• Premier League

Villas-Boas: Bale on 'another level'

ESPN staff
February 25, 2013
Gareth Bale was in the mood to try anything against West Ham © Getty Images

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas believes Gareth Bale's improvement shows no signs of abating after the Welshman's latest wonder goal secured a dramatic 3-2 victory at West Ham.

Bale's incredible last-gasp winner at Upton Park and his equally superb first-half opener capped another scintillating performance as Spurs moved ahead of Chelsea and into third spot in the Premier League.

And Villas-Boas was unsurprisingly gushing in his praise of Tottenham's star man, telling Sky Sports: "He is unbelievable, he's such a super talent. I think we have been able to see him this season in another level and he is making the difference every single game.

"Gareth has been world class for some time now. Players like this are able to assume responsibilities at these moments. We see him getting the ball in midfield, being fouled, getting up and lining up to score the winning goal. He is tremendous, for sure.

"It is the responsibility of the manager to get the best out of his players and when you see him so joyful on the pitch, the rewards come to the team."

The modest Bale did his best to play down his latest match-winning display as he tried to deflect attention from his own brilliance by claiming the Upton Park win had been a team effort. But he appreciated the significance of the triumph ahead of Sunday's north London derby against Arsenal.

"We knew the result yesterday [Chelsea losing against Manchester City] gave us a massive chance to get into third spot," he said. "We had a lot of chances, especially off corners, but the most important thing is to get the three points again. It was a massive victory for us.

"It's not about me, it's about the team and we know we have a massive game on Sunday now. Arsenal are a great team and we want to get the three points to keep our Champions League hopes alive."

Villas-Boas was also turning his thoughts towards Sunday's showdown with Arsenal, where his side get the chance to establish a seven-point lead over their local rivals with just ten games left to play this season.

"It is a north London derby, so there will be plenty of passion and if we can get seven points ahead, it will be a nice cushion," Villas-Boas said. "It might not be enough to say Arsenal have been put away, but hopefully we can get the win and at least gain that lead.

"We just have to keep getting points. The distance is not very big for us to second place, but we face Arsenal on Sunday and it is a big opportunity to build a distance to them. We want to put people away. Everton are nine points behind, Arsenal are four. Hopefully we can put bigger distance between ourselves and Chelsea at the weekend."

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