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Villas-Boas defends Bale after fresh diving row

Meanwhile, it’s been confirmed that the winger will be out for two weeks after picking up an injury at the weekend.

Villas-Boas believes Bale has been unfairly treated.
Villas-Boas believes Bale has been unfairly treated.

TOTTENHAM MANAGER ANDRE Villas-Boas leapt to the defence of Gareth Bale after the winger was booked for diving in his team’s 3-0 win at Fulham.

Bale has been dogged by allegations that he is a serial diver and the Welsh international was back in the spotlight for his latest theatrics at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

The 23-year-old had been booked for simulation against Liverpool in midweek and he was yellow carded again against Fulham when referee Chris Foy cautioned him for diving following a challenge by Cottagers midfielder Steve Sidwell.

However, replays showed there was contact by Sidwell and Villas-Boas was quick to claim the booking was harsh on Bale.

“Gareth is so fast so it is very difficult (for referees) to judge situations,” Villas-Boas said.

“He has suffered big, big injuries to his ankles before and sometimes he wants to protect himself a little bit.

“He might put his body in situations that the referee thinks that he is diving and he is suffering for it in these last two games.

“He is now very near suspension for two unfair yellow cards and I think you gain a reputation for being a diver unfairly sometimes. This player has suffered a lot in his career. It’s a little bit harsh on him.”

To compound a frustrating afternoon for Bale, the former Southampton player was forced off with a hamstring injury that is expected to keep him out of action for two weeks.

Despite Bale’s woes, Tottenham still cruised to a third successive victory that moved them into fourth place in the Premier League.

Brazilian midfielder Sandro opened the scoring with a blistering 35-yard drive in the 55th minute.

Then England striker Jermain Defoe took over as he bagged his 11th and 12th goals of the season.

Defoe converted Gylfi Sigurdsson’s cross from close-range in the 72nd minute and added his second soon after when he surged onto Clint Dempsey’s through-ball to beat Mark Schwarzer.

Villas-Boas had compared Defoe to Colombia’s Radamel Falcao, the highly-rated Atletico Madrid forward, earlier in the week and he was full of praise for his striker’s latest heroics.

“It was amazing,” Villas-Boas said. “Sometimes strikers look distant from the game but when the team sets them up it’s important that they have that clinical touch and he just has it.

“He is having an amazing season with us. He is playing lots of games and is extremely motivated.”

In addition, it has been confirmed that Bale will be sidelined for two weeks after suffering a hamstring injury during his team’s victory on Saturday.

- © AFP, 2012

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