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PREMIER LEAGUE: Bale brace as Tottenham go fifth with win over QPR

Tottenham Hotspur have this evening moved into fifth place on the Premier League table with a 3-1 home win over London rivals QPR on the back of a double from Gareth Bale.

Spurs controlled the first half with goals from Rafael van der Vaart and Bale giving them a 2-0 lead at the break before the visiting R's made life a bit tougher for their opponents in the second term with Jay Bothroyd hitting back just after the hour-mark before Bale grabbed his second to essentially wrap up proceedings just under 20 minutes from time.

The opening goal came in the 20th minute when van der Vaart played in Aaron Lennon at the top of the box who flicked it wide for an unmarked Gareth Bale who was able to hammer home on his trusty left giving Paddy Kenny no chance.

Tottenham were two ahead 13 minutes later when captain Ledley King strode towards goal and unleashed from distance with the shot taking a deflection off the QPR defence and falling for van der Vaart who gratefully took the chance with one touch and slotted past Kenny for his sixth goal in his last five league outings.

QPR got back in the game just after the hour-mark when a floated corner to the back post was headed forward by Heidar Helguson into the path of half-time substitute Bothroyd who glanced his header home for his first PL goal in five-and-a-half years but Spurs again got a two-goal cushion ten minutes later in a flowing move. Van der Vaart found Bale who provided an outlet pass for Lennon and put it back into the path of the Wales star who found Kenny's top right corner with a terrific curling first-time shot from the edge of the area to make it 3-1.

R's keeper Kenny stood in the way of a much bigger score from Spurs with a number of key saves, particularly from van der Vaart's 50th minute strike and Bale's well-struck shot in the 64th, which came about after Kenny dropped a seemingly straightforward free-kick from van der Vaart.

Late in the game, QPR threw everything at the North Londoners but they managed to get enough bodies behind the ball to hold out for a sixth win in their last seven matches to join Newcastle United and Chelsea in 19 points as the R's remained 12th despite suffering their fourth defeat of the campaign.

TRIBAL ASKS: With the quality of the players in Tottenham's squad, are they capable of a top-four finish this season?

Tottenham Hotspur: 3 (Gareth Bale 20'/72', Rafael van der Vaart 33') Queens Park Rangers: 1 (Jay Bothroyd 62') White Hart Lane, North London

Yellow cards:TH - nil QPR - nil

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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