International Sports Desk, Oct 18 (efe-epa).- Gareth Bale once again took the pitch for Tottenham seven years after he left the London club to join Spain’s Real Madrid, coming in off the bench to replace Steven Bergwijn 20 minutes before the end of the 3-3 contest against West Ham United on Sunday.
Bale, released by Real Madrid this season and who has had to recover from a muscle injury before making his debut for the Spurs, was tapped for the first time to enter the fray mid-way through the second half by coach Jose Mourinho.
He hit the grass with Tottenham clearly out front 3-0 on two tallies by Harry Kane and one by South Korea’s Son Heung-Min.
Mourinho made two changes, putting Bale in for Bergwijn and sending Harry Winks onto the pitch for Tanguy Ndombele.
Bale had played for the Spurs for the first time back in 2007, and in his six seasons with the club he played in 203 matches, scored 56 goals and provided 58 assists.
This time around, in his 20 minutes in action, he participated in a lengthy galloping counterattack that started in Spurs territory and during which he got by several defenders to fire a shot-on-goal that missed by a hair.
Although Tottenham was nicely out in front when the Welshman came in, things quickly went south for the team in the time remaining through no fault of his own, with the visitors notching two goals – after which Bale made his failed attempt to get a fourth tally on the board in extra time – and then Argentina’s Manuel Lanzini firing a blast that evened things up at 3-3 just before time.
Meanwhile, in other Premier League action, a goal in extra time by Ross Barkley and an inspiring performance by Argentina’s Emiliano Martinez in the net gave Aston Villa new life in its 1-0 road win over Leicester on Sunday at King Power Stadium.
Barkley dribbled the ball, approaching the area of the home team and executed a great shot from outside the zone that beat Danish goaltender Kasper Schmeichel for the only tally of the night.
Dean Smith’s squad remains the only Premier League team that has gone undefeated so far this season with Leicester now dropping into fourth place on the table after two consecutive losses.
The home squad, coached by Brendan Rodgers, had a few good chances on the night, particularly from Spain’s Ayoze Perez, but Martinez denied any local opportunities in yeoman style.
The Birmingham team took advantage of the situation, and now Aston Villa – in the No. 2 spot – will go up against Everton, which is No. 1 in the rankings, just one point ahead of Smith’s boys.