LONDON — Gareth Bale scored his first goal since returning to Tottenham and sealed a 2-1 victory over Brighton that sent Jose Mourinho's side second in the Premier League on Sunday.
Three minutes after replacing Erik Lamela in the second half Bale headed in a cross from Sergio Reguilon. Like Bale, Reguilon joined from Real Madrid in September.
Lamela was signed in 2013 to replace Bale at cost of a then club-record 30 million pounds (then $40 million) after Tottenham made 100 million euros (then $132 million) by selling the Welshman to Madrid.
It was match-winning moments like Sunday's goal in the 73rd minute that Tottenham want to see from Bale on his homecoming and it wiped out earlier frustration.
Refereeing had favoured Tottenham when a free kick was awarded after Adam Lallana fouled Harry Kane, only for VAR to see it upgraded to a penalty that Kane netted in the 13th.
But Brighton levelled in the 56th through Tariq Lamptey despite Tottenham's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg being fouled by Solly March in the buildup. After a lengthy review of the incident on a pitchside monitor, the referee appeared to determine that March got a touch on the ball so the goal stood.
Bale's first goal for Tottenham since May 2013 gave the north London club its first home win of the season after losing to Everton and then drawing with Newcastle and West Ham after conceding in stoppage time in both games.
Tottenham is chasing a return to the Champions League after missing out on a top-four finish last season.
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