TOTTENHAM 3 vs INTER MILAN 1
TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp joked that man of the moment Gareth Bale must be on drugs after the winger ran European champions Inter Milan ragged for the second time in a fortnight.
Bale utterly terrorised arguably the world’s best right-back, Maicon, laying goals on a plate for Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko as Spurs enjoyed one of the most memorable victories in their history.
Playmaker Rafael van der Vaart also struck as the north Londoners avenged last month’s 4-3 defeat at the San Siro but, as so often in recent weeks, it was Bale, scorer of a hat-trick in Italy, who shone brightest.
“He was amazing,” said Redknapp. “They’re just doing some drug testing now – the dope testers are here – and I hope they’re testing him. Amazing.
“It’s not just his pace, he can run all day, and keep running. He’s got the ability to cross, his left-foot is great on the run, he can shoot, dribble, head it, he’s got everything.”
Bale’s virtuoso display saw him cut through Inter’s rearguard at will and put Spurs top of Group A.
“Tonight he’s up against Maicon, one of the best defenders in the world, and he’s killed him,” added team-mate Van der Vaart. “To everyone, the whole club, we need to keep this guy.”
A lively start got the goal it promised after 18 minutes when Luka Modric showed trickery and a deft touch to release Van der Vaart and the Dutchman lashed low past stand-in goalkeeper Luca Castellazzi. Bale then took centre stage, setting up Crouch for a volley the England forward should have converted and then, after the break, hooking an improvised overhead volley inches wide.
Crouch did better on 61 minutes, however, when Bale hared down the left and produced a pinpoint low cross that demanded to be finished. Inter threatened to stage a late comeback in the 80th minute when the livewire Samuel Eto’o made space to whip a low shot into Carlo Cudicini’s far corner. But with seconds left Bale crowned a dazzling night by bursting through Inter’s defence and sliding the perfect ball to Pavlyuchenko.
Redknapp dodges ref row reprimand
HARRY REDKNAPP has escaped punishment for calling referee Mark Clattenburg’s decision-making “scandalous” in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Manchester United. The Football Association decided not to take formal action against the Spurs manager, who was incensed by Nani’s second goal. Redknapp had threatened to boycott media if punished.
WHAT NOW | WILL SPURS QUALIFY?
Tottenham have a superb chance of reaching the last 16 of the Champions League after last night’s stunning win. Victory in their next fixture, at home to bottom of the table Werder Bremen, will see Spurs through provided Inter take at least a point from their clash with Dutch outfit FC Twente in Milan.
Three more epic Tottenham glory glory nights
Spurs had waited 22 games to get the better of Arsenal and it proved worth waiting for in the shape of a 5-1 Carling Cup victory in 2008.
Spurs and Anderlecht couldn’t be separated in the 1984 Uefa Cup final before goalkeeper Tony Parks proved the hero in a shootout.
The original ‘glory glory’ night came in 1961 when Spurs thumped Gornik Zabre 8-1, Bobby Smith scoring, having lost the first leg 4-2.