth Bale clips home his and Tottenham”s second goal
And the Tottenham manager ruled out selling his star man.
‘If we sell Bale, we’ve had it,’ he added. ‘If you’re looking to go somewhere, you don’t sell a player like him. Only Barcelona, Real Madrid or Manchester City could afford his wages and transfer fee. He’s not for sale.’
The only sour note for Redknapp came when some Norwich fans chanted ‘he looks like a chimp’ at Bale during the game.
‘They’re disrespectful,’ said Redknapp. ‘It makes you sick.’
Tottenham now have eight wins from their last 10 Premier League matches but Redknapp is not taking anything for granted as he prepares to play West Brom, Everton, Wolves and Wigan at White Hart Lane before the end of January.
‘This was a big game because the other results have gone well for us,’ he added.
Breakthrough: Gareth Bale fired Spurs ahead
‘It shows you how difficult it is to pick results. I thought everyone would win. We’ve got some tough games coming up. They’re all scrapping for their lives and will make it difficult.’
Norwich manager Paul Lambert said: ‘I thought we gave a good account of ourselves but we were playing against a team who are vying for the Premier League title.
‘The bigger teams can really hurt you and Spurs are definitely up therevying for the championship. It’s disappointing but we gave it everything we had.
‘They’ve got quality all over the pitch.’
Heads up: Tottenham”s Gareth Bale jumps for the ball
‘I’ve got to have a realism factor, where we came from and the team we were up against.’
Match-winner Bale said he did not lose faith that Spurs would win the game after failing to take a number of chances in the first half.
He added: ‘As long as we are creating chances that’s the main thing.
‘We were confident we would get one whoever it fell to and luckily enough it was me in this game.’