Gareth Bale scored his first Premier League hat-trick since returning to Tottenham in an all-round 4-0 win over Sheffield United.
Ryan Mason has chosen an attacking lineup for Tottenham’s return to the Premier League following their Carabao Cup final loss to Manchester City the previous weekend. All four of Bale, Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dele Alli started against the already relegated Blades.
Two members of that attack combined for the first chance of the game. Son cut the ball over the Blades endline in Kane’s path. The striker forced Aaron Ramsdale to stop his reaction.
Another ball on top, this time from Giovani Lo Celso, almost created another chance. Sergio Reguilon tried to sneak behind to meet him, but Ramsdale managed to get there.
At the other end, David McGoldrick made an interception, but his shot had no power and drifted away.
Next to target Tottenham was Bale, who charged on the right wing before cutting inside. However, he pulled his effort on the bar.
Ramsdale was certainly the busier of the two goalies and made a smart save to turn Son down. The England youth keeper was slightly unnoticed as the South Korean let fly but still managed to push him back.
The odds were flowing freely for Spurs and Chris Basham had to make a goal clearance to deny Kane.
The pressure from Spurs finally paid off after 35 minutes, when Bale gave them the lead. Serge Aurier noticed a run from Bale, who clung to the dink from the full-back over the defense. The Welshman arrived just before Ramsdale and lifted him into the net from a wide angle.
There was a scare for United at the start of the second half, when John Fleck stood on Lo Celso. VAR considered this a potential red card violation, but there was no penalty.
If escaping this was a sigh of relief for visitors, another came soon after. Once again, they were caught by a run behind, Son hooking up to a pass from Eric Dier.
Head-to-head race with Ramsdale, he bided his time and shot past the keeper. However, VAR found him to be partially offside when the ball was played.
Tottenham run away
As the game passed the hour, Tottenham extended their lead. Son leaps up to launch a counterattack, sending the ball into Bale’s path. He charged net on goal before providing a categorical finish for his second of the night.
Still playing for their pride, as they have been doing for a few weeks now, the Blades got their first shot on target a few minutes later. Oliver Norwood tried to place him from outside the box, but it was comfortable for Hugo Lloris.
Instead, it was Tottenham who scored the next – as Bale finished his hat trick.
Aurier jumped inside the right wing and deftly played it in Bale’s stride. The Real Madrid lender hit the target to complete their hat-trick.
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If Bale had made the headlines with his hat-trick, someone else’s best goal of the night came in. Son went 4-0 in the last 15 minutes and with a lot of style.
Receiving the ball on the left edge of the area, he deftly dodged his marker and coiled an effort into the opposite top corner.
Still, Kane, who first ignited in the last five minutes, made an effort for the first time.
There was also a last minute chance for Reguilon, who was aiming wide with relatively simple luck.
It wasn’t for those last two occasions, but it certainly didn’t matter to the team. Their big win took them to fifth place, although their two closest challengers for a place in the Europa League each have a game in hand.