Gareth Bale’s Injury Overdshadows Tottenham’s Recovery Against Basel


Gareth Bale makes the headlines once again but unfortunately for the wrong reason. He was carried off in added time with a serious ankle injury as Spurs finished with nine men, William Gallas having already gone off injured. Tottenham recovered from two goals down to draw 2 – 2 with Basel in the Europa League quarter-final 1st leg match and have a lot to do in Switzerland next week, if they are going to go through.

Tottenham Hotspur 2  FC Basel 2

Scorers: Adebayor, Sigurdsson  Stocker, Frei

Team: Friedel; Naughton, Gallas, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekottto ((Dawson); Lennon (Sigurdsson), Parker, Dembele, Holtby (Dempsey); Bale, Adebayor  Subs: (unused) Lloris, Huddlestone, Caulker, Livermore

Gareth Bale – injury a major worry [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]Well here we go, kick-off is at 8:05 at the freezing cold White Hart Lane. It’s been snowing in London today and the coldest March since 1962. The cricket season started with the players wearing several layers of jumpers. The BBC commentator at Hampshire was wearing a beanie hat and an overcoat. The Swiss should be used to it.

A bright start, quick fast flowing passing football. Spurs have faded in the second half in recent games let’s hope it doesn’t happen this time. Ideally we could do with a three-goal cushion by half-time as a hedge against it happening again. Fourth minute Gallas already clattered 15 yards into Basel’s half on the right. Hobbles off. Comes back on again.

Assou-Ekotto has let his hair grow out again. He has more than enough for himself and the bald Brad Friedel. He looks like Jimi Hendrix’s hairy brother. 10th minute good attack by Basel. In fact three good chances in quick succession. Two saved by Friedel, one volley from the edge of the area just over the bar. Not what we need.

Dembele caught on the edge of the area. A free-kick, it’s bit close for Bale but he’s lining it up. Low one along the ground. No pace, deflected off defender into goalie’s hands.

Looks like playing Lennon was a gamble. He seemed to be pulling up short after runs. More possession to Spurs building up down the left. 20th minute Bale fouled on the edge of the area. Advantage given but none accrued. I thought so – Lennon has already asked to come off. Gylfi Sigurdsson to replace him.

26th minute, a good attack down the right. Corner to Spurs Holtby takes. Looped header out to Naughton who hits it first time. On its way in but deflected round the post for a corner on the left. Holtby again, cleared. Basel break quickly. As we were clearing it Vertongen brings down one of theirs. A free-kick from 40 yards wasted. Gallas booked after a rough challenge from behind on the touchline. Headed clear by Bale. Certainly not the start we wanted crowd really quiet.

30th minute. Basel break through again. Hit the post, ping-pong in the area, Stocker slams it into the net. One nil Basel. You can’t say they don’t deserve it. Now our crowd sing “Come on you Spurs”. It’s a bit late to start singing now. Why won’t you doing that from the outset? I know it’s cold but it up to the fans to get the team going. Basel are continuing to press. A simple corner headed straight in. 0-2. Spurs looking tired and demoralised.

We break down the left, Adebayor stumbles over it but it breaks in our favour. The cross is gathered easily. They break again down the right into the middle and the centre forward lobs Friedel. It goes just past the post. Basel are making this look easy. I bet they can’t believe their luck. Short of a wonder show again from Bale in the second half we’ve had it. 40th minute and attack down the right by Spurs. Powder-puff in the middle comes to nothing. Down the right again good cross by Bale, falls Adebayor who fumbles it but Holtby won’t give it up, charges it down flicks it back into the middle and this time Adebayor does well to control it and volley from close in above the goalie into the net. 1-2 but hardly deserved.

2 min later we break through the middle again. Great ball from Sigurdsson to Holtby who should have scored bounces back to Parker who has an open goal and squirts it past the post, off Holtby’s foot. Against all the odds it should be 2-2. What is it with Swiss sides? It’s like Young Boys Berne all over again.

45th minute and they are through again. Luckily a weak shot falls straight into Friedel’s arms. A typical run through the middle by Dembele finishing with a shot held by the goalie ends the first half.

2nd Half:

The second-half starts much like the first. Some nice football from Basel. Dawson warmed up when they came out. Vertonghen outpaced down the right wing but shot came to nothing. 55th minute Dawson ready to come on. Spurs corner from the right, ball drops to Naughton about 25 yards out. A fantastic right-footed shot brings a good save from the goalkeeper. Dawson replaces Assou-Ekottou. We attack down left, fantastic shot from Gylfi Sigurdsson flies past the goalie. 2-2! It did take a slight deflection.

Game is becoming more lively, end to end. Basel break through again luckily shot goes wide. Similar outcome for us a minute later at their end. 64th minute Parker brings down a Basel player 25 yards out. Free kick just dropping in as Friedel pushes it round for a corner. Headed clear by Dawson. Dempsey is on now for Holtby. Basel also put on a sub.
73rd minute Game has slowed up a bit. Basel getting plenty of possession.

Patient build-ups down right hand side. 79th minute free kick for Basel cleared. 80th minute. At last some Tottenham pressure but now they break again; nice play interchange right-hand side of penalty area. Gathered by Friedel. Another great move by Basel comes to nothing, Salah replaced. They have been without their first choice fullbacks tonight. You wouldn’t know it.

87th minute they are still pressing for a winner. We are relying on another Gareth Bale last-minute wonder strike. It really is too much to hope for this time. Gallas limps off. We are down to 10 men. Bale has gone to left back. This is the first Spurs game without a Bale goal since January. Three added minutes. Villas-Boas has settled for the draw. He has just told Adebayor to stay back.

Oh no, Gareth Bale has just gone over in agony on his right ankle. Looks like ligaments or even a break. This could be the end of our season. Let’s hope it is not even more serious for him. Carried off on a stretcher, the leg in splints. Final whistle 2-2. The injury to Bale the biggest concern of all.