Bale has been in sublime form of late and the Wales winger produced a typically clinical finish to break the deadlock in the first half at White Hart Lane before Aaron Lennon doubled Tottenham’s lead just moments later.
Tottenham’s Gareth Bale (in white) vies for the ball with Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen during their EPL match yesterday
Per Mertesacker’s goal early in the second half set the stage for a tense finish, but Andre Villas-Boas’ team, now unbeaten in their last 12 league games, held on to move above Chelsea into third place in the Premier League and within two points of second-placed Manchester City.
Spurs have had eight managers since they last finished above Arsenal in 1995, but Villas-Boas could be the one to end that barren stretch as his side sit seven points clear of fifth placed Arsenal, who face a major struggle just to qualify for the Champions League.
Arsenal’s first defeat in six league games left them five points behind Chelsea in the race for a top-four finish and added to the sense of a club in crisis.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had awoken to reports that Arsenal could be the subject of a £1.5 billion (USD 2.25 billion) takeover bid from a Middle East
consortium which would place his future under scrutiny after eight years without a trophy and this was another dispiriting afternoon for the Frenchman.