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AVB 'happy' to see Gareth Bale booked against Inter
Published : 08 Mar 2013 11:47:34Rss feed
Andre Villas-Boas was glad Gareth Bale received a booking in Tottenham's win over Inter Milan because it will clear him to play in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Tottenham took a giant step towards the last eight of the competition with a 3-0 first-leg win over Inter, thanks to goals from Bale, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jan Vertonghen. Welshman Bale performed superbly throughout the game, but the gloss was taken off his efforts slightly by a first-half booking for diving.
"I won't build on that case. I don't want to go into that, we have a wonderful player to enjoy and it is ridiculous if we go on like that," said Villas-Boas. "He is obviously a great miss (for the second leg) but to be fair, probably with this result, we would have asked him to get the yellow card to be clean and ready for the last eight."
Bale nodded Spurs ahead with his 21st goal of the campaign and set Vertonghen up for the hosts' third after Sigurdsson took advantage of Samir Handanovic's error to make it 2-0.
Much has been made of Tottenham's reliance on Bale this term, but Villas-Boas is confident his men will be able to seal their progression to the quarter-finals in next Thursday's second leg at the San Siro without him.
"We are in a good position but it is not finished so we will miss Gareth because he has been influential in consecutive games, but hopefully we can make it without him," the Portuguese said. "He is a tremendous player so obviously he is going to be missed, but an opportunity might arise for another player."
Inter manager Andrea Stramaccioni conceded his side had lost to the better team on the night but maintained they will still fight to secure a quarter-final berth.
"Obviously I believe that they played better than us and deserved what they got," he said.
"First of all we suffered from a physical point of view, they created us lots of problems with their aerial game. But having said that, even if we had a negative night, we had two great chances to score and we have not been able to do it.
"We all know that it is going to be very hard, a tough situation to face, but at the end of the day we are Inter. We want to win the second leg and, as we all know, football is a beautiful game and you never know what will happen but we are fully aware it is going to be very hard."
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