Gareth Bale scored with two free-kicks as Tottenham beat Lyon in a Europa League round of 32 first leg meeting full of stunning goals.

After previously missing an open goal, Bale brought White Hart Lane to its feet with a devilishly swerving 35-yard effort just before half-time.

Lyon's Samuel Umtiti replied with a technically perfect half-volley from the edge of the box to level the game.

But Bale struck again deep in injury-time to give Spurs a narrow advantage.

History lesson

While this match contained three stunning strikes, the excitement levels paled into insignificance when compared to the 4-3 Uefa Cup Winners' Cup thriller between the sides at White Hart Lane in December 1967

In Lyon, Tottenham faced a club whose standards had declined since winning seven French league titles in a row in the previous decade, as well as making the Champions League semi-finals in 2010.

While former Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris dropped to the hosts' bench because of manager Andre Villas-Boas's policy to play Brad Friedel in cup competitions, ex-Spurs midfielder Steed Malbranque marked his return to north London with a start.

Despite the hosts making the brighter beginning, Lyon demanded a penalty when top scorer Bafetimbi Gomis went down in the box when Jan Vertonghen stuck out his leg. Contact between the pair seemed minimal at best, and last season's Champions League final referee Pedro Proenca declined to point to the spot.

Tottenham looked to use their superior pace all over the pitch to force the breakthrough and Emmanuel Adebayor, making his first start in more than a month after being away at the Africa Cup of Nations, should have put his side ahead when he snatched at a delightfully-weighted through-ball from Mousa Dembele.

Bale has been in lethal form of late, scoring Tottenham's last four goals, but he proved that even the greatest players are still fallible when he missed from well inside the visitors' area with the goal at his mercy following full-back Kyle Walker's burst down the right flank.

Bale's brilliance

Gareth Bale

Bale's brace of free-kicks took him to 17 goals in all competitions this season, with four of his last six strikes coming from distance

Redemption was soon coming for the Welshman, though, as he brought the Tottenham support to their feet once more when his astonishing free-kick dipped past the helpless Remy Vercoutre.

It was a strike worthy of Lyon great Juninho Pernambucano, who has made a career on the back of such breathtaking long-range dead ball attempts. 

Stung by conceding the opening goal, the French side improved after the break and levelled things up in majestic fashion. Left-back Umtiti raced onto William Gallas's clearance, leaving Friedel dumbfounded as he watched the 19-year-old's shot rocket into the top corner of the net.

Lyon have earned a reputation as a conveyor belt of talent thanks to the exploits of former players such as Michael Essien, Florent Malouda and Karim Benzema.

Judging by Thursday night's evidence, the production line seemed still to be in action as 21-year-old attacker Alexandre Lacazette almost grabbed an impressive strike of his own as he dribbled through four defenders at speed before shooting straight at Friedel.

Tottenham struggled to regain momentum after the equaliser and were not even boosted by the introduction of January signing Lewis Holtby from the bench.

And so Spurs again looked to Bale for inspiration. He did not disappoint, as deep into injury-time he hammered in another outstanding strike to gain his side a slim lead for next Thursday's second leg at Stade Gerland.

Live text and stats

 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Europa League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Tottenham 2-1 Lyon FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Bale 45+1
  • Bale 90+3
  • Umtiti 55

Tottenham

Substitutes

Lyon

  • 01 Vercoutre
  • 05 Lovren
  • 06 Fofana yellow card
  • 13 Reveillere
  • 15 Bisevac
  • 23 Umtiti yellow card
  • 17 Malbranque (Grenier 82)
  • 21 Gonalons
  • 09 Lopez (Ghezzal 88)
  • 10 Lacazette
  • 18 Gomis

Substitutes

  • 16 Lopes,
  • 04 Kone,
  • 14 Dabo,
  • 07 Grenier,
  • 12 Ferri,
  • 31 Ghezzal,
  • 25 Benzia
Ref: ProencaAtt: 31,762
TOTTENHAM
LYON

