FULL-TIME. INTER 4-3 TOTTENHAM. Amazing second half at the San Siro. Zanetti, Eto’o (2) and Stankovic had given Inter a 4-0 lead heading into the break, while Gomes saw red early on in the game. Suicidal Spurs defending gifted Inter their half-time advantage, but the second half was Gareth Bale’s. The Welshman surged forward from the halfway line to pull a goal back for his side before scoring an almost identical goal to make it 4-2 with minutes remaining. He followed that up with his hat-trick with the last kick of the game, but it wasn’t enough. Thanks for joining Goal.com tonight.
GOAL!! THAT’S HIS HAT-TRICK!! BALE AGAIN!! Lennon cuts inside from the right this time and a huge gap opens up at the heart of the Inter defence. The England man then picks out the unmarked Bale just inside the area, and he takes a touch before smashing a left-footed strike into the bottom right-hand corner for the third time in the match. Three goals for Bale, but can Spurs find a late equaliser!?
Goal Gareth Bale
Assist Aaron Lennon
Goal Gareth Bale
GOAL!! BALE SCORES AN ALMOST IDENTICAL GOAL TO HIS FIRST!! 4-2 NOW!! The flying winger receives a pass from Lennon around 45 yards out before taking the ball forward down the left. He then races into the penalty area and fizzes a left-footed strike into the far corner! Still alive for Tottenham!?
Yellow Card W. Palacios
Hutton storms forward down the right, checks inside onto his left foot past three defenders and has the chance to have a pop at goal. The full-back grabbed his first Spurs goal a couple of weeks ago against Wolves but he can’t add to his tally, smashing the ball just over the bar. Meanwhile, Palacios picks up a booking for a silly trip on Lucio.
Tottenham are enjoying a brief spell of possession now, passing the ball from side to side, but they’re not really going anywhere. Meanwhile, good news for both of these sides - Werder Bremen have equalised against FC Twente.
COUTINHO FIRES OVER!! Sneijder lays the ball off to his right to the Brazilian starlet, who is once again allowed too much room to shoot by a white shirt, Jermaine Jenas this time. He then takes a touch before unleashing a fierce right-footed effort at goal, but it sails over the bar.
Another change for Spurs. Tom Huddlestone trots off the pitch to be replaced by Wilson Palacios. Straight swap with the Honduras international lining up alongside Jermaine Jenas in midfield.
Substitution Tom Huddlestone W. Palacios
While Cudicini easily claims after Sneijder’s ambitious attempt to score from the halfway line, a goal was being scored elsewhere in the group. FC Twente have gone a goal ahead against Werder Bremen.
Cordoba breaks forward down the right to combine with Maicon just moments after his arrival. The substitute then pulls the ball back to his team-mate, but Maicon’s pass through to Coutinho has too much pace on it and runs out of play for a goal-kick.
Substitution Jonathan Biabiany Iván Ramiro Córdoba
Not centre-back Walter Samuel, but it’s Jonathan Biabiany who makes way. Ivan Cordoba looks as though he could play at right-back, which means Maicon will play further forward.
Looks like Inter are set to make their final change. Ivan Cordoba receives instruction from Benitez on the touchline and will most probably come on in the place of Samuel.
Inter play the around almost every player in the team before finding Santon out wide on the left. The Italian curls the ball right-footed over towards the far post but nobody is there to attack as it goes out of play for a goal-kick.
Second change for Spurs now. Former Inter striker Robbie Keane makes his return to the San Siro, coming on in the place of Peter Crouch.
Substitution Peter Crouch Robbie Keane
Claims for a Spurs penalty. Bale drills the ball into the area from the left looking to find Crouch at the near post. However, the striker is bundled to ground by Samuel and pleads to the additional assistant for a penalty. The referee waves play on, and it would have been extremely harsh to award a penalty.
Great bit of work from Coutinho. The young Brazilian plays a nice little one-two with Maicon, who continues his run into the penalty area, 25 yards out. Instead of looking to play the return pass to his team-mate he evades the weak challenge from Gallas and tries to find the far corner, but the strike is a little under-hit and rolls out of play for a goal-kick.
Second change for Inter. Off goes Christian Chivu, and on in his place is Goran Pandev. The forward will line up on the left of the three behind Eto’o now with Coutinho staying as a holding midfielder and Santon playing at left-back.
Substitution Cristian Chivu Goran Pandev
Bale causes more problems as he pounces on a loose ball inside the Inter penalty are before drilling it across the face of goal. The ball then diverts up into the air and eventually finds its was to the onrushing Assou-Ekotto who fires wildly over.
