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Tottenham 4-1 Crystal Palace: Bale and Kane at the double as Spurs move into top six

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Gareth Bale continued his recent goalscoring run with a brace matched by Harry Kane in Tottenham’s 4-1 Premier League win at home to Crystal Palace.

Loan star Bale had netted just four times in his first 16 games back at Spurs, but his double on Sunday took his tally to six across his subsequent six appearances.

Kane assisted both goals, either side of a Christian Benteke header that only briefly pegged Jose Mourinho’s men back, before the England captain added a sensational third and then the fourth for a double of his own.

Son Heung-min laid on the striker’s second for the pair’s 14th goal combination of the campaign, a new Premier League record, as a third straight victory took Tottenham into the top six.

The star of the show from the outset, Bale had already crafted a clear opening for Son, nodded wastefully straight at Vicente Guaita, when he netted the opener after 25 minutes.

Lucas Moura led the Spurs press and pinched the ball from Luka Milivojevic before feeding Kane, who drilled in a low centre that found Bale with an open goal and a simple finish.

Unfortunately for Tottenham, Benteke was clinical from Palace’s very first attempt on the stroke of half-time as he directed Milivojevic’s left-wing cross into the top-right corner with a thumping header.

But Bale picked out the same corner at the same end four minutes after the restart, climbing highest when Kane nodded Sergio Reguilon’s delivery back across goal.

Following two assists, Kane then supplied the pick of the goals, a first-time effort from 20 yards that flew over Guaita’s head just 138 seconds after he had last been beaten.

Wilfried Zaha, returning from injury as a half-time substitute, was unfortunate to strike the post with a left-footed shot, but Palace were soon picked apart again as a gorgeous Erik Lamela pass teed up Son’s volleyed cross onto the waiting head of Kane.

What does it mean? Spurs spoiled for choice

Even in this stunning attacking display, Son missed the chance to cut his Premier League goal drought short. He has now not scored in the competition in a month.

Meanwhile, the resurgent Dele Alli, a starter at Fulham in midweek, did not even make it off the bench.

As Tottenham look to close on the top four while continuing their Europa League run, such depth will surely be key.

Bale back to his best

As well as netting a brace, Bale created four chances for team-mates. Only four times in his entire Premier League career has the winger scored at least twice while also playing four or more key passes.

Kane still the main man

This was Bale’s night, but Kane still had a hand in all four goals. His 40 goal involvements in all competitions this term is the most among all Premier League players.

A pair of assists saw his season tally swell to 13, while he became the first Spurs player to score two or more and create two or more in the same game since Jurgen Klinsmann against Wimbledon in May 1998.

Key Opta Facts

– Only league leaders Manchester City (35) have earned more points at home in this season’s Premier League than Tottenham (24).

– Tottenham’s fourth goal was their 100th in all competitions this season, becoming the second club in Europe’s big-five leagues to reach that tally in 2020-21, after Bayern Munich (106).

– Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has failed to win all six of his Premier League meetings with Spurs’ Jose Mourinho (D3 L3), the joint-most he has faced a particular manager in the competition without yet winning (level with Jurgen Klopp).

– Palace’s goal was from their very first shot of the match, and their only shot on target.

– Tottenham’s Gareth Bale has scored in each of his last three home appearances in all competitions, the first time he has done so since September 2018 for Real Madrid (four in a row), and first time for Spurs since May 2013.

What’s next?

Mourinho described a “very, very hard” month for Tottenham ahead of this match, but they are at home again on Thursday, hosting Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League. Palace welcome West Brom in the league on Saturday.

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