LONDON ⸺ Two goals apiece from Harry Kane and Gareth Bale helped a resurgent Tottenham Hotspur to beat Crystal Palace 4-1 and move into sixth spot in the Premier League on Sunday.
The on-loan Bale provided further evidence that he has rediscovered his former spark by scoring Tottenham’s first and second goals either side of Christian Benteke’s equaliser on the stroke of halftime.
But despite taking his tally to six goals in his last six appearances, Bale was outshone by the magnificent Kane who ended with two goals and two assists.
Kane’s first goal, which put Tottenham 3-1 ahead shortly after halftime, was a sublime curler from distance and his second was a tap-in before he was substituted.
Tottenham’s third successive league win lifted them above Liverpool and West Ham with 45 points from 27 games, two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea who play Everton on Monday.
Palace’s first defeat in four games left them in 13th place with 34 points from 28 games, eight points above third-from-bottom Fulham.
When Bale returned on loan in September the thought of him playing in tandem with Kane was exciting but until recently the Welshman had struggled for fitness and form.
The pair, though, were unstoppable on Sunday.
“He’s fantastic, an incredible striker. He showed that again tonight and he has been so consistent,” Bale said.
“It was a fantastic performance again from him and we are lucky to have him here.”
In the 25th minute Lucas Moura worked hard to create a turnover on the edge of the Palace area and fed Kane whose ball across the area was perfect for Bale to tap home.
Tottenham were in control but they were pegged back just before halftime when Luka Milivojevic’s pinpoint cross saw Benteke bullet a header past Hugo Lloris.
Palace were boosted by the arrival of Wilfried Zaha as a halftime substitute, after he missed a month with a hamstring injury, but Tottenham, rather than being deflated, began the second half in devastating fashion.
A flowing move in which Bale was twice involved ended with Kane heading a cross back across goal for Bale to nod past Vicente Guaita.
Three minutes later Kane produced an astonishing finish from Matt Doherty’s pass, hitting an outswinging right-footer into the far top corner from outside the area.
Zaha hit the post for Palace but Kane then grabbed his 16th goal of the season with a close-range header after an unselfish volleyed assist by Son Heung-min from a chipped pass by substitute Erik Lamela.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Clare Fallon; Reuters