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Tottenham put three past hapless Internazionale at White Hart Lane

Shreyas Pai
820   //    08 Mar 2013, 09:30 IST

Tottenham Hotspur made easy work of Internazionale at White Hart Lane, running out 3-0 winners with an excellent attacking display. AVB’s men, who cemented their bid for Champions League qualification over the weekend, completely outplayed the visitors and took a giant step towards progress in the lesser famed of the two European competitions. It was a welcome sight for the home fans as well to see veteran goalkeeper Brad Friedel, who has contributed plenty to the club in his relatively short stay, start the game in between the sticks.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 07:  Gylfi Sigurdsson of Tottenham Hotspur (C) celebrates scoring his side's second goal with team mate Gareth Bale (R) during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 First Leg match between Tottenham Hotspur and FC Internazionale Milano at White Hart Lane on March 7, 2013 in London, England.

Gylfi Sigurdsson (C) celebrates scoring his side’s second goal with teammate Gareth Bale (R) during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 First Leg match between Tottenham Hotspur and FC Internazionale Milano at White Hart Lane on March 7, 2013 in London, England.

Tottenham’s night got off to a flying start with the continuation of Gareth Bale’s golden form, as he scored their opening goal as early as in the sixth minute. Sigurdsson, who started his second consecutive game for the London based side, did well to get a cross into the box, and Bale headed it into Handanovic’s right corner with aplomb. This set off a period of domination for the home side, with the Slovenian ‘keeper having to make a couple of saves from Defoe, and one from a long range effort of Bale. There was no denying Sigurdsson though, as the former Swansea man made it 2-0 to the home side with a follow-up effort from close range, after Handanovic had made the second of his two mentioned saves from Defoe.

There was no respite for Handanovic as a few minutes later, as a free-kick towards the far post for Tottenham was met by Vertonghen, whose header back across the face of goal was destined for goal but was tipped over at the last moment by the ‘keeper. Inter continued to live on the edge, mainly thanks to some scintillating attacking moves from Tottenham. Bale missed a chance from inside the box, which one would have expected him to finish, while Sigurdsson drew a scrambling save from Handanovic with a long range effort and Vertonghen had a header caught by the Inter custodian.

The best chance of the half though, fell to Ricardo Alvarez, who found himself one-on-one with Friedel, thanks to a lucky deflection off a Tottenham player. The Argentinian attacker’s lack of sharpness came through however, and he sent his effort wide of Friedel’s far post, squandering a golden opportunity to bring his team back into the game. A stern looking Stramaccioni led his side into the tunnel two goals down at the halfway mark.

The second half almost began on as disastrous a note as the first for the Italians, with a free kick from Bale floating towards the far post, begging for a touch from Vertonghen, but receiving none. A few minutes later though, the duo combined for Spurs’ third goal, with the unmarked Belgian heading home a corner from the Welshman. 3-0 to the home side with 52 minutes gone, with the promise of plenty more to come.

The action continued to be all at Inter’s end of the pitch, with Bale shooting narrowly wide of goal, rippling the netting, while Defoe and Lennon drew decent saves from Handanovic. Out of nowhere, a quickly taken free-kick for Inter Milan produced an excellent chance for Rodrigo Palacio to pull one back for the visitors. A cleverly played pass over the top put him through on goal, with only Friedel to beat, but the veteran ‘keeper did well to save Palacio’s effort with his feet.

The rest of the game was a chore to bear with for the home fans really, with both sides essentially canceling each other out, and celebrations delayed for no apparent reason. When the final whistle did blow though, there was an eruption of cheers at White Hart Lane, something which could feature in the Champions League next season.

Result: Tottenham Hotspur (Gareth Bale 6’, Glyfi Sigurdsson 18’, Jan Vertonghen 53’) 3 – 0 Internazionale

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Shreyas Pai
A free bird that wishes he were a little Red boot on Giggsy's left foot.
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