Bale brilliance softens Defoe blow as Spurs hunt down third-place Chelsea.
Tottenham Hotspur lost Jermain Defoe to injury but won 1-0 at West Bromwich Albion through a fine Gareth Bale goal to bolster their push for Champions League qualification.
fanatix tickets – Barclays Premier League tickets are still available for next weekend’s games.
Sunderland vs Arsenal tickets are on sale from £23 for this Saturday’s match at the Stadium of Light.
Emmanuel Adebayor’s commitments with Togo at the Africa Cup of Nations have left Defoe as Spurs’ only senior striker, but the England international had to go off in the 39th minute at The Hawthorns after appearing to twist his ankle.
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas later revealed that he had been withdrawn from England’s squad for their friendly against Brazil on Wednesday.
Once again, Bale was Spurs’ most dangerous player but his best effort in the first half, a fierce, bending strike in injury time, was touched over by West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster.
The hosts carved out a clear sight of goal when Graham Dorrans released Shane Long, but visiting goalkeeper Hugo Lloris narrowed the angle well to block.
Tottenham were given a helping hand early in the second half when West Brom’s Macedonian left-back Goran Popov, on loan from Dynamo Kiev, was shown a straight red card for spitting towards Spurs right-back Kyle Walker.
Spurs made their numerical advantage count in the 67th minute as Bale took his tally for the season to 11 league goals with a vicious strike from just outside the 18-yard area.
On playing in a more central role, Bale told Sky Sports: “I enjoy it. It’s a role that I’m learning season by season.
“I’ve come in (from the wing) more often than in previous seasons and I enjoy it. It’s a new experience for me, a chance to improve my game and add a new dimension.”
Victory took Villas-Boas’ side to within a point of third-placed Chelsea in the Premier League table, while West Brom stay in ninth place.
West Brom coach Steve Clarke said Popov would face punishment over his actions.
“There are no excuses at all for Goran Popov, he has let everyone down,” Clarke told the BBC.
“It would be a strong case for him to receive disciplinary action, but it will be dealt with internally.”
Download the free fanatix app now for iPhone: Sport news, social
features and more!
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: