Referee's howler costs Stoke as Tottenham are Baled out

Stoke City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2

After a "great defeat" on a plastic pitch in Switzerland, as Harry Redknapp described his first taste of the Champions' League, Tottenham scraped a narrow win on the green grass of Stoke thanks to two goals by Gareth Bale – one unwitting, the other exquisite – and referee Chris Foy's failure to award Jon Walters a last-minute equaliser on his debut for the Potteries club.

From a corner by Matthew Etherington, Ryan Shawcross rose to head against the crossbar as Robert Huth pressured Heurelho Gomes. The rebound dropped to Walters, the £2.75 million newcomer from Ipswich Town, whose low header crossed the goalline before hitting the prostrate Peter Crouch in the midriff. Stoke's protests were in vain, Mr Foy seemingly telling them he "did not see it", and Tony Pulis's team have now lost both Premier League fixtures.

To add injury to insult Mamady Sidibe, who came on as a Stoke substitute, lasted only three minutes and could miss the rest of the season after snapping his Achilles tendon,

Bale, who scored only three times last season, had struck either side of Ricardo Fuller's riposte for Stoke during an 11-minute period midway through the first half. Both the Welsh wing-back's goals followed excellent work by Aaron Lennon, one of five players Redknapp brought into Spurs' starting line-up following their 3-2 first-leg defeat by Young Boys in Berne.

Redknapp later claimed "justice was done" because Huth had pushed Gomes. The Spurs manager added: "We were fantastic in the first half but they put us under pressure after half-time. We did what we had to and it was a well-deserved win." Bale's performance drew lavish praise. "His second goal was technique at its best. There won't be too many better goals this season, and there's no better left-sided player in the country."

Pulis accepted Huth's challenge on the keeper "looked a foul". But the Stoke manager added: "If he doesn't give that, it must be a goal. We just have to take it on the chin."

Stoke's followers, anxious to puncture the pretensions of the fancy dans from London, would doubtless have sung "Champions' League, you're havin' a laugh" regardless of Spurs' travails in the Stade de Suisse. No sooner had the first chorus reverberated around the Britannia Stadium, however, than the superior passing of Spurs reaped a bizarre reward. Lennon's run took him infield, from where he picked out Bale's dash into the 18-yard box with a sumptuous pass. Bale, at inside-right, took a heavy touch which allowed Thomas Sorensen to block. The ball flew into the air for Peter Crouch to head it goalward, and though Shawcross hooked off the line, his clearance struck Bale in the face and went in.

Stoke's equaliser was almost as messy. Walters earned a corner which Etherington flighted into the six-yard area. Younes Kaboul and Abdoulaye Faye tussled for the ball which fell for Fuller to volley home as Tom Huddlestone reacted slowly to the danger. Gomes, resplendent in Day-Glo orange, gave his defenders what for in true Peter Schmeichel style.

There was nothing scrappy about the winner. Lennon's chipped cross was cut back to Bale, who dispatched an angled volley from 15 yards that was controlled and vicious. Sorensen was static as it tore into the top far corner, though the Dane kept Stoke in contention in first-half stoppage time when he dived at Jermaine Jenas's feet following Bale's low cross.

The most likely source of a home goal was the substitute Tuncay Sanli, who brought an acrobatic save from Gomes with a shot which deflected off Kaboul and almost immediately headed wide when Etherington's corner provided a free header. Shawcross blazed over a good opportunity and Gomes sprawled to parry Fuller's half-volley, but with goalline technology, Stoke's Frank Lampard moment might well have produced a point.

Attendance: 27,243

Referee: Chris Foy

Man of the match: Bale

Match rating: 8/10

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game