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Gareth Bale hat-trick helps Tottenham Hotspur to 4-0 victory over Aston Villa, Everton defeat Wigan

Posted Dec 27 2012 1:42am

Despite dominating the opening 45 minutes, it took until the 57th minute before Jermain Defoe opened the scoring.

Then, Wales international Bale took over with three goals in just 22 minutes to lift the north Londoners back into fourth position in the  Barclays Premier League  after their fifth win in their last seven.

Premier League Ladder

1Man United1915132046
2Man City1911621839
6West Brom191036533
12West Ham18657023
16Aston Villa19469-2118

Round 19 - as at 00:00 AM, 27/12/12

Villa, meanwhile, set an unwanted record of their own having now conceded 12 goals in just two matches, although they remain in 16th position.

Villa fans' moods darkened soon as Spurs went ahead in the 57th minute when Jermain Defoe nutmegged Brad Guzan to register his 14th goal of the season after a sumptuous through-ball by Kyle Naughton.

Bale then stole the show, netting in the 61st, 73rd and 84th minutes to take his own tally for the campaign to ten.

He took his first calmly following a counter-attack which is finished off by rounding Guzan and prodding home from close-range.

It took a further 12 minutes for Bale to grab another goal and effectively end the game as a contest, the Welshman collecting Aaron Lennon's pass in the box and dispatching it into the bottom corner.

He then completed his treble with six minutes of normal time remaining, sending the ball into the roof of the net from substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson's delightful tee-up.

Everton vs Wigan

R19 - 27/12/12

Goodison Park

Full Time

1st Half
2nd Half
L. Osman52’
  • 1-0
P. Jagielka77’
  • 2-0
  • 2-1
82’A. Kone

Phil Jagielka's header proved crucial as Everton edged out valiant Wigan 2-1 at a rain-drenched Goodison Park.

David Moyes's men retained fourth place in the Premier League with victory - Leon Osman's deflected opener and Jagielka's excellent effort rendering Arouna Kone's late response mere consolation.

Strikers Nikica Jelavic and Victor Anichebe wasted half-chances in the air while at the other end, Ronnie Stam eventually worked home goalkeeper Tim Howard with a tame long-range drive.

The second half was a far livelier affair and Everton displayed a renewed sense of urgency from the outset - epitomised by a fantastic effort from Hitzlsperger in the 47th minute.

The Germany international neatly nutmegged the advancing James McCarthy just inside Wigan territory and pushed the ball forward before unleashing an arrowing 30-yard drive that crashed off the top of the crossbar.

Five minutes later, Goodison finally erupted - albeit to celebrate a goal reliant on fortune - when Osman's effort deflected off the under-arm of Gary Caldwell to wrong-foot Ali Al-Habsi and open the scoring

Wigan quickly set about their search for an equaliser and were adamant they had earned a penalty on the hour-mark as Shaun Maloney bamboozled Osman in the box with a lightning step-over and went to ground.

There was little doubt that Osman had stuck his leg out late and that he had been beaten by the trick, but there appeared to be little actual contact as Maloney fell and referee Lee Mason decided the Scot's protests warranted a caution rather than a spot-kick.

Still Wigan would not lie down and Kone ensured a nervy final eight minutes when he held off both Distin and Jagielka to toe-poke home and halve the deficit, but Everton clung on to ensure the Latics' winless run stretched to six games.

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