“We’re gonna win 5-4!” That’s the chant from the Tottenham fans at the San Siro. That would be very unlikely tonight, but they have looked lively down the left through Bale a couple of times since his goal…
SAVE FROM CUDICINI! Santon makes his first big impact of the game, checking inside onto his right foot from just inside the penalty area before firing towards the bottom left-hand corner. The ball takes a deflection off Hutton but Cudicini is equal to it, diving low to his right to palm it away.
GOAL!! BRILLIANT RUN FROM BALE!! The Welshman uses his pace to jink past Maicon and Zanetti on the halfway line before continuing his run towards the Inter penalty area. With nobody in support, Bale hammers the ball left-footed into the bottom right-hand corner. Samuel puts in a late challenge but it’s not enough. Game on?
Goal Gareth Bale
Substitution Dejan Stankovic Davide Santon
Stankovic doesn’t look best pleased on the touchline. The Serb storms off the pitch after picking up a knock and he throws boots down to receive treatment. It’s not clear what’s wrong with him but Davide Santon is on in his place.
There are still plenty of options on the bench for Spurs tonight. Harry Redknapp has the likes of Kranjcar, Keane and Pavlyuchenko at his disposal, but it’s going to take a colossal effort for them to get back into this game.
Inter kick us off for the second half. No changes from either side at the break.
HALF-TIME. INTER 4-0 TOTTENHAM. Well, that was an action-packed half. Zanetti have the hosts a lead just two minutes into the game after the Spurs defence were opened up far too easily. Gomes then saw red and gave away a penalty, which was converted by Eto’o, for a challenge on Biabiany before Stankovic made it 3-0 after just 14 minutes. Inter dominated the rest of the half, adding a fourth through Eto’o again as the Tottenham defence capitulated. 4-0 at half-time and, with Spurs down to 10 men, we could get any score…
One minute of added time at the San Siro...
TWO CHANCES FOR INTER!! Biabiany lays the ball off to the Brazilian just inside the Tottenham area and, after again being left too much time by the Tottenham defence, he fires at goal, but Cudicini is equal to it. Inter are then gifted another opportunity when nobody clears a cross in from the left and the ball lands at the feet of Maicon at the far post. The Brazilian strikes right-footed straight at Cudicini but he beats Lennon and Assou-Ekotto to the follow up, only to shoot at the Spurs goalkeeper again from a narrow angle.
Slight tactical change from Spurs. They’re still playing the 4-4-1 with Crouch as the lone striker, but Lennon and Bale have swapped sides for the time being.
Bale whips the ball into the area from the left wing and looks to pick out Crouch. The striker can’t get there, though, and neither can any other Spurs players as Samuel blocks before Inter come clear with the ball.
Biabiany gets forward down the left and does well to stop the ball going out of play for a corner. However, Benoit Assou-Ekotto is there to put in a challenge before clearing the danger for Spurs.
GOAL!! ETO’O AGAIN!! 4-0 TO INTER!! Coutinho slides the ball through to the onrushing Eto’o on the edge of the area after Jenas struggles to close him down. The Cameroon international then races past Gallas to latch onto it before prodding the ball with the outside of his right boot past Cudicini in the Tottenham goal. Gallas caught flatfooted, and Inter are running away with this game now…
Assou-Ekotto looks to set a rare Spurs attack going by launching the ball downfield left-footed looking for the feet of Peter Crouch. The big man comes back from an offside position to retrieve the ball 40 yards out but is correctly ruled offside by the referee.
Maicon breaks forward from right-back and receives a pass from Stankovic close to the byline. The full-back looks to cross into the area but can't keep the ball in play and the move breaks down.
CHANCE FOR SPURS!! Lennon jinks his was down the right and manages to cut back onto his left foot, evading the challenges of Chivu and Zanetti. The winger then curls the ball with his weaker foot to Crouch at the far post, and the striker rises above Maicon to win the aerial battle, but he can only direct his header over the bar.
Sneijder strikes a long-range free-kick against the wall before the ball is looped back into the penalty area. Gallas is there to head clear, but only as far as Stankovic who, from 25 yards out, tries an ambitious right-footed volley, but it flies well over.
A breakdown in communication between Bassong and Assou-Ekotto allows Eto'o space to win the ball before earning a corner. Samuel can't quite flick his header towards goal from the resulting corner before it's played into the area again. Cudicini fails to punch clear from an audacios effort from Stankovic 12 yards out the ball takes a ricochet off a defender before Spurs eventually get the ball clear.
