Tottenham took advantage of Liverpool’s inactivity to move up to fifth in the table thanks to Bale’s first Premier League hat-trick since 2012.
The Welshman was a peripheral figure under Jose Mourinho in his season-long loan from Real Madrid, reducing to a serious lack of minutes but has now struck four times in three games since Ryan Mason replaced the sacked Portuguese coach.
Bale flicked home from close range to break the deadlock nine minutes before half-time.
A blistering counter-attack from a Sheffield United corner then saw Son Heung-min tee up Bale for an emphatic finish into the top corner.
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Bale’s low drive into the bottom corner completed his hat-trick before Son added a fourth.
“Gareth Bale has been the jewel in Tottenham’s attacking crown,” Sky Sports’ co-commentator Andy Hinchcliffe said.
“He’s given a movement and finishing masterclass.”
Tottenham are now just five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with four games to go.
ARTETA LAMENTS ‘INCREDIBLE’ ARSENAL INJURY TOLL
Earlier, Arsenal beat Newcastle 2-0 to end a four-game winless run thanks to Mohamed Elneny’s first Premier League goal and a superb strike from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Fourth-bottom Newcastle remain nine points clear of the relegation zone with four games left.
Victory moves Arsenal up to ninth, but their season now hinges on overturning a 2-1 first leg defeat against Villarreal in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday.
Mikel Arteta’s team selection showed that is where his priority lay, but Aubameyang’s return to form is a timely boost.
The Arsenal captain had been hospitalised recently by malaria, picked up when on international duty with Gabon.
After Elneny’s early strike gave the Gunners a deserved half-time lead, Aubameyang stretched to meet Gabriel Martinelli’s cross for his first goal in seven games.
David Luiz later limped off with a hamstring injury, prompting Arteta to lament Arsenal’s “incredible” injury toll post-game.
“It’s incredible the amount of injuries we are having,” he told Sky Sports.
“There’s nothing we can do about it.
“We are losing big players. It’s a shame because David made a big effort to be available as quick as possible after the surgery in his knee and probably we’ll lose him again.”
UGLY PROTESTS POSTPONE MAN UTD V LIVERPOOL CLASH
Manchester United’s clash against Liverpool was delayed after fans stormed Old Trafford in protest at the club’s owners on Sunday.
Manchester City will be crowned English champions for the third time in four seasons if second placed United lose to Liverpool.
But Pep Guardiola’s side saw their hopes of a title party put on hold for a while at least after concerning scenes several hours before kick-off at Old Trafford.
Around 200 United fans managed to get onto the pitch in protest at the club’s owners.
The Glazer family, already disliked by many United supporters, were widely criticised for their leading role in the failed breakaway European Super League.
A small group of United supporters got into the club’s training ground to protest against the Glazers last week, but this was a much more significant incident.
The protestors pushed down security barriers outside Old Trafford and ran onto the pitch.
Fans waved anti-Glazer banners and set off green and yellow flares — the colours of United’s Newton Heath founders.
One flare was fired towards a television commentary gantry and small sections of the turf were damaged before order was finally restored.
Both United and Liverpool’s players were in their team hotels when the breach occurred.
When another group of around 30 demonstrators got into the stadium via a different route, there were growing concerns that the match would have to be postponed for safety reasons.
As hundreds more protested outside Old Trafford, the Premier League confirmed the scheduled kick-off would be delayed.