Tottenham Hotspur vs. Lyon: Final score 2-1, It's the Gareth Bale Show

Paul Gilham

Gareth Bale is in the form of his life, as Lyon found out on Thursday.

Lyon didn't let Gareth Bale score from the run of play on Thursday, but that wasn't enough to stop the Welshman from putting on a show at White Hart Lane and propelling Tottenham Hotspur to victory. Having already scored on one free kick, Bale stepped to a stoppage time free kick and hit another rocket, once again finding the net and delivering Spurs a 2-1 win over Lyon in the first leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie.

Bale now has 10 goals in his last 10 matches, three free kick goals in his last two and has scored Tottenham's last six goals. The man is just playing in his own little world right now.

The match could have gone much differently had the referee awarded Bafetimbi Gomis a penalty in the 16th minute, though. Clearly tripped up by Jan Vertonghen, Gomis appealed for a deserved penalty, but the referee waved play on.

Amazingly, Bale's first major impact on the match came on a horrific miss by the winger. Kyle Walker hit a perfect low cross for him, which he met five yard out and had the entire goal to shoot at, but he somehow hit it wide.

Bale did more than enough to make up for it, though.

With the match still scoreless in first half stoppage time, Bale stepped to a free kick from 35 yards and hit a knuckling, dipping wonder of kick that left the goalkeeper unable to react. By the time he did, the ball had skipped just inside the post and Spurs were 1-0 up.

But Bale wasn't the only one bagging magnificent goals. Samuel Umitii got Lyon level 10 minutes into the second half when a deflected cross bounced to him 20 yards from goal and he hit an absolute laser on the laf-volley. It was a shot that legitimately could not be hit any better as it found the top corner while Brad Friedel just watched in hopeless amazement.

Friedel was called into action in the 62nd minute when Alexander Lacazette got a good chance away and the 41-year-old proved equal to the task. He made a fine save and kept Spurs level to set the stage for Bale.

After drawing a foul from 25 yards, Bale hit another great free kick. This one was earmarked for the far post, only Remi Vercoutre was cheating to the near post. Once he did that, he had no chance to get to Bale's rocket before it found the net and handed Tottenham a valuable win.

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