Inter Milan 4 - 3 Tottenham

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Inter Milan 4 - 3 Tottenham

Post  nirvana on 21st October 2010, 17:07

Zanetti, at 37, became the oldest scorer in the Champions League

By Saj Chowdhury

A brilliant Gareth Bale hat-trick could not save 10-man Tottenham from a defeat by Inter Milan at the San Siro.
Javier Zanetti gave Inter the lead from 12 yards before Samuel Eto'o made it 2-0 from the spot after Heurelho Gomes saw red for fouling Jonathan Biabiany.
Dejan Stankovic added the third with a well-placed shot from the edge of the area and Eto'o poked in the fourth.
Then Bale took over, he smashed in his first two after surging runs down the left before firing in a third late on.
The final five minutes in which Bale scored his second and third goals were as sensational as the 15-minute opening that resulted in Inter going 3-0 up.

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Unfortunately for Spurs, they were a man down by that stage and conceded a fourth goal 10 minutes before half-time - a deficit that proved too much even for Harry Redknapp's cavaliers to claw back.
The Tottenham boss should shoulder some of the blame for starting with an attacking line-up against the European champions but that would take a lot away from a devastating 45 minutes of mesmeric football from Inter.
Under former coach Jose Mourinho, Inter often played with an emphasis on defence but memories of a more negative style were banished inside the first quarter of the match.

Rafael Benitez, occasionally blamed for his team selection at Liverpool, sent out a bold line-up that included young crowd-pleasers Coutinho and Biabiany.
Both gave Spurs a headache in the first half but it was veteran Argentine Zanetti who got the Inter ball rolling in the second minute.
The 37-year-old captain finished off a superb Inter move involving Coutinho and Eto'o with a precision placement from 12 yards.
Tottenham were then floored with a left-right combination when Gomes was shown a straight red card for fouling Biabiany inside the area after Wesley Sneijder had played in a lovely ball from the left.
Eto'o stepped up to fire in from the spot as replacement keeper Carlo Cudicini, with Luka Modric sacrificed, stayed rooted.

There was barely enough time for the Spurs players to lift their heads off the floor when 32-year-old Stankovic rounded off another intricate move involving Eto'o with a side-foot finish from 18 yards.
Inter then embarrassed the Premier League side further when Coutinho played a through-ball to Eto'o, who poked in via a slight deflection off the boot of Cudicini.
It was noticeable that Inter moved down a couple of gears in the second half and, incredibly, that was almost to cost them victory.
Prior to Bale's opener, Peter Crouch wasted Tottenham's only chance of the match, when he headed over from four yards with the score at 3-0.
Bale then showed the striker the way.
The 21-year-old Wales international ran almost 50 yards down the left before firing an angled shot past Julio Cesar for a sensational first goal.

It remained 4-1 until the final two minutes, when Bale left veteran Zanetti trailing and scored an almost identical second.
And the full-back kept alive what had seemed an impossible task when he was well positioned on the left of the area to rifle in his hat-trick.
But any hopes of recording one of the greatest results in Tottenham's history were scuppered by a stoppage-time allowance of only two minutes.
Despite the result, this match will be remembered by many for a very, very long time.

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