Gareth Bale: Goal-by-Goal Guide to His Spurs Season so Far
Far removed from the attack-minded full-back who was tarred with the unwanted statistic of not being involved in a winning Spurs side for his first 25 games, Bale has been developed into one of the most feared left-wingers around.
More recently, he has also shown his capabilities and threat in the final third in a roving, if a little undisciplined, central attacking role for his club.
Wales, his home nation, have also been beneficiaries of Bale’s wonderful technical ability, high confidence levels and remarkable consistency as he has scored a further four goals this season for them.
Here’s a complete rundown of every strike the Spurs No. 11 has hit during the 2012-13 season so far.
Stats via Transfermarkt.
Wales vs. Serbia
Bale hadn't scored for his club by early September, so his first strike of the season came in international colours as he bent a scorching free-kick home from range against Serbia.
This effort pulled the score back to 2-1, but it was short-lived hope for Wales, who went on to lose the match 6-1 in this World Cup qualifier.
This was his seventh goal at international level.
Spurs vs. Reading
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Heading back from international duty, Bale scored what turned out to be the decisive goal in a Spurs win at Reading, adding the second in a 3-1 win.
Between Jermain Defoe scoring twice, Bale scrappily bobbled home his first Premier League goal of the season, turning in Kyle Walker's pull-back.
Since scoring his season seal-breaker, Bale has gone on to score 13 goals in his last 19 league matches.
Spurs vs. Manchester United
A goal showing the full range of Gareth Bale's physical and technical attributes, this goal was instrumental in helping his side to a rare win over Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Embarking on a thrusting run through midfield, Bale outpaced the defence before steering a fine low shot into the far corner with his weaker right foot.
This goal made it 2-0 to Spurs; they went on to win 3-2.
Wales vs. Scotland
The first brace of the season for Bale came back in Wales colours as he added his eighth and ninth international goals to give his team a priceless World Cup qualifying victory over Scotland.
His first was a somewhat dubiously awarded penalty which he both won and converted, but there was nothing but spectacular acclaim to be taken from the second.
A drive from an attacking midfield position to the edge of the box gave him space to unleash a ferocious strike, which found the top corner of the Scotland goal.
Spurs vs. Southampton
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Back in club colours, Bale added his third league goal of the campaign in an away victory over Southampton.
Bale scored the opening goal of the game with a downward header, which bounced awkwardly to evade the goalkeeper and find the far corner of the net. It gave Spurs a good early platform to go on and win the game 2-1.
Spurs vs. Norwich City
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Bale was the driving force behind Spurs' good play in the Capital One Cup fixture against Norwich City, and he scored the opening goal just after the hour mark to give his side the lead.
Cutting infield into space, Bale found the bottom corner with a hard, low shot which beat the goalkeeper.
It looked to be the goal to send Spurs through—but a late turnaround saw Norwich score twice to eliminate Bale and his team.
Spurs vs. Arsenal
Starting a run of three league goals in as many games, Bale scored Spurs' second in a 5-2 defeat to Arsenal.
The North London derby is frequently a classic encounter with plenty of goals, and this one proved no exception.
Bale scored on 70 minutes, running toward goal before shooting low from outside the penalty area.
Home Goals vs. West Ham United and Liverpool
Bale went on to score in his next two home fixtures, both victories over West Ham and Liverpool—but we haven't got a video of those goals, so here's one of his own goals in the second match instead!
Against the Hammers, he was on target with a finish off the post to beat the keeper, having earlier struck the crossbar, as Spurs won the game 3-1.
Then up against Liverpool, Bale scored an early Spurs second, just 16 minutes in, rifling in a dipping free kick which deceived the goalkeeper.
There was little he could do about his involvement in the Liverpool consolation later on, as the ball was booted against his face from close range before bouncing into his own net—but no matter, as his free kick was the winning goal in a 2-1 win.
Hat-Trick vs. Aston Villa
A fine team and individual performance gave Bale a hat-trick in a 4-0 win at Aston Villa in December.
His first saw him spin away from the last line of defence, round the goalkeeper and slot home coolly, doubling Spurs' lead at the time.
A quick run into the area and low strike from Aaron Lennon's pass made it 3-0, and Bale completed his first league hat-trick with a rifled strike, high into the centre of the net, from close range.
A fine display and a well-taken treble.
Spurs vs. Coventry City
Tottenham's FA Cup campaign got off to a good start as they put three goals past Coventry City.
Bale was a huge influence on the game, as he provided two assists for Clint Dempsey and scored one himself.
His own effort was a well-taken strike on the full stretch, diverting in a deflected shot from close range.
Spurs vs. Norwich City and West Bromwich Albion
Gareth Bale in full flow is becoming one of the most terrifying sights around for a Premier League defender.
Norwich City felt the full force of his ability as he picked up the ball 10 yards inside his own penalty area, started sprinting and didn't stop until he had smacked home his 10th league goal of the season.
Bale evaded a desperate and obvious attempt to trip him up before evading another defender and finishing expertly from range.
The attacking midfielder followed up this strike by scoring the winning goal against West Brom a few days later, drilling home from outside the penalty area once more to hand Spurs a 1-0 win.
Spurs vs. Newcastle United
Gareth Bale's two latest strikes of the season came in his and Spurs' most recent fixture, a 2-1 win over Newcastle United.
The opening goal came from a moment of real quality, with the winger clipping a free kick up over the wall and down into the bottom corner of the net, out of reach of the goalkeeper.
After a Newcastle equaliser, Bale won the game by outracing the defence and slotting past Tim Krul again for his 13th league goal of the season and 15th in all competitions for Spurs.
At this rate, he will surely surpass the 20-goal mark for his club before long, further adding to the belief that he is one of the most effective attackers in European football at present.