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
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
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
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
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
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