Football

Spurs boss Mourinho aims jibe at Real Madrid after Gareth Bale scores

Spurs' winner has hint of irony as Welshman profits from a Reguilon cross

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho said he is looking forward to seeing how Real Madrid react, after substitute Gareth Bale scored the winner in their 2-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion yesterday morning (Singapore time).

It was the 31-year-old's first goal since returning to the London club on a season-long loan, after spending seven years with the Spanish giants.

The Welsh forward won four Champions League titles and two La Liga crowns with Real, but divided opinion in Spain because of a perceived lack of commitment and poor injury record.

"I am pleased for him because he deserved the goal. When I have five minutes, I am going to Safari to look at Madrid's website to see what they say," said Mourinho, as Spurs moved up to second in the table, two points behind leaders Liverpool.

"He's the perfect fit, he's very calm, very intelligent, he has good feelings."

Bale showed his ruthlessness in front of goal with a powerful header in the 73rd minute, just three minutes after replacing Erik Lamela.

His intervention lessened the furore over Brighton's 56th-minute equaliser by Tariq Lamptey.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg looked to have been clearly fouled by Solly March before the ball was worked to Lamptey, who produced a clinical finish into the far corner for his first goal for the club.

However, referee Graham Scott stood by his original decision not to award Spurs a free-kick after reviewing the incident on the pitch-side monitor.

"Probably the referee should go to the press conference and explain. He had time to go to the screen, so only he can explain why it is a goal," added Mourinho.

However, former EPL referee Mark Clattenburg believes Scott had made the right call as March's foul on Hojbjerg had occurred too early in the build-up to the goal.

Clattenburg wrote in his Daily Mail column: "Tottenham's defence have their chance to reset and Brighton play four passes before Lamptey scores."

Clattenburg also backed the officials when another controversial call led to Harry Kane's penalty in the 13th minute.

The Three Lions captain was bundled over by former England teammate Adam Lallana but, after Scott initially awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box, he was instructed by the VAR that the foul took place inside the box.

Clattenburg said while it was clever of Kane to draw the foul by backing into Lallana, it was right to award a penalty as Kane's foot was over the line.

But Brighton manager Graham Potter could not believe his luck when a pull on Leandro Trossard by Matt Doherty was not punished with a penalty at the other end.

As Spurs went in search of a winner after Brighton's equaliser, Bale's 70th-minute introduction had the desired effect when he met his former Real teammate Sergio Reguilon's inch-perfect cross just three minutes later.

"It's a great feeling," said Bale. "I just want to come on and make an impact for the team." - REUTERS

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