Possession

  • Tottenham 55%
  • Lyon 45%

Attempts on target

  • Tottenham 5
  • Lyon 5

Attempts off target

  • Tottenham 3
  • Lyon 2

Corners

  • Tottenham 6
  • Lyon 4

Fouls

  • Tottenham 11
  • Lyon 10
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+3:58 The final whistle goes and the game is over.
  • 90:00+2:54 GOAL - Gareth BaleTottenham 2 - 1 Lyon Gareth Bale grabs a goal direct from the free kick from outside the area high into the middle of the goal. Tottenham 2-1 Lyon.
  • 90:00+1:50 Maxime Gonalons challenges Gareth Bale unfairly and gives away a free kick.
  • 90:00+1:01 Substitution Scott Parker leaves the field to be replaced by Jake Livermore.
  • 90:00+0:44 Gareth Bale takes a shot. Save by Remy Vercoutre.
  • 89:43 Gareth Bale crosses the ball.
  • 88:29 The ball is swung over by Clement Grenier, clearance by Jan Vertonghen.
  • 88:10 Jan Vertonghen concedes a free kick for a foul on Milan Bisevac. Direct free kick taken by Milan Bisevac.
  • 87:43 Substitution Rachid Ghezzal comes on in place of Lisandro Lopez.
  • 84:53 Kyle Walker gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Samuel Umtiti. Free kick crossed right-footed by Clement Grenier, Gylfi Sigurdsson makes a clearance.
  • 84:08 Benoit Assou-Ekotto sends in a cross, clearance made by Maxime Gonalons.
  • 81:52 Substitution Clement Grenier on for Steed Malbranque.
  • 79:02 Direct free kick taken by Scott Parker.
  • 79:02 Booking The referee cautions Gueida Fofana for unsporting behaviour.
  • 78:56 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lewis Holtby by Gueida Fofana.
  • 78:16 Substitution Gylfi Sigurdsson is brought on as a substitute for Aaron Lennon.
  • 76:09 Foul by Maxime Gonalons on Lewis Holtby, free kick awarded. Benoit Assou-Ekotto takes the direct free kick.
  • 75:39 Gareth Bale sends in a cross, Milan Bisevac makes a clearance.
  • 73:06 Lewis Holtby challenges Maxime Gonalons unfairly and gives away a free kick. Samuel Umtiti restarts play with the free kick.
  • 72:26 Mousa Dembele challenges Lisandro Lopez unfairly and gives away a free kick. Remy Vercoutre restarts play with the free kick.
  • 70:39 Corner from left by-line taken by Kyle Walker.
  • 70:17 Kyle Walker decides to take the corner short.
  • 70:05 The ball is swung over by Kyle Walker, clearance by Alexandre Lacazette.
  • 67:12 Bafetimbi Gomis fouled by Jan Vertonghen, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Alexandre Lacazette from right wing.
  • 66:28 Remy Vercoutre takes the direct free kick.
  • 66:28 Substitution Clint Dempsey leaves the field to be replaced by Lewis Holtby.
  • 66:28 Foul by Gareth Bale on Anthony Reveillere, free kick awarded.
  • 64:15 Gareth Bale takes a shot. Save made by Remy Vercoutre.
  • 63:29 Corner taken right-footed by Kyle Walker from the right by-line, Alexandre Lacazette manages to make a clearance.
  • 62:16 Alexandre Lacazette takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel. Steed Malbranque decides to take the corner short.
  • 57:31 Corner taken by Steed Malbranque from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Gareth Bale.
  • 56:51 Foul by Clint Dempsey on Maxime Gonalons, free kick awarded. Milan Bisevac takes the free kick.
  • 54:53 GOAL - Samuel UmtitiTottenham 1 - 1 Lyon A goal is scored by Samuel Umtiti from just inside the area to the top right corner of the goal. Tottenham 1-1 Lyon.
  • 54:35 The ball is delivered by Steed Malbranque.
  • 53:04 Lisandro Lopez crosses the ball.
  • 51:09 Bafetimbi Gomis takes a shot. William Gallas gets a block in.
  • Correction - 49:39 Bafetimbi Gomis takes a shot. Save made by Brad Friedel.
  • 49:39 Bafetimbi Gomis takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
  • 48:54 Lisandro Lopez concedes a free kick for a foul on Kyle Walker. Scott Parker restarts play with the free kick.
