Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Redknapp salutes 'amazing' Bale


Spurs outplayed Inter Milan - Harry Redknapp

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp almost ran out of superlatives to describe Gareth Bale's performance in the 3-1 Champions League win over Inter Milan.

Redknapp saw the 21-year-old, who scored a hat-trick as Spurs lost 4-3 to Inter in October, produce two assists.

"Maicon is rated as the best right-back in the world and what he's done to him in the two games is amazing," he said.

"He can cross, his left foot is great on the run, he can shoot, dribble, head it, he's got everything."

Welshman Bale stole the headlines in the previous match between the sides, even though Tottenham lost the match at Inter.

This time the left midfielder produced another stunning performance that helped put Spurs top of Group A - above the Italian side on goal difference.

Bale may not have scored at White Hart Lane but he was in outstanding form and might have enjoyed a hat-trick of assists had Peter Crouch not volleyed wide in the first half.


A beaming Bale said he would never forget the match.

"It was great. It was special beating the European champions. It will be a night that will never be forgotten."

Once again, Bale tormented the right side of Inter's defence, prompting Spurs fans to chant: "Taxi for Maicon".

"A few of the lads were on about it after the match," said the 21-year-old Wales star.

Of the supporters, he added: "They were unbelievable. They acted as a 12th man.

"They have been fantastic all season and we capped it off for them tonight. It was a special night."

Despite his new-found status as one of the most feared players in football, Bale was modest about his form.

"I'm just trying to keep my feet on the ground, work hard in training and do well in games and enjoy my football," he said. "I'm happy at the moment."

Bale said confidence throughout the team had improved after his San Siro hat-trick.

"We all had the belief that we could hurt Inter and we showed that," he said.

"We were unlucky to go down to 10 in the San Siro. With 11 men on the pitch, we know what we can do."

And he hoped Spurs' win would send a statement out to the rest of Europe.

"We know what we are capable of," he said. "We just have to produce it and we have.

"Hopefully, we will have shown people what we can do and hopefully we can go far in this competition now."

Asked how far, he added: "I'm not too sure.

"We are just going to take it one step at a time and not get carried away.

"We are going to carry on working hard and go as far as we can."

Victory in their penultimate group game against Werder Bremen should be enough to seal Spurs' progress and would arguably make them favourites to top the group as well.

Gareth Bale 'delighted' with influential performance

"The most important thing is to get through," Bale said.

"If we win the group, it will be a major bonus for us but we just want to keep working hard and get through to the knockout stages."

Crouch got on the scoresheet when he converted Bale's low centre, doubling Tottenham's lead after Rafael van der Vaart's opener.

Samuel Eto'o pulled a goal back for the reigning European champions but Bale rounded off his extraordinary evening when he scorched the Inter defence again to set up Roman Pavlyuchenko to score his side's third.

While Redknapp was understandably thrilled with Bale he was also eager to heap praise on the rest of his players.

He added: "He was brilliant but the whole team was brilliant tonight, from Carlo Cudicini, every one of them.

"There wasn't one of them tonight who didn't work and do exactly what we asked of them.

"It was outstanding performance tonight, one of the great nights, I would think, at White Hart Lane that the fans have seen.

"It was a fantastic night. From the first to the last we played unbelievably. Pressed them, outworked them, outplayed them all night."

Tottenham now have seven points from their four matches and look on course to reach the knockout stages of the competition.

Given that Spurs complete their group fixtures with the home match against Werder Bremen and a trip to FC Twente - a side they thrashed 4-1 at White Hart Lane - Redknapp may have every right to be confident.

"We're in a good position now," he enthused. "It was a big game, playing Inter Milan at White Hart Lane, and everyone was here. All the Spurs fans can look back on it and I'm pleased to be part of that tonight.

"You have to put in perspective who we're playing against: Inter Milan, the Champions League holders.


"The opposition is top, top class and for us to play like we did tonight against them was a fantastic performance."

For Inter boss Rafael Benitez it was a disappointing return to England - and continued a run in which the former Liverpool manager has lost on his last four visits to White Hart Lane.

"When we scored I thought we were close," he said. "The team was growing and doing better. We were on top of them at this moment but the third goal changed everything."

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