Bale’s wonder goal condemns Stoke to second defeat
A wonderful Gareth Bale strike condemned Stoke to their second defeat of the new season as Tottenham sealed a 2-1 win at the Britannia Stadium.
Stoke were denied a late equaliser in controversial circumstances when a Jon Walters header appeared to have crossed the line despite Peter Crouch’s block, but referee Chris Foy -who appeared to be well-positioned -did not give it.
Bale had earlier opened the scoring when he bundled the ball over the line, and his splendid second sealed a hard fought victory for Harry Redknapp’s side.
Ricardo Fuller had pulled Stoke level but their second half rally against a tiring Spurs side amounted to nothing.
Redknapp’s side started brightly and Aaron Lennon, who did not feature in the midweek defeat to Young Boys, started the move that saw Spurs take the lead. A wonderful ball over the top of the Stoke defence set Bale away, and although his shot was parried by Thomas Sorensen, the Welshman was fortunate to be in the right place as Ryan Shawcross’ clearance hit the Welshman and went in.
It did not take long for Stoke to draw level. Their typical determination and resilience was on show as Fuller poked past Gomes after the Spurs goalkeeper had got lost under a Matthew Etherington corner.
But minutes Spurs were back in front. Lennon found Bale again, who lashed a beautiful left-footed volley past Sorensen and into the top corner.
Stoke were much improved in the second half and dominated the possession. Tuncay went close twice and Shawcross smashed the ball over the bar. Gomes then denied Fuller his second.
The home side were then left furious as debutant Jon Walters, a £2.75m signing from Ipswich, thought he had scored, only for the referee to deny Stoke their first point of the season.
After Frank Lampard’s ‘ghost goal’ in the World Cup it was another moment suggesting the need for goal-line technology, although Walter’s was not quite as obvious.
For Stoke, there is evidence they will once again cause problems, but need to improve in front of goal, while Spurs will be buoyed by this performance ahead of their showdown with Young Boys on Wednesday at White Hart Lane.