  • 48:15 The assistant referee flags for offside against Bafetimbi Gomis. William Gallas takes the free kick.
  • 47:56 Direct free kick taken by Remy Vercoutre.
  • 47:56 Booking Booking for Kyle Walker for unsporting behaviour.
  • 47:45 Kyle Walker concedes a free kick for a foul on Samuel Umtiti.
  • 45:19 The offside flag is raised against Gareth Bale. Remy Vercoutre takes the indirect free kick.
  • 45:01 The second half begins.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+1:04 The first half comes to an end.
  • 45:00+0:04 GOAL - Gareth BaleTottenham 1 - 0 Lyon Free kick scored by Gareth Bale from 35 yards. Tottenham 1-0 Lyon.
  • 44:10 Unfair challenge on Mousa Dembele by Alexandre Lacazette results in a free kick.
  • 38:54 Bafetimbi Gomis produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.
  • 38:35 Mousa Dembele challenges Maxime Gonalons unfairly and gives away a free kick. Maxime Gonalons restarts play with the free kick.
  • 37:19 The assistant referee signals for offside against Emmanuel Adebayor. Indirect free kick taken by Remy Vercoutre.
  • 37:10 The referee blows for offside. Remy Vercoutre takes the indirect free kick.
  • 36:32 The ball is delivered by Kyle Walker, Gareth Bale produces a left-footed shot from close range which goes wide of the right-hand post.
  • 35:39 Maxime Gonalons concedes a free kick for a foul on Aaron Lennon. Kyle Walker restarts play with the free kick.
  • 35:16 The official flags Emmanuel Adebayor offside. Dejan Lovren takes the free kick.
  • 30:04 Outswinging corner taken by Steed Malbranque from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Gareth Bale.
  • 28:50 Foul by Mousa Dembele on Maxime Gonalons, free kick awarded. Lisandro Lopez restarts play with the free kick.
  • 27:10 Gareth Bale takes a shot. Remy Vercoutre makes a comfortable save.
  • 26:01 Effort from the edge of the penalty box by Emmanuel Adebayor goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • 25:14 The assistant referee flags for offside against Bafetimbi Gomis. Free kick taken by Jan Vertonghen.
  • 21:13 Emmanuel Adebayor fouled by Milan Bisevac, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Emmanuel Adebayor.
  • 20:41 A cross is delivered by Gareth Bale, clearance made by Bafetimbi Gomis.
  • 19:25 The free kick is swung in left-footed by Gareth Bale, clearance by Dejan Lovren.
  • 19:25 Booking Samuel Umtiti shown a yellow card.
  • 19:13 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aaron Lennon by Samuel Umtiti.
  • 18:01 Kyle Walker takes the outswinging corner, Dejan Lovren makes a clearance.
  • 17:45 Benoit Assou-Ekotto produces a cross, Samuel Umtiti makes a clearance.
  • 17:14 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Kyle Walker from the right by-line, Dejan Lovren manages to make a clearance.
  • 17:03 Centre by Aaron Lennon, clearance by Samuel Umtiti.
  • 16:10 The ball is delivered by Kyle Walker, Dejan Lovren manages to make a clearance.
  • 15:15 Corner taken right-footed by Steed Malbranque from the right by-line, Dejan Lovren takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
  • 14:13 The official flags Bafetimbi Gomis offside. Free kick taken by William Gallas.
  • 12:36 Unfair challenge on Scott Parker by Bafetimbi Gomis results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Mousa Dembele.
  • 12:04 Shot by Gueida Fofana from outside the box goes over the target.
  • 8:08 The ball is swung over by Kyle Walker, Shot from deep inside the area by Gareth Bale goes over the bar.
  • 4:13 Kyle Walker decides to take the corner short.
  • 1:27 Foul by Samuel Umtiti on Kyle Walker, free kick awarded. Kyle Walker crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, Clint Dempsey gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Anthony Reveillere. Direct free kick taken by Remy Vercoutre.
  • 0:00 The match gets underway.

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