Match Report: AVB relishes Inter return for Tottenham

Lyons 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Tottenham win 3-2 on aggregate)

The Stade Gerland

Three years after his performances against Internazionale awoke the world to his talent, Gareth Bale will take on the Italians once again. For that, he must thank his Tottenham team-mate Mousa Dembélé.

With less than a minute of normal time remaining, Spurs were heading out of the Europa League on away goals as Lyons protected the 1-0 lead obtained through Maxime Gonalons' first-half header.

Spurs had pressed and pressed in the second half but, just when it seemed Lyons were over the line, Dembélé arrowed a low shot into the bottom left corner from 25 yards. The home side were disconsolate, Spurs were exultant, their coaching staff leaping off the bench and towards the pitch, led by their head coach, Andre Villas-Boas. In the autumn of 2010, Bale scored a hat-trick against Inter in Milan and tore them apart in the return game. How he will relish the chance to repeat it in next month's last-16 tie.

He is not the only one. "If you go through against Lyons and then Inter, it puts you in a good place to win the competition," said Villas-Boas. "It will be extremely difficult [against Inter] but we approach the game to win it.

"Inter won the Champions League in 2010 and they represent a step up in terms of the competition we can face. It's a great, great fixture for us and I'm really happy to be able to play a game like this in this competition."

It was a result Spurs just about deserved and for the club, it was a sweet ending to a trip soured by the violence of Wednesday night. Three Spurs supporters were taken to hospital after they were injured in an attack on a city-centre pub, during which the assailants made Nazi salutes and threw missiles through windows.

If only Spurs could have mustered the desire at the start that they displayed at the end. In possession, they were ponderous and without the ball, they looked vulnerable. In the early stages, Kyle Walker looked especially uncertain.

Alexandre Lacazette had already put a free header wide before Lyons took the lead in the 17th minute. Lisandro Lopez drew the foul from Walker, Clément Grenier sent over the free-kick from the left for the unmarked Gonalons to head in at the near post.

Lisandro then steered wide after moving free of his marker in the 32nd minute as the visitors, 2-1 in front from the first leg, struggled to gain a grip on the match. Although Spurs had rarely threatened, they came very close to an equaliser just before half-time, when Lewis Holtby's low strike was pushed on to the post.

For the second half, Villas-Boas moved Bale into the centre, closer to lone striker Emmanuel Adebayor, and it made a significant impact. The visitors' confidence grew as they pushed forward, with Lyons happy to protect their advantage and play on the break.

After a rapid counter-attack in the 50th minute, Bale volleyed Adebayor's right-wing cross just wide from a wonderful position. Then, as Spurs advanced, they had a scary moment. Friedel presented a Lisandro cross to Lacazette, who tried to go around the goalkeeper, fell – and was annoyed to see referee Wolfgang Stark ignore his claim for a penalty. Spurs thought Aaron Lennon deserved a penalty when he tumbled trying to reach the loose ball; the referee did not.

Again, Bale troubled Vercoutre from distance. Substitute Clint Dempsey headed the winger's left-wing corner over the bar and Adebayor, displaying far more verve than he had in the first half, set up Dempsey for a chance with which he should have done better. Dembélé's late brilliance ensured Dempsey's error was irrelevant.

Man of the match Lisandro.

Match rating 8/10.

Referee W Stark (Ger).

Attendance 38,761.

News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
footballLive! Sanchez makes up for penalty miss to put Arsenal ahead
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle 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 Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all