Search

Spurs narrowly avoid humiliation to squeeze past Inter Milan

PUBLISHED: 20:56 14 March 2013 | UPDATED: 08:06 15 March 2013

Spurs' Mousa Dembele in action against Inter Milan. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Spurs' Mousa Dembele in action against Inter Milan. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

PA Wire

Europa League: Inter Milan 4 Tottenham 1 (aggregate score 4-4, Tottenham go through on away goals.)

Emmanuel Adebayor answered the racist taunts of Inter Milan fans by scoring a killer away goal on a night that so nearly ended in humiliation for Tottenham.

Tottenham crushed Inter 3-0 in the first leg, but the Italian giants completely outclassed Andre Villas-Boas’ shellshocked side tonight in the first 90 minutes.

Antonio Cassano put Inter ahead after 20 minutes and Rodrigo Palacio made it 2-0 after the break before William Gallas stabbed the ball into his own net to level the tie at 3-3 on aggregate.

Inter laid siege to the Spurs goal in the hunt for a killer fourth, but the visitors held on and Adebayor scored against the run of play in the first period of extra-time.

Inter scored again through Ricardo Alvarez to bring the tie level on aggregate, but Adebayor’s away goal was enough to see Spurs through to the last eight of the Europa League.

The match action was a thrilling advert for the often-derided competition, but the night was tarnished by racist abuse from the home fans towards Adebayor.

The Togo striker, who has suffered racist abuse in the past, was the target of monkey chanting.

UEFA will surely come under pressure to punish Inter, whose fans also waved inflatable bananas at Mario Balotelli in last month’s Milan derby.

Villas-Boas’ team, without suspended star man Gareth Bale, dominated the early exchanges, but they did not test goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.

Jan Vertonghen swung his right leg at Gylfi Sigurdsson’s cross, but he missed. Thereafter Inter took control.

Esteban Cambiasso picked out Cassano with a through-ball, but Brad Friedel saved well from the Italy striker.

Cassano broke through the Spurs back four once again after William Gallas misjudged the flight of the ball. The Frenchman raced back and appeared to nudge Cassano over, but the referee did not award a penalty.

Cassano did not fail to beat Friedel at the third time of asking, however. The 30-year-old got on the end of a Palacio cross after Jonathan cut out Kyle Naughton and headed home from six yards.

A flare went off in the home end and Inter’s fans found their voice. Villas-Boas sprung to his feet and began ordering his team to remain calm.

Inter did not relent, however. They almost added a second goal in the 26th minute when Cassano threaded a ball through Kyle Walker and Gallas to find Palacio, but the Argentinian’s lob cannoned off the bar and over.

Tottenham were panicking all over the pitch. A mix-up between Gallas and Friedel almost allowed Palacio in before Cassano shot just wide of the American’s goal.

Tottenham still offered little going forward. Walker glanced a header wide. Jake Livermore and Friedel were booked for time-wasting.

Tottenham held back the tide before the interval, but soon after the restart Cassano found Palacio with a through-ball and he curled a shot beyond Friedel to make it 2-0.

Villas-Boas threw on Lewis Holtby and Aaron Lennon in a bid to give his team more impetus, but Inter continued to lay siege to the away box.

The evergreen Javier Zanetti entered the Tottenham area and fired a low shot at Friedel’s near post, but he blocked the strike and Tottenham’s fans breathed again.

Inter’s quest to find a third looked set for failure until they won a free-kick 25 yards out with 15 minutes to go. Cassano struck the wall with a powerful low effort but it squirmed through and Gallas stuck out a leg and poked the ball past an off-balance Friedel.

Two minutes into injury time Gallas missed a horrible challenge on Cambiasso, but the Argentinian shot wide from 10 yards.

Villas-Boas gathered his team together after the referee signalled led the end of the normal 90 minutes and Tottenham seemed reinvigorated by the talk from their manager.

Handanovic saved well from Aaron Lennon and Jan Vertonghen, while Gallas headed wide unmarked from eight yards.

Adebayor did not miss the target moments later, however, stabbing past Handanovic after the Inter goalkeeper spilled Mousa Dembele’s shot.

The 2,000 travelling fans erupted in ecstasy, but they were back biting their finger nails again in the 110th minute when Ricardo Alvarez nodded home from Cassano’s cross to make it 4-4 on aggregate.

The away goal meant Tottenham remained on course to go through, and despite late attempts from the home side Villas-Boas’ team held on to enter the hat for the quarter-finals.

Related articles

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

31 minutes ago

The Belgian is aiming to help Spurs qualify for the Champions League round of 16 with a win away to Barcelona

10:00

Football manager beat actor Emily Atack to win this year’s series

Bostik Premier: Haringey Borough 1 Folkestone Invicta 0

A dominant second-half ensured Saracens’ incredible season rumbles on as they destroyed Cardiff Blues in a 51-25 success.

Yesterday, 18:53

Hendon fell to a fourth away defeat in their last five matches on the road after another disappointing display saw them beaten by two Basingstoke Town goals in the space of three first-half minutes.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Premier League: Leicester City 0 Tottenham Hotspur 2

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Unai Emery has been speaking after Arsenal’s late 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town at the Emirates. Read on for what he said about matchwinner Lucas Torreira as the Gunners made it 21 games unbeaten.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Arsenal hosted Huddersfield Town at the Emirates on Saturday. Read on for Layth Yousif’s match report

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now