Gareth Bale’s pace key to Tottenham victory

March 13, 2010

The key feature of Tottenham’s 3-1 win over Blackburn today was the number of times they looked to quickly switch the ball to Gareth Bale, who had the beating of Michael Salgado every time he got the ball. Bale claimed an assist, should have had two penalties, and was Spurs’ main attacking outlet throughout the game.

This Chalkboard shows how often Bale, playing on the left wing, managed to get around 15 crosses into the box, compared to Niko Kranjcar, playing on the right wing, who achieved this just three times in open play:

by Guardian Chalkboards

And Bale’s natural defensive ability means he’s able to get stuck in and win balls high up the pitch. He was involved in fourteen tackles, winning half of them. Again, for purposes of comparison, he’s placed side-by-side with Krancjar:

by Guardian Chalkboards

Bale fully deserved his man-of-the-match award, and provided the pace, width and crossing threat that Spurs fans miss on the other side with Aaron Lennon injured.

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