Gareth Bale maintained his superb scoring form to put Tottenham in control of their Europa League last-16 tie against Inter Milan.

Bale glanced in a header from Gylfi Sigurdsson's cross early on but will miss the second leg after his fourth caution of the season for diving.

Sigurdsson turned in from close range after Jermain Defoe's shot was saved.

Analysis

"I go to the Tottenham training ground a lot and he is very humble. He is not ready to move abroad but I don't think he will worry about the publicity his efforts are creating. I don't think he will disappear for the mega bucks."

Jan Vertonghen headed in a third from Bale's corner in the second half to give Spurs a comfortable advantage.

While manager Andre Villas-Boas will be pleased to see Bale continuing his impressive run with his 21st of the campaign, there were plenty of other positive signs from a dominant performance that led to a sixth win in seven matches.

Icelandic midfielder Sigurdsson was a constant threat on the left flank and, making his first start after a month out with an ankle problem, Defoe looked sharp in attack.

A 50th Tottenham goal, and an 11th in nine games for club and country, mean that Welshman Bale will never be short of plaudits.

But Tottenham will be without the winger, who scored three goals in a blistering performance in Spurs' 4-3 defeat in the San Siro in 2010, when they head to Italy next week, having been cautioned by Spanish referee Antonio Lahoz after going down under a Walter Gargano challenge in the area.

Bale's scoring run

Bale has only failed to score in one of his last nine matches. He has opened the scoring in seven of those games.

At least the positives continue to vastly outweigh the negatives and after an intense opening from the hosts, Bale guided a header into the corner from a Sigurdsson ball from the left.

Inter were struggling to get out of their own half and after 17 minutes they were two behind.

A neat passing move from Spurs worked space for Aaron Lennon to pull back for Defoe, whose shot was blocked by goalkeeper Samir Handanovic only for Sigurdsson to touch in.

Sigurdsson crossed for Vertonghen to have a looping header tipped over before another ball from the left saw Bale head wide.

Inter had a chance to reduce the arrears just before the interval but Ricardo Alvarez clipped wide after being sent clear by Antonio Cassano.

And they were soon made to pay after the break.

Vertonghen should have turned in from a Bale free-kick, but the Belgian made no mistake when he met Bale's corner unmarked to head in.

Bale just missed after a typical surge forward before Handonovic turned around the post from Defoe.

Lennon was also denied a fourth when he put the ball through Christian Chivu's legs only to be blocked by Handanovic.

Tottenham's goalkeeper Brad Friedel was alert enough to to race out to deny Rodrigo Palacio after a quick free-kick from Esteban Cambiasso and Spurs head to Italy in a strong position.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Tottenham Hotspur

  • 24 Friedel
  • 05 Vertonghen
  • 13 Gallas
  • 28 Walker
  • 32 Assou-Ekotto
  • 07 Lennon (Naughton - 81' )
  • 08 Parker
  • 11 Bale Booked
  • 22 Sigurdsson (Holtby - 70' )
  • 18 Defoe
  • 19 Dembele (Livermore - 64' )

Substitutes

  • 25 Lloris
  • 16 Naughton
  • 20 Dawson
  • 33 Caulker
  • 14 Holtby
  • 29 Livermore
  • 46 Carroll

Inter Milan

  • 01 S Handanovic
  • 04 Zanetti
  • 23 Andrea Ranocchia
  • 26 Chivu
  • 31 Pereira Booked
  • 40 Juan (Palacio - 46' )
  • 11 Alvarez (Jonathan - 67' )
  • 19 Cambiasso
  • 21 Gargano
  • 29 Kovacic (Guarin - 55' Booked )
  • 99 Cassano

Substitutes

  • 27 Belec
  • 28 Pasa
  • 33 Mbaye
  • 42 Jonathan
  • 14 Guarin
  • 24 Benassi
  • 08 Palacio
Ref: Lahoz
Att: 34,353

Match Stats

Shots

17 7

On target

13 2

Corners

5 3

Fouls

9 9

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:07 Full time

Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.

90:00 +1:38

The assistant referee signals for offside against Moreira Jonathan. William Gallas takes the direct free kick.

90:00 +1:19

Jake Livermore concedes a free kick for a foul on Fredy Guarin. Fredy Guarin takes the direct free kick.

90:00 +0:21

Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Blocked by Javier Zanetti.

88:57

Alvaro Pereira is caught offside. Direct free kick taken by Brad Friedel.

87:35

Fredy Guarin takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.

87:17

Antonio Cassano fouled by Jan Vertonghen, the ref awards a free kick. Antonio Cassano restarts play with the free kick.

80:58 Substitution

Substitution Kyle Naughton on for Aaron Lennon.

79:46

Lewis Holtby takes a shot. Save by Samir Handanovic.

78:07

The offside flag is raised against Scott Parker. Samir Handanovic takes the free kick.

76:29

Free kick taken by Aaron Lennon.

76:29 Booking

Booking Alvaro Pereira receives a caution.

76:21

Aaron Lennon fouled by Alvaro Pereira, the ref awards a free kick.

73:52

Rodrigo Palacio takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.

73:26

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fredy Guarin by Jake Livermore. Direct free kick taken by Fredy Guarin.

72:48

Jake Livermore gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Esteban Cambiasso. Cristian Chivu restarts play with the free kick.

