Spurs pass up chance to steal march on rivals


TOTTENHAM manager Andre Villas-Boas admitted his side had missed a golden chance to tighten their grip on a top-four place after failing to win for a fourth consecutive match.

Norwich had taken just one point from their previous six Premier League fixtures but took a surprise lead in the 32nd minute when Wes Hoolahan finished after Grant Holt’s knock-down reached him via Anthony Pilkington.

Spurs winger Gareth Bale capped a 50-yard burst by crashing in a brilliant solo equaliser 10 minutes from time, but it was not enough for the visitors to capitalise on slips by rivals Chelsea and Arsenal.

“In the second half we really put on a show and a good performance,” said Villas-Boas. “It’s a pity, because our first half cost us two points and we wanted to profit from the Arsenal-Liverpool game, but we did not have enough time to get a winner.”

Victory could have lifted Tottenham to within two points of third-placed Chelsea, but instead they remain four behind and just one clear of Everton, who won 2-1 against West Brom, and four ahead of Arsenal.

Villas-Boas aired his frustration at perceived rough treatment of Bale and praised new signing Lewis Holtby, who made his Spurs debut in a lively 20-minute cameo.

“Gareth Bale had such pace and power, there was a tackle that could have broken his leg, but never mind,” he added.

“Lewis Holtby made a difference, it is a major coup for us and he gave us something in between the lines to connect our team.”