LONDON: Gareth Bale announced himself back at Tottenham with the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Brighton which sent his side second in the Premier League.
Bale’s return to Spurs has been hampered by a knee injury and lack of pre-season, but he made his first real impact by coming off the bench and heading home the 73rd-minute winner.
It lifted his side out of trouble against the Seagulls, who deserved at least a point and will be cursing VAR official Jonathan Moss for his role in the game.
Moss awarded Spurs an early penalty, adjudging Harry Kane was fouled inside the box when it looked marginal, with Kane sending the spot-kick home for his 149th Premier League goal.
The official then ruled Brighton should not be awarded what looked a clear penalty of their own, and even advised referee Graham Scott to check Tariq Lamptey’s second-half equaliser, but the goal stood.
But Bale had the final say to ensure Spurs won at home for the first time this season and move up to second in the league, two points behind leaders Liverpool.
Bale said: “It is a great feeling. I just wanted to come on and help the team. Sergio deserves a lot of credit, especially as it was his right foot. It was massive for me to make my mark, but I am a team player. The most important is the collective.
“We are learning to close out games. Even if we are making mistakes then we are learning from them. We can be very competitive but know not to get carried away.”