Bale suspended for Inter return
Tottenham Hotspur will be without star man Gareth Bale against Inter Milan in the San Siro next week after he picked up his third booking of the Europa League season in the 3-0 first-leg win.
Bale was booked for diving by referee Antonio Mateu after going down in the box under a challenge from Walter Gargano in the first half. It was his sixth yellow card for simulation since December 31, 2011.
As Bale had already been booked against NK Maribor and Panathinaikos in the group stage he is therefore automatically suspended for the second leg.
It could have been worse with Bale spoken to by Mateu in injury time after again falling inside the area.
Despite the booking, Bale thought Tottenham were worthy winners after once again inspiring the north London club to victory. The Welshman scored the first, a rare header, in the fifth minute to take his tally to 11 goals in his last nine games and he set up Jan Vertonghen for the hosts' third after Sigurdsson had scored the second.
"We played well and set the tempo from first whistle,'' he told ITV. "We immediately made it difficult for them, it was a great performance and a worthy result to be honest. It's always nice to get a goal however it comes and I'm enjoying playing. It was a great performance and we take a great lead into the away leg with no away goals for them."
Bale famously scored a hat-trick at the San Siro when the two sides met in the Champions League in October 2010.
Meanwhile, manager Andre Villas-Boas believes Bale picking up the card was a positive for Spurs, if they are able to advance to the latter stages of the competition.
"It's difficult but with this result, if he hadn't have got the card, it would not have cleared him. We took a risk, obviously, but we have talent throughout the squad," he said.
"We have now allowed Gareth to clean his yellow cards and hopefully we can make it through [without him].
"Gareth will obviously be a great miss. But had we known we'd get this result we would have asked him to get the yellow card to be clean and to be ready for the last eight.
"It's not finished but we are in a good position.
"Gareth has been influential in consecutive games but hopefully we can make it without him and go through to the last eight."