Sneijder receives the ball 25 yards out and stabs the ball right-footed to Eto'o on the left side of the Tottenham area. The Cameroon international escapes Hutton and looks to curl the ball right-footed into the top right-hand corner, but there's too much pace on it and the ball flies over.
Inter are just passing the ball around unchallenged now. Spurs are sitting deep when the hosts are in possession and are only starting to close them down when they get into the final third. Dangerous tactic, especially with 10 men.
Yellow card for Chivu. The left-back goes in hard with a challenge on Lennon down the Spurs right and correctly earns a booking. The Tottenham free-kick comes to nothing, however.
Yellow Card Cristian Chivu
Bale gives the ball cheaply in midfield and it falls kindly at the feet of Coutinho 35 yards out. The youngster tries his luck from range but can only see his deflected strike loop into the arms of Cudicini.
Goal Dejan Stankovic
GOAL!! IT'S ANOTHER!! DEJAN STANKOVIC!! Inter pass the ball around with ease before Stankovic receives it on the edge of the area. The midfielder then plays a lovely little one-two with Eto'o and, after failing to be closed down by Huddlestone or Bassong, he fires the ball right-footed into the bottom left-hand corner. 14 minutes gone, 3-0...
Assist Jonathan Biabiany
Penalty Goal Eto'o
GOAL!! ETO'O MAKES IT 2-0!! The in-form striker gets his 13th of the season, calmly side-footing the ball into the top left-hand corner after a slow run-up. Spurs have it all to do now...
Substitution Luka Modric Carlo Cudicini
There is the change. Carlo Cudicini comes on in the place of Luka Modric. Eto'o to take the penalty...
Red Card Gomes
PENALTY TO INTER!! RED CARD FOR GOMES!! Biabiany looks to hurdle over Gomes after getting in front of his marker Assou-Ekotto. However, after chipping the ball over the goalkeeper, he is brought down with a clumsy challenge from the Brazilian. Gomes takes an age to leave the pitch, but he deserves his red card, clearly denying Inter a goal scoring opportunity. Terrible marking from Assou-Ekotto in the build up to the incident. Spurs will have to make a change now...
Lennon is one-on-one with Chivu on the right wing and looks set to drift a cross into the box towards Crouch. There's not a lot of space to race past Chivu, however, so the winger opts to cut the ball back to Modric, but he can't get to it and Inter clear again.
Spurs look to spark a quick attack as Lennon feeds the ball out wide to the overlapping Hutton on the right. The Scot tries to pull it back to Crouch on the edge of the area but he gets it wrong and Inter clear the danger.
Goal Javier Zanetti
GOAL!! ZANETTI PUTS INTER AHEAD!! After a brilliant flowing move from Inter, Eto'o receives a pass 25 yards out and slides the ball through to Zanetti on the left side of the Spurs area. The Argentine is unmarked in plenty of space to curl the ball right-footed into the top right-hand corner past a stranded Gomes. Poor defending from Spurs, nobody was closing Zanetti down.
Tottenham get us underway at the San Siro.
It’s a familiar looking Inter side with Maicon, Lucio, Javier Zanetti, Wesley Sneijder and Samuel Eto’o all starting. Philippe Coutinho is preferred to Goran Pandev again, while Jonathan Biabiany is given another chance in impress.
The main highlight from the team news is the inclusion of Peter Crouch up front for Spurs. The England man was tipped to be among the substitutes with Roman Pavlyuchenko starting but that’s not the case, with the Russian having to settle for a place on the bench. Elsewhere for the visitors, William Gallas provides plenty of European experience at centre-back, Jermaine Jenas starts in midfield and Luka Modric plays just behind Crouch in the place of the suspended Rafael van der Vaart.
Tottenham line-up: Gomes; Hutton, Gallas, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Jenas, Huddlestone, Bale; Modric, Crouch. Subs: Cudicini, Kaboul, Bentley, Pavlyuchenko, Keane, Palacios, Kranjcar.
Here are the teams - Inter line-up: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Chivu; Zanetti, Stankovic; Biabiany, Sneijder, Coutinho; Eto’o. Subs: Castellazzi, Cordoba, Muntari, Cambiasso, Materazzi, Pandev, Santon.
This is Tottenham’s first big test in the Champions League this season - and the one the supporters have all been looking forward to. Spurs, currently second in the group on four points, will leapfrog Rafael Benitez’s men, who top the table on goal difference, with a win tonight.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com’s live coverage of the Champions League Group A meeting between Inter and Tottenham. My name is Danny Hart and I will be taking you through tonight’s game.