Champions League: Spurs too hot for Inter
By Shaun Wares.
Inter looked all at sea this evening as Tottenham continued their excellent Champions League form to storm to a rousing victory over the European Champions. Gareth Bale was once again the stand-out performer, with Aaron Lennon also putting in a quality display, as Spurs terrorised their Italian opposition down both flanks. Maicon, highly regarded as one of the best right-backs in the world, was no match for Bale, and was ridiculed throughout by the exuberant Tottenham supporters. A fantastic night for English football, as the fast and physical, attacking nature of the Premiership was on display for all to see.
Modric and Van der Vaart obviously relished the challenge of pitting their wits against one of Europe’s tightest defences, and Spurs fans will be delighted to see the two midfield maestros beginning to click. Their fledgeling partnership has begun to bear fruit, and their scintillating link up play on the first goal was nothing short of brilliance. Redknapp will definitely have a job on his hands keeping the two together as Europe’s top clubs clamour to sign the two in these coming transfer windows. Harry, renowned for his wheeling and dealing, has made what looks to be the acquisition of the summer. Van der Vaart has found a natural partner in Modric, whose midfield string-pulling looks to have come straight from the Ajax academy. Sneijder, usually effortless in his attacking runs and playmaking, showed glimpses of brilliance, but was undoubtedly outshone by his countryman tonight.
Whereas Spurs issue a warning to the rest of Europe this evening, taking a stranglehold of the group proceedings. Inter on the contrary, looked to be a shadow of the team we grew so used to watching earlier this year. They showed flashes of the brilliance that earned them the European crown last season, but were very much dominated away from home. The tight, defensive Italian style was far from evident as Spurs crashed home three goals, as the Inter defenders could only stare at each other in disbelief. Perhaps Benitez may want to rethink his strategy if Inter are to reach the knockout stages. The defensive minded ethos of Mourinho, which brought the club so much success, is completely at odds with Benitez’s attacking style, which notably included four front men at points this evening. Perhaps, on paper, Spurs cannot boast a defence as star-studded as Inter’s, but organisation was key. With the exception of a consolation from Eto’o, and a few smart saves from Cudicini, it would be safe to say that Inter’s attack was suitably contained. The question is, with this excellent European form, just how far can Tottenham go in Europe this season? They are very much an unknown quantity on the European stage, but are definitely scaring the big boys with performances like this.
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