Spurs looked to be heading for a draw at Upton Park, until Bale smashed home a 90th minute effort to seal all three points.
The Welshman had initially opened the scoring before Andy Carroll, Joe Cole and Gylfi Sigurdsson had left the game at 2-2.
After the final whistle Villas-Boas celebrated Bale’s performance, describing him as vital to Tottenham:
“Such a special talent and I think we’ve been able to see him this season in another level. He’s just making the difference in every single game.” He told Sky Sports.
When asked whether he regards the winger as world class, AVB responded:
“Well I think for some time already.
“Players like this are able to assume the responsibility in these moments and I think from the clips you’re seeing, him receiving the ball in midfield, taking it forward, being fouled, getting up and then just lining up the shot to score the winning goal. Tremendous, for sure.”
The victory leaves Spurs just five points adrift of Manchester City, who occupy second position in the league table.
But, the Portuguese coach played won talk of catching the champions, and instead maintained that he is focused on extending the seven point gap between themselves and North London rivals Arsenal:
“We face Arsenal Sunday and it is a big opportunity to build the distance to them and that is first on our minds.
“Our priority is to establish our position and hopefully get more comfortable distance to Chelsea and Arsenal.”