A brilliant last minute winner, struck from distance, but this was becoming ordinary. Bale has now scored eight goals in six games, most of them spectacular.
The Welsman’s consistency is starting to resemble something vaguely similar to that shown by Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in La Liga. It is not quite the same level of course, Bale has far far to go match either, and it is unlikely he can reach the level Messi is at. Yet in the way in which he is making extraordinary goals seem routine, and consistently winning big games for his club, Bale is showing the kind of form to have him spoken about as a great of the game.
The problem for Tottenham is that they now have a talent who is outgrowing the club. It is no disrespect to Spurs to say that a player of his calibre is unlikely to stay in North London for long. Ronaldo himself left Manchester United, Cesc Fabregas parted from Arsenal. When the biggest players come in for the likes of Bale, any team in England would struggle to hold onto him.
Real Madrid seem increasingly likely to make a move for the pacey winger. Ronaldo again is the reason – he seems likely to leave the club at some point in the future, possibly this summer, with talks over a contract stalled. If Ronaldo is to leave Real, then Bale is an obvious replacement, such is his virtuoso brilliance and ability to create something out of nothing.
Real should have the advantage in this race, given the relationship they have with Tottenham, but they must be wary of other clubs lurking around him. Bayern Munich for one, may well want to take him to the Allianz Arena, and Paris St Germain are never far off a huge move like this one.
What he can do before he leaves is to take Tottenham into the Champions League. His form at present is similar to that of Robin van Persie last season with Arsenal. Van Persie was the driving force for the Gunners as they surged ahead of Tottenham to third place and to qualification for Europe’s flagship event. Bale now has the chance to help catapult Spurs into that competition in the same way, and thus leave a real legacy for the club that made him a great.