Italian press unanimously praise Gareth Bale

The Italian press have been unanimous in singling out Tottenham star Gareth Bale as the main reason for Inter Milan's first defeat in the Champions League this season.

Bale, who struck a hat-trick in Spurs' 4-3 defeat at the San Siro two weeks ago, was not on target at White Hart Lane last night but provided two assists and provided plenty of inspiration in the hosts' stunning 3-1 win.

Gazzetta dello Sport's headline says: "English lesson. Inter fall to Tottenham. Bale animated."

An editorial in the Milan-based publication admits Inter had no answers against Tottenham's fast-attacking display and describes the Nerazzurri as being at the mercy of Bale.

Gazzetta does offer an excuse for the visitors, however, in pointing out that the absence of several key players through injury had greatly hindered Rafael Benitez's side.

"The champions with so many absent players fall to Tottenham," the paper says.

Among the absentees were Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar and Argentinian midfielder Esteban Cambiasso.

Corriere dello Sport expressed its awe for the Wales winger.

The paper says: "Bale flattens Inter. The Welshman fires Tottenham to a 3-1 victory."

Corriere showers Bale with praise, writing: "Bale show, Superb Bale."

Turin sports newspaper Tuttosport shows a photograph of Bale on the front page under the headline: "Frightening Bale, he sweeps away Inter."

National newspaper La Repubblica's front page reads: "Nightmare Bale, Inter crashes in the home of Tottenham."

The result allowed Tottenham to leapfrog Inter into first place in Group A on goal difference and put the Barclays Premier League side on the verge of qualifying for the knockout phase.

Gazzetta believe Inter have complicated their lives as FC Twente's 2-0 win over Werder Bremen means the Dutch side are also now firmly in the hunt for a place in the last 16.

Twente are two points adrift of Inter and Tottenham with two pool games remaining.

Gazzetta said: "Twente 2-0 in Bremen, they remain on course."

Inter host Twente on November 24 before ending the group programme at Werder Bremen on December 7.