From the back pages, February 26: Gareth Bale’s piledriver lifts Spurs to third

Tottenham Hotspur's Louis Saha (centre) celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game with teammate Gareth Bale (right) and Ryan Nelsen (left)
Tottenham Hotspur's Louis Saha (centre) celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game with teammate Gareth Bale (right) and Ryan Nelsen (left)

GARETH BALE last night struck a sensational last-minute goal to snatch victory for Tottenham. Bale, who had put Spurs in front after 13 minutes, fired in a wonderful 25-yard shot that gave West Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen no hope. (The Express)

Rafa Benitez was involved in a training ground bust-up with Chelsea’s shell-shocked squad on Monday. Less than 24 hours after they were beaten 2-0 by champions Manchester City, the Spaniard told his players that their attitude had cost a series of managers the sack. (Daily Mail)

Rafa Benitez is running out of time and friends at Chelsea. Blues have enjoyed their most successful decade but that cannot disguise the troubles behind the scenes as they chase a Champions League finish (Mirror)

Arsene Wenger is eyeing up a £7.5million summer move for Eintracht Frankfurt star Sebastian Rode. SunSport can reveal the Gunners have been tracking the Germany Under-21 defensive midfielder. (The Sun)

Lewis Moody believes that completing a Six Nations Grand Slam could aversely affect England’s chances of World Cup glory in two years’ time by raising levels of expectation to an unhealthy degree. (The Telegraph)

All problems are relative when you sit unbeaten on top of the Six Nations championship table with an opportunity to win a first grand slam since 2003. England have duly confirmed a settled 31-man training squad for next week’s Italy fixture, but there is still room for improvement in certain areas. Chris Ashton’s modest form, for example, has yet to cost his country dear but is an increasing issue for his coaches. (The Guardian)

Only in terms of geography are Oldham Athletic close to Manchester United but for those crammed into Boundary Park’s three corrugated iron stands 10 days ago, Matt Smith might as well have been Ole Gunnar Solskjaer winning the European Cup at the Nou Camp. (The Independent)

After seeing his team win five golds to finish top of the medals table at the Track Cycling World Championships in Minsk, Shane Sutton, the head coach, cast his gaze ahead to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and declared that they are “heading for greatness”. (The Times)