Gareth Bale’s brace against West Ham last night was a microcosm of his season’s story.
His first goal was brilliant. His second was simply out of this world.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas was effusive in his praise superstar in the making Bale last night, suggesting the young Welsh international has attained “another level” of ability, and that his improvement shows no sign of abatement.
Bale’s late match-winner was remarkable. Picking up the ball mid-way through West Ham’s half, he charged towards the box and passed the ball on, expecting a give-and-go.
He never received the ball however, having been blocked on his run to the Hammers goal.
Picking himself up, he found himself a few meters in front of the box, and in prime position to unleash a shot when the ball was rolled back to him.
With barely a back lift, he somehow managed send the ball rocketing across the box, swerving and dipping as it travelled into the top corner.
No goalkeeper on the planet could have stopped Bale’s extraordinary shot, which even the king of long-distance freak shots, Cristiano Ronaldo, would have been proud of.
After the match, AVB could only speak in glowing terms of Bale, whose goal broke West Ham’s resolve, and propelled Spurs into third place on the EPL log, ahead of Chelsea.
"He is unbelievable, he's such a super talent. I think we have been able to see him this season in another level and he is making the difference every single game,” the Spurs boss told Sky Sports.
"Gareth has been world class for some time now. Players like this are able to assume responsibilities at these moments. We see him getting the ball in midfield, being fouled, getting up and lining up to score the winning goal. He is tremendous, for sure.
"It is the responsibility of the manager to get the best out of his players and when you see him so joyful on the pitch, the rewards come to the team."
Meanwhile, vanquished Hammers boss Sam Allardyce could also only doff his hat at Bale, whose genius was the difference between the two teams on the night.
"It is one of the 'worldies' he continues to produce," Allardyce said of the winning strike. "You think at some stage he has run out of them but he has not. I think that is the best one.
"In the end, the way he has hit it, there is not an awful lot you can do about it. We made a terrific go of it.
"........We have been beaten by Gareth Bale really.”
Is Gareth Bale cementing his place as one of the best players in the world match after match?