Swansea City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2 match report: Gareth Bale confident of Champions League chances

 

Gareth Bale, Tottenham's man of the moment, claims he is on the verge of fulfilling his dream of taking the club back into the Champions League.

The Welshman continued his scintillating form with his 22nd club goal of the season in addition to the assist and delicious pass for team-mate Jan Vertonghen's seventh-minute opener in the 2-1 success at Swansea City.

Michu halved the deficit with 19 minutes remaining, but victory allowed Andre Villas-Boas's smart outfit to leapfrog Chelsea into third place and edges them back towards a passage into Europe's elite competition – which was taken away from them last season when the Blues lifted the European Cup.

Bale said: "We are in a great position to reach the Champions League again and that is definitely the most important thing. We're still in the running for our objectives and hopefully we can fulfil them.

"It was important for us to get a win. We'd lost the last three of our games in all competitions so it was important to stop the rot and try and kick on and make our season as good as possible.

"We knew we had to get off to a good start, build the confidence from there and I think we showed that we can attack and defend.

"It was a great result for us so, hopefully, we can keep this run going."

Ultimately, Bale's contribution was the difference in south Wales. His pass for Vertonghen's goal was sublime, but he quickly followed that up with a stunning 21st-minute strike which left Michel Vorm stranded.

Bale added: "It was a nice strike, I caught it clean and it was just great to see it go in the back of the net.

"But the most important thing for us was to get the three points and looking at other results like Chelsea's takes us back into third."

Tottenham, who expect first-choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to return to training today after a minor knee injury, now prepare for their Europa League quarter-final first leg tie against Basel at White Hart Lane this week.

Manager Villas-Boas hopes his men can maintain their assault on a top four berth and winning silverware.

Villas-Boas said: "We dream of winning trophies so our focus on the Europa League won't shift. We understand that we have to keep the team fresh and we are able to rotate it as we have those top quality players that allow us to do so. Now we have the Europa quarter-finals and we can only dream of winning the trophy although I understand that it is always the league position that determines the success of the season.

"We just have to avoid injuries and recover the players. The fixture calendar is very tight. Every top team that plays in Europe has to deal with this.

"It is something the players have to get used to. The motivation of a Europa League trophy is fantastic."

Goals: Swansea City Michu 71. Tottenham Hotspur Vertonghen 7, Bale 21. Subs: Swa Ki 6 (De Guzman, 56), Monk 6 (Chico, 67), Schechter (Hernandez, 79). Tott Defoe 6 (Adebayor, 61), Holtby (Sigurdsson, 76). Booked: Swan Michu, Davies. Tott Adebayor, Walker, Holtby, Parker. Man of match Bale. Match rating 7/10. Possession: Swansea 57%. Tottenham 43%. Attempts on target: Swansea 3. Tottenham 7. Referee A Taylor (Cheshire). Attendance 20,604.

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
Pepper, the 3ft 11in shiny box of circuits who can tell jokes and respond to human emotions
techDavid McNeill tests the mettle of one of the new generation of androids being developed in Tokyo
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice