West Ham 2-3 Tottenham

By Sam SheringhamBBC Sport
Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale continued his incredible scoring run with a stunning last-minute winner against West Ham to lift Tottenham to third in the table.

Bale gave his side the lead with a powerful strike before Hammers forward Andy Carroll won and scored a penalty.

On the 20th anniversary of Bobby Moore's death, Joe Cole put West Ham ahead with a low shot but Spurs drew level when Gylfi Sigurdsson poked home.

Bale sealed the points from long range with his eighth goal in six games.

It was another show-stopping performance from Tottenham's man of the moment after a string of superb saves from West Ham keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen looked certain to frustrate Spurs.

Picking up the ball in a central area some distance from goal, he worked it on to his favoured left foot and arrowed a drive, which dipped over Jaaskelainen's outstretched right hand and into the top corner.

The Welshman has now scored eight of his team's last 10 goals in all competitions and 19 in total this season.

Almost single-handedly he has lifted Spurs two points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea going into Sunday's crucial north London derby against Arsenal, who are a further two points back in fifth.

For the Hammers, Bale's strike was a devastating blow after a whole-hearted performance which did justice to the memory of England's World Cup-winning captain Moore.

Cole's goal gave them a 2-1 lead and had substitute Matt Taylor not been thwarted by Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris when through on goal it could have been a different story.

Before kick-off, the Upton Park crowd joined both sets of players in a minute's applause to pay tribute to Moore, who played more than 500 games for West Ham.

Bobby Moore's grandchildren Poppy, Freddie & Ava
Bobby Moore's grandchildren Poppy, Freddie & Ava lead out the teams

Hammers players warmed up in Moore number six shirts, a giant poster of the former defender was unfurled in the corner of the stadium before his three grandchildren placed the match ball on the spot.

Roared on by their impassioned fans, West Ham made the brighter start and Lloris had to make a sharp low save to keep out a shot from Matt Jarvis after neat interplay between Carroll and Cole.

But where there is Bale there is danger and the winger picked up the ball in a central position 25 yards from goal, pushed it past James Collins and lashed a left-footed shot past Jaaskelainen to give Spurs the lead.

West Ham drew level in the 25th minute after Scott Parker's lunging challenge took out Carroll's standing leg and referee Howard Webb pointed to the spot. The England striker rose to his feet and blasted the penalty into the roof of the net.

Spurs looked more likely to take the lead and West Ham were indebted to Jaaskelainen, who pulled off sharp saves either side of half-time to keep out goalbound headers from centre-back Steven Caulker.

Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas introduced Sigurdsson and it almost paid instant dividends as the Icelander curled a shot on to the post from outside the area.

The rebound presented Emmanuel Adebayor with a golden chance, but his tame header gave Jaaskelainen a relatively straightforward save.

West Ham responded to the scare in devastating fashion by scoring from their next attack. Joey O'Brien's lofted pass from the left wing picked out Cole's run and the former England midfielder swivelled before firing off a left-footed effort which bobbled past Lloris and into the far corner.

'Tremendous' Bale 'inspires' Spurs

Tottenham's quest for an equaliser was once again thwarted by the inspired form of Jaaskelainen, who palmed away yet another Caulker header from a corner before deploying all his athleticism to tip a fine curling effort from Bale over the bar.

Lloris pulled off a brilliant stop of his own as he raced off his line to deny Taylor and the miss proved costly to the Hammers as Spurs equalised.

West Ham's defence failed to clear a Bale free-kick from the right and the ball dribbled through to Sigurdsson who poked home at the far post.

A rampant Spurs continued to bombard the home side's goal only to be denied by a goalkeeper at the top of his game as Jaaskelainen tipped Sigurdsson's effort around the post and pushed aside a close-range header from Adebayor.

But just when both sides appeared to have settled for a draw, up stepped Bale to steal the stage.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce:

"We made a terrific go of it. It was at a crucial stage when Matt Taylor got through one on one and their keeper made good save, we want to be scoring that.

"At 3-1 there is no way back for them.

"But I thought the lads caused them a lot of problems."


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