Crouch Champions League treble sees off Swiss

Tottenham Hotspur 4 Young Boys 0 (Tottenham win 6-3 on aggregate)

Tottenham hit the Champions League jackpot tonight as they finally put Young Boys in their place to reach the group stage for the first time in their history.

Spurs were on the brink of utter humiliation in Bern eight days ago, 3-0 down and all at sea on their opponents' plastic pitch.

Having somehow scrambled two away goals and back on the green, green grass of home, Harry Redknapp's men demonstrated the true gulf in class that exists between fourth place in the Barclays Premier League and second in the Swiss Super League.

But Spurs' claim to what will be a £20million-plus cash bonanza was not achieved without controversy on a night of torrential rain at an electric White Hart Lane.

Jermain Defoe, set to undergo a groin operation, blatantly controlled the ball with his arm to score the second goal that all but killed the contest.

There were echoes of Thierry Henry's scandalous handball that saw France reach the World Cup at the expense of the Republic of Ireland.

But Tottenham fans will rightly point out their side were already ahead in the tie on away goals thanks to Peter Crouch, who went on to complete a hat-trick, while it could have been much, much worse for the hapless visitors, who had Senad Lulic sent off.

Young Boys were simply unable to cope with Crouch, who scored two unmarked headers and a penalty to edge the man-of-the-match honours ahead of Gareth Bale, whose four assists surely make him man of the season so far.

Harry Redknapp had ordered his side to hit Young Boys just as hard and fast tonight as Spurs had been in Bern and they duly obliged.

After conceding inside four minutes last week, they were in front within five this evening.

And it was not only the weather which was atrocious as the visitors failed to deal with Bale's corner, giving the in-form Welshman another chance to deliver a cross for the unmarked Crouch to nod home.

Spurs pushed for a second, Aaron Lennon giving Christoph Spycher a particular headache.

But, unlike last week, the floodgates failed to open, Benoit Assou-Ekotto's piledriver blocked painfully by Ammar Jemal and Tom Huddlestone miscuing a Crouch cross.

All that changed just past the half hour mark thanks to Defoe's sleight of hand, the striker's arm controlling Bale's ball before his left foot whipped it into the net.

The six pairs of officials' eyes on him somehow failed to spot the offence, with Young Boys defender Jemal's furious protests waved away.

Defoe, who is set to go under the knife next week, almost killed the tie legitimately moments later, screwing wide after being released by Lennon.

Lulic earned a needless yellow card as Young Boys' discipline understandably began to waver.

But they soon channelled their frustration to positive effect, Henri Bienvenu completely miscuing a great headed chance to pull a goal back.

Heurelho Gomes had needed lengthy treatment on a leg injury early in the game and he failed to re-emerge after half-time, Carlo Cudicini making his first appearance since a serious motorcycle accident in November.

The downpour had become a deluge but Tottenham continued to cope the better.

The outstanding Bale almost curled a free-kick straight in from wide on the right.

Wilson Palacios was booked for a bad tackle and Bienvenu almost capitalised on a slip from Michael Dawson.

After that, it was all Spurs, Spycher making a vital clearance with Defoe poised to pounce and King and Crouch both seeing efforts blocked after a corner.

But Crouch made it 3-0 on the hour mark, again rising unchallenged to head in Bale's corner.

The inevitable substitutions followed, including Defoe for Roman Pavyluchenko, who was immediately booked for a poor challenge.

Bale came agonisingly close to the goal his performance deserved before being cut down in the area by Lulic, who saw yellow for a second time.

Up stepped Crouch to complete his hat-trick from the spot and - after Bale was replaced by Niko Kranjcar to a standing ovation - the striker was denied his fourth by a brilliant save from Marco Wolfli.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
News
These photographs released by the University of Maryland Medical Center show images of full face transplant recipient 37-year-old Richard Lee Norris of Hillsville, Virginia
mediaGQ front page features man who underwent full face transplant
Sport
Lionel Messi looks on at the end of the final
football
Arts and Entertainment
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Sport
Moeen Ali wearing the 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' wristbands on his left arm
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tv
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Battle of the Five Armies trailer released
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on