Found February 14, 2013 on
Gareth Bale scored two sensational free-kicks as Tottenham gained a 2-1 advantage over Lyon with a thrilling last-gasp win in the Europa League at White Hart Lane.
Samuel Umtiti looked like he had earned a draw for Lyon when he smashed home a stunning half-volley equalizer in the 55th minute, but once again Bale came to the rescue for Spurs.
The Welshman put Tottenham ahead with another physics-defying set piece from 35 yards in first-half stoppage time, and he came up with the goods again just 10 seconds from the final whistle.
Maxime Gonalons upended Bale 20 yards out, the crowd called the 23-year-old's name, and he stepped up to crack a swirling shot over the wall and past a spinning Remy Vercoutre.
The Spurs winger, who played most of the first half up front alongside the poor Emmanuel Adebayor, has now scored seven goals in his last five games for club and country.
Andre Villas-Boas has a point when he compares his star man to Real Madrid marksman Cristiano Ronaldo.
Bale, who scored twice to beat Newcastle on Saturday, brought great relief to his manager with the winner as his team will now not require an away goal in Lyon next week to make the last 16 of a competition the Spurs boss wants to win so much.
Villas-Boas said yesterday that tonight's match represented a test of whether his team were good enough to cut it in the Champions League because of the French side's long history with European football's elite club competition.
With the raucous away following and bubbling atmosphere, it certainly felt like a Champions League fixture.
Tottenham put Lyon under pressure from the off. Benoit Assou-Ekotto played a clever one-two with Clint Dempsey in the fourth minute, but the visitors cleared when the Cameroonian whipped in a dangerous low ball.
There was no hint that Bale was set to have a successful evening in the eighth minute when he steadied himself to meet Kyle Walker's cross, but the Welshman ballooned over from 10 yards.
Villas-Boas prowled on the edge of his technical area and urged his players to take advantage of their domination.
Umtiti was being given a torrid time at left-back by Aaron Lennon, but Vercoutre remained untested in the Lyon goal.
The away side penetrated the Spurs box for the first time in the 14th minute and they should have had a penalty when Jan Vertonghen tripped Bafetimbi Gomis, but the referee waved play on, much to the anger of the Lyon bench.
Stirred by the near miss, Spurs upped the pressure on the away end. Mousa Dembele cut out three Lyon defenders with a brilliant slide-rule pass, but Adebayor thumped his first-time shot wide.
Bale trickled a weak shot in to Vercoutre's arms and the Welshman then had the worst miss of his career, shooting wide of an open goal from six yards after Walker had cut out the Lyon goalkeeper with his cross.
Villas-Boas, who had barely sat down all half, vented his anger at the makeshift gate erected by UEFA in front of the Spurs dugout.
Bale soon had his manager jumping for joy, however. Alexandre Lacazette hacked down Dembele 35 yards out and Bale lashed a dipping drive which left the beaten Vercoutre dumbfounded.
Lyon flew out of the blocks in the second half and equalised thanks to Umtiti's stunning striker. William Gallas thought he had cleared the danger when he glanced Steed Malbranque's excellent cross clear, but the ball fell to Umtiti, who hit a peach of a half-volley straight in to the top corner past a stunned Friedel.
Lacazette almost doubled the lead six minutes later when he beat three Tottenham defenders, but veteran Friedel demonstrated the reflexes of a 20-year-old to tip the forward's shot over. Villas-Boas introduced Lewis Holtby to add more energy to his side, but Bale remained the biggest threat to the away side.
The flying Welshman galloped past Anthony Reveillere in the dying stages, but his team-mates could not keep up with him so there was no one to tap in. Bale continued to pile forward and found away through in injury time but Vercoutre saved well at his near post.
There was to be one last twist in the tale, however. Captain Gonalons felled Bale and he picked himself up before firing a beautiful curling shot past the French goalkeeper to send the home crowd in to ecstasy.
