BY JUSTIN FERGUSON
There might not be a more in-form player in the world right now than Gareth Bale.
The Tottenham winger scored twice his club’s dramatic 3-2 win over West Ham United on Monday, including a 90th minute winner from distance Bale’s other goal opened the scoring for Spurs, who moved into third place in the Premier League table with the win.
West Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen gave the home side a chance to get the upset with a 10-save performance. The Hammers erased Spurs’ early lead with an Andy Carroll penalty in the 25th minute. After some back-and-forth action to close the first and open the second half, West Ham took the lead by way of a Joe Cole strike.
Tottenham threw everything it had at the 37-year-old Jaaskelainen, finally breaking through in the 76th minute thanks to a fine effort from substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Then, with just seconds left of regular time, Bale placed a long range screamer in the top corner. The Welshman then charged over to the Tottenham bench, where he was met by a joyous Andre Villas-Boas. The young manager’s squad now moves past his former employer in the EPL standings.
Here are some more stories to wrap up your Monday:
LAZIO DEFEATS US PESCARA, MOVES BACK TO THIRD IN SERIE A
Tottenham was not the only club making a move up the tables on Monday. Lazio ended its four-match winless streak in Serie A competition with a 2-0 win over US Pescara. The three points moves Lazio back to third place in the league standings, jumping both Milan clubs.
Stefan Radu scored his first goal in his 119th Lazio appearance, firing a stunning shot that curled just inside the near post. Senad Lulic one-upped his fellow defender just six minutes later with a cannon of a goal from 25 yards out.
Lazio controlled the rest of the match but was unable to add to their two-goal lead.
The club will have to fight to keep its third place spot this weekend. Lazio travels to San Siro on Saturday to face fourth-place AC Milan.
In other Serie A action, Napoli was held to a scoreless draw with Udinese, bringing the gap between the club and league leading Juventus to only six points.
Arsene Wenger believes that Arsenal still has a chance to finish second in the Premier League this season. (REPORT)
FIFA has now given 58 worldwide bans, including 33 lifetime ones, to individuals involved in the Chinese match-fixing scandal. (REPORT)
Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko told Kicker magazine that he would love to make a return to the Bundesliga. (REPORT)
FIFA has licensed German magnetic field system Cairos as the official third candidate for goal-line technology selection for the 2014 World Cup. (REPORT)
Former Italian international Gennaro Gattuso has been named as the new player-coach for Swiss club Sion. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Think Tottenham can stay at third place in the Premier League? What are your thoughts on the race for the top four spots in Serie A? Believe Arsene is right about the Gunners’ chances at second place?