Roberto Soldado scored the winner from the penalty spot for the second successive week but the Welsh attacker was not there as he was 1000 miles away in Marbella. Tottenham's unstripped players tend to sit on the back row of the bench during matches at White Hart Lane, but the Real Madrid target was not among them. "We allowed him two days off," Villas-Boas said. "It's not the first time this has come up. We never force non-selected players to come to our games. I decided that last season."
Bale has been linked with Real all summer, but if the two clubs do not agree a deal today, Villas-Boas expects the 24-year-old to be back on Tuesday for treatment on the foot injury which has supposedly prevented him from playing. "There is interest from Real. Whether the transfer will happen or not, hopefully you will have more news in the next couple of days but at the moment there is nothing I can tell you," Villas-Boas said. "Tomorrow is a day off. Tuesday is training so I would expect him to be there."
The victory ensured Villas-Boas ended a frustrating week on a high. The Portuguese had hoped to have Willian in his squad by now but Chelsea snatched the Brazilian with a late bid then criticised Spurs' handling of the move. Villas-Boas refused to criticise the player and cracked a joke when asked about Vlad Chiriches, the Steaua Bucharest defender who has agreed to join for £8.5m. "Maybe someone will steal him as well," he quipped. There is interest [in Chiriches]."