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.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
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.

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?