Even before kick-off,White Hart Lane was rocking, just like Sunday's derby against Arsenal, and Andre Villas-Boas played the strongest side available to him.

The only exception was in goal as Brad Friedel came in for Hugo Lloris. That in itself was evidence of Villas-Boas' excellent handling of his goalkeepers. While it is clear that the French shot-stopper is first choice, Friedel is not frozen completely out of action, but instead treated with respect and played in the cups.

Spurs started like an Olympic 100m sprinter out of the blocks. They caught Inter cold and within six minutes they had their reward, Gareth Bale rising above Esteban Cambiasso to head in Gylfi Sigurdsson's early cross. That in itself was already a great start to the tie, but it got even better after 18 minutes when Sigurdsson turned in the Inter keeper's rebound from Defoe's shot.

Spurs' high tempo, high defensive line and pressure meant that Inter never got into the game during the first half, finishing with one shot on target in 45 minutes compared to Spurs' eight. They also wasted a gilt-edged chance at the end of the first half when Ricky Alvarez was put clean through against Friedel and shot wide.

In all honesty, the second half was a parade for the victorious Spurs team, after Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen headed in Bale's corner, having contrived to miss from 5 yards just minutes earlier. Spurs had a host of chances to extend their lead further still before the 70th minute, but wasted all of them.

After this period, where Livermore came on for Dembele, and Holtby for Sigurdsson, the game entered a lull. Guarín was booked for diving, like Bale in the first half. 

Rodrigo Palacio had a shot saved, Bale engaged in some showboating, but not much else happened for the rest of the game. Spurs stopped attacking with quite as much intensity and kept the ball instead, while Inter tried to score an away goal without much success. 

Defoe deserved a goal, and should have taken his chances better, and Inter will improve in the second leg with Bale suspended, but these are questions for another day after a second famous win at the Lane in the space of a week.

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

Subs not used: Lloris, Caulker, Dawson, Carroll.

Inter Milan: Handanovic, Zanetti, Ranocchia, Chivu, Juan Jesus (Palacio, 46), Gargano, Cambiasso, Alvarez (Jonathan, 67), Kovacic (Guarín, 55), Pereira, Cassano.

Subs not used: Belec, Benassi, Pasa, Mbaye.

Goals: Bale (6), Sigurdsson (18), Vertonghen (53)

BBC Sport(Stats taken from ) 

 

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Topics:
#Europa League
#Tottenham Hotspur
#Gareth Bale
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