Gareth Bale inspires Spurs comeback against Manchester City

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Tottenham Hotspur strengthened their Champions League qualification hopes with a stunning second-half fight back against Manchester City to record a 3-1 victory at White Hart Lane.

After Samir Nasri had given the visitors a well-deserved first-half lead, Spurs scored three goals in seven minutes to turn the tie completely on its head, putting their opponents' local rivals Manchester United just three points within the Premier League title.

Clint Dempsey tapped in from close-range on 75 minutes, finishing off a superb cross from the returning Gareth Bale, before substitute Jermain Defoe fired Andre Villas-Boas's side ahead four minutes later.

Bale then broke free from Gael Clichy and latched on to a perfectly weighted through ball from Tom Huddlestone, to complete a dramatic turnaround, moving Spurs back level with fourth-placed Chelsea, who play Liverpool at Anfield later this afternoon.

Tottenham's victory looked unlikely when they fell a goal behind with just five minutes on the clock, after good work from Carlos Tevez picked out James Milner, who drilled the ball back for boo-boy Nasri - receiving a hostile reception due to his Arsenal connections - to guide the ball beyond Hugo Lloris and the retreating Kyle Walker on the goal-line.

Joe Hart did well to deny Walker from equalising in the 22nd minute, after Dempsey played the full-back in behind City's defence. However, the England goalkeeper was quick off his line to clear the danger.

The hosts survived further scares with Nasri close to doubling the lead before Edin Dzeko spurned another opportunity for Roberto Mancini's side before the break.

And, they were chances the reigning Premier League champions would live to regret after Spurs' impressive fightback, inspired largely by the returning Bale, whose goal in the closing stages was just rewards for his man of the match performance.

Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto; Dembele, Parker (Huddlestone 61'), Sigurdsson (Holtby 60'), Bale, Dempsey; Adebayor (Defoe 71').

Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy (Lescott 90'); Barry, Milner (Kolarov 45'), Yaya, Nasri, Tevez, Dzeko (Sinclair 83').

Venue: White Hart Lane

Referee: Lee Mason

Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester City
Premier League
Gareth Bale
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