More Gareth Bale Magic as Tottenham Edge past Inter
Gareth Bale maintained his superb scoring form to put Tottenham in control of their Europa League last-16 tie against Inter Milan.
Bale glanced in a header from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s cross early on but will miss the second leg after his fourth caution of the season for diving.
Sigurdsson turned in from close range after Jermain Defoe’s shot was saved.
Bale has only failed to score in one of his last nine matches. He has opened the scoring in seven of those games.
At least the positives continue to vastly outweigh the negatives and after an intense opening from the hosts, Bale guided a header into the corner from a Sigurdsson ball from the left.
Inter were struggling to get out of their own half and after 17 minutes they were two behind.
A neat passing move from Spurs worked space for Aaron Lennon to pull back for Defoe, whose shot was blocked by goalkeeper Samir Handanovic only for Sigurdsson to touch in.
Sigurdsson crossed for Vertonghen to have a looping header tipped over before another ball from the left saw Bale head wide.
Inter had a chance to reduce the arrears just before the interval but Ricardo Alvarez clipped wide after being sent clear by Antonio Cassano.
And they were soon made to pay after the break.
Vertonghen should have turned in from a Bale free-kick, but the Belgian made no mistake when he met Bale’s corner unmarked to head in.
Bale just missed after a typical surge forward before Handonovic turned around the post from Defoe.
Lennon was also denied a fourth when he put the ball through Christian Chivu’s legs only to be blocked by Handanovic.
Tottenham’s goalkeeper Brad Friedel was alert enough to to race out to deny Rodrigo Palacio after a quick free-kick from Esteban Cambiasso and Spurs head to Italy in a strong position.