Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Bale runs hot for Spurs

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LONDON  – Tottenham enjoyed one of the most memorable nights in the club’s history as Gareth Bale inspired a 3-1 win over holders Inter Milan in the Champions League yesterday.
Harry Redknapp’s side tore into the European champions at White Hart Lane and, although Rafael van der Vaart, Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko got the goals, it was Bale who took centre-stage with a truly spell-binding display.
Van der Vaart opened the scoring early on before Wales winger Bale, continuing his emergence
as one of Europe’s brightest young talents, produced superb runs to set up goals for Crouch and Pavlyuchenko after the interval.
Samuel Eto’o had briefly sent pulses racing when he made it 2-1 in the closing stages, but Rafael Benitez’s team would have been flattered by a draw.
For supporters raised on sepia-tinted tales of the ‘glory, glory nights’ when Tottenham took on Europe’s best in the 1960s, this was a dream come true.
The Premier League club are now top of Group A – ahead of Inter on goal difference – and look well set to reach the knockout stages.
“Gareth was outstanding. No disrespects to the right-back Maicon, but he has given him a torrid time. It was amazing to see,” Redknapp said.
Team brilliant
“The whole team was brilliant. We out-played them. We were the better team from start to finish.
“It was an oustanding performance – one of the great nights that the fans would have seen at White Hart Lane I would imagine. It was a pleasure to be part of it.”
 Manchester United virtually assured themselves of a place in the C knockout rounds  with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Turkish side Bursaspor.
Second half goals from Scottish midfielder Darren Fletcher, Gabriel Obertan and Bebe sealed victory for United, who now lead Group C by three points from Valencia with two games remaining.
A Claudemir strike saw Copenhagen draw 1-1 with Barcelona and it means that the winners of Champions League Group D will be decided in the final two matches.
Barcelona travelled to Denmark with the intention of securing qualification for the next round but they found it difficult against a battling Copenhagen, a point behind them.
Lionel Messi gave the visitors the lead but it was short lived as Claudemir equalised from the next attack. (AFP)
 
ON THE BALL: Tottenham’s Gareth Bale (right) moving the ball away from an Inter Milan during their victory over the 2008 Champions League winners. (AP Picture)

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