BEST OF MAXIM
Photo Credit: Eric Gay, Associated Press It seems as though ever since Popovich has been at the helm of the Spurs in 1996 they have been a dominant force. Some say he has been blessed by having David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili. Now that Duncan and Ginobili being in their late thirties the Spurs are still the NBA’s best team at 41-12. Here are the reasons...
Is Gareth Bale the next Ronaldo? - originally posted on Soccerlens.comIn the world of footballing stardom, there is the ‘Messi-Ronaldo’ axis first and then there are others, such is the gulf in class between the former and the latter group.
Gareth Bale is enjoying the form of his life
No wonder then that the Press and Electronic media are fervently in the lookout for the next...
The last time we heard of Ryan Richards, his Polish experience with Asseco Prokom ended with both sides going their own way. That's nothing new with Richards as his professional career so far has been filled with controversy and disappointment. It seems Richards as found a new home with BC Zepter Vienna of the Austria League.
BC Zepter Vienna decided to sign the British...
Aron Baynes' arrival to the San Antonio Spurs caught many by surprise when the rumors ran rampant along in the internet. There was a general feeling that Baynes may need time to adjust to what the Spurs want from him and also time to adjust to San Antonio's schemes. Luckily for Baynes, Spurs assistant Brett Brown has coached the Australian national team and has made their...
He is lightning fast. Capable of getting from one point to another in a blink of an eye leaving opponents baffled as to how he gets to where he wants to be with minimal effort.
That description sounds like the character "Nightcrawler" from Marvel's comic book series "X-Men" who has the mutant-ability to teleport. However, it can also describe San Antonio...
HOUSTON - San Antonio Spurs sophomore forward Kawhi Leonard made the most of his appearance in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge on All-Star Friday Night.
Leonard, who was selected to the game last year, but had to sit out due to injury, started for Team Chuck and got rolling early on a dunk that woke up the crowd in a 163-135 rout of Team Shaq.
Leonard followed that up later...
San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili has many tricks up his sleeves when it comes to passing and his return against the Cleveland Cavaliers wasn't going to be an exception to the rule. In his return, he only played 10 minutes and scored 5 points to go along with 7 assists. Those assist numbers are impressive for just 10 minutes, but there's one assist that stole the show...
The San Antonio Spurs have been known as the NBA’s most “international” team for a while. They specialize in finding talent all over the world.
The rest of the league has caught on, and now you see a whole lot more players from other countries than you did 10 years ago. The NBA has truly become a global league and it’s because teams started taking chances on talent they...
The matchup for tonight's game when the San Antonio Spurs visit the Cleveland Cavaliers before the All-Star break will be between Tony Parker and Kyrie Irving.
The last time these two players faced off against each other was last season during a lockout shortened season. The Spurs took care of the Cavaliers easily in a 125-90 victory. The game saw Parker only play 23 minutes...
Kawhi Leonard drained a corner 3 to give the Spurs a 96-95 victory in Cleveland Wednesday night:
Roberto Mancini says if Manchester City axe him then EVERY Premier League manager should get the boot.
Alex Ferguson admits Manchester United's No1 defensive duo of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand could be finished.
Spurs flop David Bentley has rejoined old club Blackburn on loan until the end of the season.
Tottenham have joined the race to sign Aston Villa striker Christian...
San Antonio Spurs' legend George Gervin was as cool as cool can be. His silky-smooth style on the court, swagger, and his ABA basketball roots earned him the nickname "Iceman" along with his signature shot, "the finger roll" which only added to his cool persona.
Gervin was also one of the first players to sport Nike sneakers and have his own signature...
With plenty of representation in Houston for All-Star Weekend, Project Spurs is providing a 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend Guide highlighting the current and former San Antonio Spurs players competing in different events throughout the weekend.
We are presenting the guide free of charge to our readers in a digital magazine format that you can read via the embed below, read on your...
Talk about a strange game.
The Cleveland Cavaliers played the San Antonio Spurs about as tough as you could possibly hope, and they did it on a night in which Kyrie Irving arguably played the worst game of his career since his debut game against the Raptors last season.
The Cavaliers came out strong and rose a combination of impressive bench play (especially on defense) and an unexpected...