Bale hits hat trick as Tottenham routs Villa 4-0

Gareth Bale scored his first Premier League hat trick as

Tottenham routed Aston Villa 4-0 on Wednesday to climb into the

Champions League qualification places.

Jermain Defoe put Tottenham ahead in the 57th minute before Bale

netted his goals in 23 minutes.

Tottenham moved into fourth place ahead of Everton and West

Bromwich Albion on goal difference and two points behind

Chelsea.

Tottenham’s goal spree heaped further misery on Villa goalkeeper

Brad Guzan, who conceded eight at Chelsea on Sunday.

Villa is just three points above the drop zone in 16th

place.

After being run completely ragged at Stamford Bridge, Villa was

under heavy pressure from the start against Spurs, who went close

in the 11th minute when Bale saw a curling effort from outside the

box kept out by a fine diving save from Guzan.

The hosts almost paid for giving the ball away as Tottenham

broke forward and Aaron Lennon flashed a cross into the danger

zone, which Chris Herd hacked behind for a corner.

Defoe headed the resulting delivery into Guzan’s arms and the

American goalkeeper then came out to deny the same player.

Spurs were winning a seemingly endless succession of corners and

it appeared to be only a matter of time before they broke the

deadlock.

But Emmanuel Adebayor nodded a corner at Guzan and had a strike

blocked by Nathan Baker, while an effort from Bale before half time

was batted away by the goalkeeper.

Tottenham’s breakthrough came in the 57th when Defoe stabbed the

ball in through Guzan’s legs having latched on to Kyle Naughton’s

through ball.

Four minutes later Tottenham doubled its lead, taking advantage

of some sloppy play by Villa.

Christian Benteke’s cross was cut out to launch a Tottenham

counterattack that Villa could not halt. Bennett’s tackle sent the

ball to Bale, who advanced forward, rounded Guzan and prodded

home.

Bale’s second came after collecting Lennon’s pass in the box and

slotting the ball into the corner.

The Wales winger completed his treble in the 84th, sending the

ball into the roof of the net from substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson’s

pass.