Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale continues love affair with the FA Cup as he adds to impressive goal record

Robbie Copeland
Jan 25, 2021, 10:30 PM GMT
Tottenham celebrate Bale's opener
Tottenham celebrate Bale's opener | ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

It's been a tough start to life back in North London for Gareth Bale, but an impressive performance against Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup was a hint that he may finally be hitting the ground running.

The on-loan Real Madrid star had netted just three times in his previous 11 appearances and had seen his game-time under Jose Mourinho strictly limited heading into their cup trip. But he looked sharp from the off at Adams Park, forging out chance after chance for himself, with just his end product lacking.

His goal eventually arrived on the stroke of half-time, however, cancelling out Fred Onyedinma's surprise opener, when he met Lucas Moura's cross and lifted it over despairing home keeper Ryan Allsop.

It was his first FA Cup goal since scoring against Coventry way back in 2013, and a reminder that he does, in fact, love playing the FA Cup.

Despite the distance between his two most recent FA Cup strikes, Bale's equaliser at Wycombe was his fourth goal in his last six FA Cup starts. In that same run, he has also assisted five, taking him to nine direct goal involvements in his last six starts in the competition.

The run stretches back to a fifth round replay against Stevenage in 2012, in which he instrumented a 3-1 win with a hat-trick of assists. He then scored in successive appearances against Bolton, Coventry and Leeds - which was his last FA Cup run-out before leaving for Real Madrid.

Interestingly, his strike at Wycombe also meant Bale's last six goals have been spread across six different competitions for club and country - yet none of them are La Liga.

He has hit the back of the net for Spurs in each of the four competitions they have competed in this season, for Wales in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Croatia, and for Real Madrid in a Copa del Rey tie away to Unionistas.