Brilliant Bale back to tear Inter to bits

Tottenham 3 Inter 0

Brilliant Bale back to tear Inter to bits

Bale grabbed the world’s attention when he tore Inter apart in the Champions League.

Andre Villas-Boas had warned Inter that the Welshman had improved immeasurably in the two years, four months and five days that had passed since the famous ‘Taxi for Maicon’ night at White Hart Lane — and he was proven right last night.

Bale nodded home Gylfi Sigurdsson’s cross to put Spurs ahead after just five minutes and he set up Jan Vertonghen for the hosts’ third after Sigurdsson himself had scored the second.

Bale missed two chances to match the hat-trick he scored in the San Siro two seasons ago, but in the end it did not matter as Spurs completely dominated a poor Inter team seemingly determined to get knocked out of the competition so they can concentrate on qualifying for the Champions League via Serie A.

Although questions will be raised about Bale going to ground too easily again after he was booked for diving, the fact that he will miss next week’s return leg will not trouble Villas-Boas, who knows his side are all but guaranteed to be in the last eight of the competition thanks to last night’s result.

Bale, who now has 21 goals to his name this term, will take all the plaudits, but there was not one bad performance from a man in white all night.

Scott Parker, Sigurdsson, Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele in particular were all outstanding.

Bale wasted his first opportunity but there was nothing amiss about his finish from his next chance, however.

Less than six minutes had gone when Sigurdsson shimmied past his marker and crossed for the Welshman, who beat Esteban Cambiasso to the ball and glanced home past Samir Handanovic.

Inter could not get in to the game at all, aside from a shot over the bar from Antonio Cassano, recalled to the side after a row with manager Andrea Stramaccioni.

The hosts made their dominance count by adding a second after 17 minutes through Sigurdsson. Handanovic spilled Jermain Defoe’s shot after he got on the end of Aaron Lennon’s cross and the Iceland international poked home.

Spurs won a corner in the 52nd minute and Bale whipped over a cross which Vertonghen powered home from eight yards following a huge leap.

White Hart Lane fell silent as Rodrigo Palacio sneaked in behind the Spurs defence, but Friedel rushed off his line to save superbly with his feet.

Spurs peppered the goal in their hunt for a fourth. It never came, but it did not matter. The ‘Taxi for Inter’ chants that rang out around White Hart Lane told the story.

TOTTENHAM: Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Parker, Dembele (Livermore 64), Lennon (Naughton 81), Sigurdsson (Holtby 70), Bale, Defoe.

INTER MILAN: Handanovic, Zanetti, Ranocchia, Chivu, Juan (Palacio 46), Gargano, Cambiasso, Alvarez (Jonathan 67), Kovacic (Guarin 55), Pereira, Cassano.

Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz (Spain).

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox