Millennium Post

Bale storm wrecks Inter

Gareth Bale resumed his torment of Inter Milan by scoring one goal and creating another as Tottenham Hotspur won 3-0 at White Hart Lane on Thursday to place one foot in the Europa League quarter-finals.

Bale, who achieved global fame with a pair of devastating performances against Inter in the Champions League two seasons ago, netted an early opener to take his tally to 10 goals in eight games.

After Gylfi Sigurdsson made it 2-0, Bale set up Jan Vertonghen for Spurs’ third, although by then he had receiving a booking for diving that will prevent him from returning to San Siro, where he scored a famous hat-trick in 2010.

‘We played well and set the tempo from the start,’ Bale told ITV.

‘We made sure we made it difficult for them and it was a worthy result. It is nice to get a goal, and we take a good lead into the away leg.’

Romanian club Steaua Bucharest revived memories of its glory days in the 1980s by beating European champion Chelsea 1-0 in the first leg of their last-16 match in the Europa League on Thursday.

Steaua, king of Europe itself in 1986 before losing in the 1989 European Cup final to AC Milan, will take a narrow but deserved lead into next week’s second leg thanks to Raul Rusescu’s 34th-minute penalty in Bucharest.

Goals by Ederson and Ogenyi Onazi, a stunning solo run from the halfway line, earned Lazio a 2-0 victory over Stuttgart while Fenerbahce also won away, beating Plzen thanks to Pierre Webo’s 81st-minute strike.

Big-spending Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala drew 0-0 with Newcastle and saw recent signing Willian hobble off injured in the other completed early match.

Chelsea, which dropped into the Europa League after an unprecedented early exit from the Champions League group stage, was way below its best and the limp loss will pile more pressure on beleaguered interim coach Rafa Benitez.

Rusescu’s penalty, which came after he was shoved in the back by Ryan Bertrand, was one of the few chances Steaua created. But the home side pressed and hounded Chelsea into mistakes, backed by a record crowd of 55,000 in the National Arena.

‘We are disappointed because we conceded a goal with a soft penalty and had one or two chances to score,’ Benitez said. ‘This result means we have to win at home and we have to push together.’
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