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Bale unfazed by diving card

Gareth Bale insisted he was not concerned after being booked for diving during Tottenham's 2-1 win at Sunderland.

Last Updated: 30/12/12 at 11:33 Post Comment

The Wales wideman has been given five cautions for simulation in the Premier League since the start of last season and he went into referee Martin Atkinson's notebook after tangling with Craig Gardner during the second half.

"It's the same thing every time - it's the third time this season I've been clipped," Bale told Sky Sports.

"There is nothing I can do about it - the referees have to look a bit closer. If I get contact there it is a penalty or free kick.

"What do you expect me to do if I there is contact and I go over - hit my head

on the floor? I am not going to stop going because it is a foul.

"People can say what they want, it doesn't bother me. It's a foul and I know it myself.

"It's a vital win for us. We have put pressure on the other teams around us and it was a great performance from us. We got the two goals which we thoroughly deserved and won the game positively."

Manager Andre Villas-Boas was also quick to come to his player's defence, pointing the finger at match official Atkinson.

"It's a big mistake from the ref. I understand that reputations are sometimes created from the outside and it's a bit unfair," he added. "If you see the images Gardner doesn't focus on the ball, he goes to the player and he clips him.

"I don't think it mars the game in any way but obviously Gareth was one game away from being clean of yellow cards.

"I think it is extremely unfair that he will miss the Reading game by such a big mistake. It looks like persecution this time with Bale."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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