Tottenham Hotspur climbed to fifth in the Premier League with a 2-1 win over Liverpool at White Hart Lane.

Aaron Lennon gave Spurs an early lead and Gareth Bale made it 2-0 with a deflected 30-yard free-kick in an open first half that offered good chances to both sides.

An unfortunate own goal by Bale in the second half sent nerves around White Hart Lane but Liverpool failed to break through and Spurs held on for the three points.

Lennon tapped in on seven minutes after some brilliant work from Bale who picked up the ball in his own half and skipped past two Liverpool midfielders before running at the full-back and squaring to the winger at the far post.

Lloris got down to his left to prevent Luis Suarez’s side-footed shot from inside the box soon after.

Jordan Henderson should have levelled for Liverpool but he somehow missed an open goal when the ball fell to him following a mix up between Lloris and Walker.

The goalkeeper had no need to come for the ball and he was lucky the Reds’ midfielder failed to punish the error.

Bale tested Reina early on with a dipping 30-yard free kick and the Welshman beat the Spaniard with a similar effort on 15 minutes to make it 2-0.

Dempsey was brought down under a clumsy challenge by Henderson and Bale’s goal-bound shot took a slight deflection off the wall that wrong-footed Reina and sent the ball sailing into the middle of the goal.

At 2-0, the game was open and Lloris palmed away a Suarez effort from a tight angle and held onto Enrique’s shot on the turn as Liverpool looked to find a way back into the game.

The visitors had a good penalty claim waved away when Gerrard was nudged off the ball by Dembele as he was in on goal and as the two collided with Lloris, Suarez bundled the ball goalwards, forcing Walker to clear off the line.

Dawson went to clear a Downing cross but cannoned the ball into Gallas and over the bar before Bale’s long-range effort was saved by Reina at the end of a breath-taking first half.

Liverpool pressed hard after the break but created little in the way of chances, while Spurs looked uncertain whether to push for a third or sit back and defend their lead.

Bale went inches wide with another 30-yard free kick, this time to the left of the goal, that had Reina beaten.

Enrique had a shot blocked from the edge of the six-yard box and Liverpool got a goal back from the resulting corner in the most fortuitous of circumstances.

Gerrard met the cross from the right and floated a header back across goal where Lennon looked to make a comfortable clearance off the line, but the winger volleyed the ball into Bale’s face and back into the Spurs net, leaving the Welshman pole axed on the floor as Liverpool celebrated.

Suarez volleyed over from eight yards with ten minutes to go when Agger hooked the ball across after it had appeared to drift out for a goal kick.

Gallas’ last ditch tackle denied Jonjo Shelvy who was in on goal with Lloris in no man’s land.

Spurs saw out a final surge from Liverpool to seal back-to-back wins at White Hart Lane and set Andre Villas-Boas’ side up for a third win in three against Fulham on Saturday.

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Gallas, Dawson, Vertonghen, Lennon, Sandro, Dembele (Huddlestone, 87), Bale, Dempsey (Sigurdsson, 63), Defoe. Subs: Friedel, Naughton, Livermore, Townsend, Carroll.

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Downing, Allen, Henderson (Shelvey, 63), Gerrard, Jose Enrique, Sterling, Suarez. Subs: Jones, Sahin, Assaidi, Carragher, Fernandez Saez, Wisdom.

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

Bookings: Skirtel (37), Bale (78).

Att: 36,162