71:55 Booking

Booking Caution for Fredy Guarin.

69:51 Substitution

Substitution Lewis Holtby replaces Gylfi Sigurdsson.

69:17

Gareth Bale takes a shot. Save made by Samir Handanovic.

68:16

Jake Livermore concedes a free kick for a foul on Rodrigo Palacio. Walter Gargano takes the free kick.

67:27

Antonio Cassano is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Benoit Assou-Ekotto takes the free kick.

66:13

Jake Livermore takes the free kick.

66:13 Substitution

Substitution Moreira Jonathan is brought on as a substitute for Ricardo Alvarez.

66:13

Ricardo Alvarez challenges Jan Vertonghen unfairly and gives away a free kick.

64:38

Jermain Defoe gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Cristian Chivu. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Esteban Cambiasso from own half, clearance made by Jan Vertonghen. Short corner worked by Antonio Cassano.

63:35

Cristian Chivu takes the direct free kick.

63:35 Substitution

Substitution Jake Livermore is brought on as a substitute for Mousa Dembele.

63:35

The offside flag is raised against Gareth Bale.

62:36

Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Save made by Samir Handanovic. Gareth Bale takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Cristian Chivu makes a clearance.

61:47

Foul by Scott Parker on Javier Zanetti, free kick awarded. Javier Zanetti takes the direct free kick.

60:28

Gareth Bale has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.

57:57

Alvaro Pereira fouled by Aaron Lennon, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Walter Gargano.

57:06

Foul by Alvaro Pereira on Aaron Lennon, free kick awarded. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Gareth Bale, save by Samir Handanovic.

54:39 Substitution

Substitution Mateo Kovacic leaves the field to be replaced by Fredy Guarin.

54:10

Gylfi Sigurdsson sends in a cross, clearance by Javier Zanetti.

52:08

Assist on the goal came from Gareth Bale.

52:08 Goal scored

Goal! - Jan Vertonghen - Tottenham 3 - 0 Int Milan Jan Vertonghen finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the box. Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan.

51:22

Corner from the right by-line taken by Gareth Bale,

50:40

Shot from just outside the box by Alvaro Pereira misses to the right of the goal.

48:34

Foul by Mateo Kovacic on Gareth Bale, free kick awarded. Gareth Bale delivers the ball, Close range shot by Jan Vertonghen goes wide of the left-hand post.

47:34

Gylfi Sigurdsson concedes a free kick for a foul on Cristian Chivu. Free kick taken by Ricardo Alvarez.

45:01

The referee gets the second half started.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Guilherme Juan goes off and Rodrigo Palacio comes on.

45:00 +1:03 Half time

Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.

45:00 +0:10

Free kick awarded for a foul by Cristian Chivu on Kyle Walker. Kyle Walker takes the free kick.

43:07

Corner taken right-footed by Alvaro Pereira.

41:10

Corner from the right by-line taken by Gareth Bale, Jan Vertonghen takes a shot. Save by Samir Handanovic. Effort from deep inside the area by Ricardo Alvarez misses to the right of the target.

38:06

Gylfi Sigurdsson takes a shot. Save by Samir Handanovic.

36:26

A cross is delivered by Aaron Lennon, Ricardo Alvarez makes a clearance.

34:56

Gareth Bale has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.

31:45

Walter Gargano challenges Mousa Dembele unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mousa Dembele restarts play with the free kick.

31:10

Unfair challenge on William Gallas by Antonio Cassano results in a free kick. William Gallas takes the free kick.

29:34

Corner from the left by-line taken by Antonio Cassano, Headed effort from inside the area by Andrea Ranocchia misses to the right of the target.

29:17

Gareth Bale sends in a cross, Andrea Ranocchia makes a clearance.

28:14

Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Andrea Ranocchia gets a block in.

26:25

Jan Vertonghen takes a shot. Save by Samir Handanovic. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Gylfi Sigurdsson, Cristian Chivu makes a clearance.

25:32

Short corner taken by Gylfi Sigurdsson from the left by-line.

22:46

Mateo Kovacic challenges Scott Parker unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Kyle Walker.

17:55 Goal scored

Goal! - Gylfi Sigurdsson - Tottenham 2 - 0 Int Milan Goal scored by Gylfi Sigurdsson from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Tottenham 2-0 Inter Milan.

17:54

Jermain Defoe produces a drilled left-footed shot from 12 yards. Save by Samir Handanovic.

16:49

Mateo Kovacic has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

15:17

The ball is sent over by Guilherme Juan, clearance made by Jan Vertonghen.

14:19 Booking

Booking Booking for Gareth Bale.

12:08

Gareth Bale takes a shot. Save by Samir Handanovic.

9:45

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mousa Dembele by Walter Gargano. Free kick taken by Mousa Dembele.

7:53

Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Save made by Samir Handanovic.

5:47

Assist by Gylfi Sigurdsson.

5:47 Goal scored

Goal! - Gareth Bale - Tottenham 1 - 0 Int Milan Gareth Bale scores a headed goal from deep inside the penalty area. Tottenham 1-0 Inter Milan.

5:41

Centre by Gylfi Sigurdsson,

5:23

Ricardo Alvarez crosses the ball, clearance made by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

2:13

Shot from just outside the area by Ricardo Alvarez goes over the bar.

1:57

The ball is sent over by Kyle Walker.

0:00

The match gets underway.

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