VIDEO: All goals/highlights (3-1), Tottenham Vs Manchester City, English Premier League 2013
Monday 22 Apr 2013 2:14 a.m.
Tottenham Hotspur's Mousa Dembele, left, fights for the ball with Manchester City's Carlos Tevez (AAP)
NB: Video on this article has been removed in accordance to international license restrictions.
Gareth Bale fronted a late fightback by Tottenham in a 3-1 victory over Manchester City today, giving runaway leader Manchester United a chance to wrap up the Premier League title.
The defending champions imploded at White Hart Lane as Spurs scored three goals in a seven-minute span, with Bale setting up Clint Dempsey for a 75th-minute equalizer and capping the comeback with chipped finish in the 82nd.
Substitute Jermain Defoe scored Tottenham's other goal to leave second-place City stunned, even though its hopes of retaining the title had long since been extinguished.
"I cannot believe we lost this game," City manager Roberto Mancini said. "We had it under control."
Samir Nasri gave the visitors a fifth-minute lead but their late collapse means United can take away the title from its neighbor's grasp by beating relegation-threatened Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Monday. United needs three points from its last five games.
Spurs stayed fifth but a first victory in four league games saw them close in on London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Champions League qualification.
"It's very competitive and will probably go down to the wire," Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas said. "It was a great game and the players did ever so well to come back into it."
Bale, the leading contender for England's Player of the Year award, has been Tottenham's inspiration all season and he sparked the revival in his first match back after two weeks out with an ankle injury.
The Wales forward's sublime cross found Dempsey, who couldn't miss from inside the six-yard box.
"As soon as that went in, the crowd lifted, we lifted and we showed the character that the team has got," said Bale, who was shifted to the right wing in the second half to great effect by Villas-Boas.
Defoe cut inside and fired a powerful shot into the corner in the 79th to make it 2-1 and Bale added further gloss by running in behind the City defence and producing a deft chip to beat goalkeeper Joe Hart, for his 18th league goal of the campaign.
"It's massive," Bale said. "The club is moving forward every year and all us players want to be playing in the Champions League week in, week out, playing against the best teams.
"We will be pushing until the end of the season to get in the top."
A win for United over Villa will clinch the title for Alex Ferguson's team with four matches to spare. It's a far cry from the tense finish to the championship last season, when City scored two injury-time goals in its final match to pip United to the title.