Ten-man Tottenham topple Toon

Gareth Bale's 10th goal of the season ensured that 10-man Tottenham leap-frogged Chelsea into fourth place after a 2-0 home win over Newcastle.

Last Updated: 28/12/10 at 17:33 Post Comment

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Bale's electric pace allowed him to beat Steve Taylor down the left before unleashing a powerful drive that beat Tim Krul after Aaron Lennon put the hosts ahead just before the hour.

Spurs ended the match with 10 men for the second time in two days after Younes Kaboul was dismissed for forcing his head onto Cheik Tiote's in what was an otherwise feisty encounter that produced six bookings.

The hosts, who had Roman Pavlyuchenko up front in place of the suspended Jermain Defoe, started brightly and Lennon registered the first shot on target after firing a low drive at Krul two minutes in.

Andy Carroll, a reported transfer target for Spurs, made his physical presence felt up front but the hosts looked more dangerous early on, with Van der Vaart, Lennon and Luka Modric the main threats up front.

Michael Dawson was next to feel the full force of Carroll's hulking frame when he fell to the turf clutching his shoulder after going up for a header before he picked himself up and carried on.

Carroll had his first effort 25 minutes in when he twisted his body to meet Jonas Gutierrez's cross but his header fell onto the roof of the net.

Bale, who had a quiet start, then burst into life by capitalising on Danny Simpson's mistake to race past Alan Smith and Fabricio Coloccini into the box - but the former Leeds man scrambled back to block the Welshman's six-yard shot.

Joey Barton, captaining the side in Nolan's absence, clattered into the back of Bale and was furious with the referee's decision to award a free-kick.

Krul reacted well to tip over a Van der Vaart curler from the resulting free kick just before a Wilson Palacios mistake allowed Cheik Tiote to fire a weak shot at Gomes with half an hour gone.

Tiote then entered the book for claiming that Van der Vaart had dived in the box as the match started to become ill-tempered.

A second error from Wilson Palacios allowed Carroll to break free before the Honduran brought the striker down from behind, earning him a booking.

Pavlyuchenko powered an effort towards goal but Krul pushed the ball onto his left-hand post before the ball ricocheted off the other stanchion and rolled out to safety.

Palacios paid the price for his sub-par first half and was replaced by former Newcastle man Jermaine Jenas at the break.

Van der Vaart almost gave the home side the lead when he flashed a curling shot over Krul but luckily for the away side, the ball fell just wide of the Newcastle goal.

The Dawson-Carroll battle resumed three minutes into the second half, with the striker requiring treatment after going up for a header.

Both Kaboul and Gutierrez were booked for fouls on Barton and Lennon respectively as the game threatened to boil over.

Spurs broke the deadlock in the 57th minute when Lennon raced down the right and beat Krul with a low drive from inside the box after being given space by James Perch.

Smith became the fifth person to be booked when he hacked down Bale on the touchline.

Tiote, who was lucky not to receive a second yellow for a foul on Modric, then squared up to Kaboul after the midfielder slid in to tackle the defender.

The former Pompey man forced his head forward onto Tiote's and although not a clear head-butt, was enough to persuade referee Taylor to send Kaboul off, much to the disapproval of the Spurs bench.

The dismissal caused Redknapp to bring off Pavlyuchenko for Sebastien Bassong while Alan Pardew sought to push home Newcastle's numerical advantage by introducing striker Nile Ranger for Gutierrez.

Peter Crouch then came on for Van der Vaart as Spurs faced up to closing the match out with 10 men as they did against Aston Villa two days ago.

Jenas then released Lennon down the right but the England winger shot just wide, before Tiote was replaced by Peter Lovenkrands.

Any hopes of a Newcastle comeback were extinguished with 10 minutes left when Modric broke over the halfway line before finding Bale on the left wing.

The Welshman accelerated past Taylor before smashing a low angled drive past Krul for his 10th of the season.

Carroll was booked in the closing stages for a foul on Gomes as Newcastle's challenge petered out.

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