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Bale stuns with a hat-trick for Spurs

Tottenham took advantage of Liverpool’s inactivity to move up to fifth in the table thanks to first ever Premier League hat-trick of Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale

The Welshman, Bale, was a peripheral figure under Jose Mourinho in his season-long loan from Real Madrid, but has now struck four times in three games since Ryan Mason replaced the sacked Portuguese coach.

Bale flicked home from close range to break the deadlock nine minutes before half-time.

A blistering counter-attack from a Sheffield United corner then saw Son Heung-min tee up Bale for an emphatic finish into the top corner.

Bale’s low drive into the bottom corner completed his hat-trick before Son added a fourth.

Tottenham are now just five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with four games to go.

Earlier, Arsenal beat Newcastle 2-0 to end a four-game winless run thanks to Mohamed Elneny’s first Premier League goal and a superb strike from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Fourth-bottom Newcastle remain nine points clear of the relegation zone with four games left.

Victory moves Arsenal up to ninth, but their season now hinges on overturning a 2-1 first leg defeat against Villarreal in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday.

Mikel Arteta’s team selection showed that is where his priority lay, but Aubameyang’s return to form is a timely boost.

The Arsenal captain had been hospitalised recently by malaria, picked up when on international duty with Gabon.

After Elneny’s early strike gave the Gunners a deserved half-time lead, Aubameyang stretched to meet Gabriel Martinelli’s cross for his first goal in seven games.

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