Tottenham Hotspur win 2-0 at Norwich in English Premier League
Gareth Bale scores both goals as Spurs consolidate third spot
Arsenal held 1-1 at the Emirates by struggling Wolves
Swansea and Queens Park Rangers share 1-1 draw
Gareth Bale scored both goals as Tottenham Hotspur bolstered their burgeoning title challenge in the English Premier League with a 2-0 win at Norwich Tuesday night.
The comfortable victory lifted Tottenham four points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea in the standings and within seven of Manchester City and Manchester United at the top.
Harry Redknapp’s men also have a game in hand over all their nearest rivals and while qualification for next season’s Champions League remains a more realistic expectation, the manner of their win in East Anglia would have again raised even greater hopes among their supporters.
The home side have surprised a number of teams on their return to the top-flight but had few sights of goal on their home ground and did not win a corner until deep into the second half.
Welshman Bale, who wasted opportunities in the first half, finally found the target in the 55th minute at Carrow Road as Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor set him up to fire past home goalkeeper John Ruddy.
His second displayed his individual brilliance as sent away by Luka Modric, the flying winger outpaced Zak Whitbread before chipping Ruddy for this seventh league goal of the season.
More might have followed as Tottenham kept a stranglehold on possession but they will go into their next two fixtures over the seasonal period against Swansea and West Bromwich Albion with great confidence.
“We’ve learned a lot from last year being in the Champions League,” man of the match Bale told Sky Sports.
He added: “As long as we are creating chances that’s the main thing.
“We were confident we would get one whoever it fell to and lucky enough it was
Earlier Tuesday, Tottenham’s north London rivals Arsenal were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by 10-man Wolves at the Emirates Stadium.
It left Arsene Wenger’s men in fifth place, 12 points behind Manchester City and Manchester United and five adrift of Spurs.
Gervinho put Arsenal ahead in the eighth minute after being put through by Israeli international Yossi Benayoun.
But Wolves, again battling relegation, leveled just before halftime as Steven Fletcher reacted quickly to head home.
In the second half, Arsenal thought they should have had a penalty when Christophe Berra appeared to handball and the visitors were reduced to 10 men when Nenad Milijas was sent off for a foul on Mikel Arteta.
With a man advantage, the prolific Robin van Persie was kept out by Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey, who also saved superbly from Thomas Vermaelen as Wolves held out for a point.
“It is very frustrating,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told AFP.
“You won’t play many draws like that in a season but sometimes it can happen.”
In Tuesday’s other match, promoted clubs Swansea and QPR shared the points in a 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium.
Swansea took a 14th-minute lead through striker Danny Graham, with QPR appealing for handball.
The visitors leveled in the second half when Jamie Mackie latched on to Swansea midfielder Jamie Britton’s misjudged back header and shot under Michel Vorm to score.