Gareth Bale shows signs of promise as Tottenham put Wolfsberger tie to bed

Gareth Bale returned to the Tottenham Hotspur line-up with a goal and assist as Jose Mourinho’s fringe players moved towards the next round of the Europa League.

Bale scored himself after setting up Heung-Min Son’s opener in Budapest on neutral ground due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. Lucas Moura added a third goal and Carlos Vinicius also scored after Michael Liendl pulled one back with a penalty.

It was the perfect tie for Bale and Dele Alli to return as the Austrians naively attacked at every opportunity, giving Spurs the opportunity to pick them off.

At the Puskás Aréna, the scoring was opened by the holder of FIFA’s Puskás award for the most beautiful goal of the year. Son added another excellent finish to his collection with his header.

Bale had teed up the chance with a glance to see who was in the penalty area when he received Matt Doherty’s pass. His cross saw Son stoop with a diving header steered into the bottom corner for his 20th European goal for Spurs.

The combination of Doherty and Bale combined again for the second goal. This time Bale left Jonathan Scherzer on his backside with a sharp turn before curling into the top corner of the net.

Wolfsberger’s refusal to stop attacking saw Dario Vizinger force Hugo Lloris into a fine save when he tipped onto the crossbar. Their tactics also played into Spurs’ hands as gaps were left at the other end.

Moura was urged to run at them from the Spurs bench and it led to the third goal. The Brazil forward had four defenders around him but slalomed his way through before finding the bottom corner with his finish.

With Son taken off for a breather, Spurs again found out how difficult life can be when he and Harry Kane are not on the pitch.

The Austrians pulled their goal back when Moussa Sissoko was given a difficult pass in his own penalty area, leading to his bringing down Christopher Wernitznig after being dispossessed. Liendl rolled in the penalty. Wernitznig almost scored himself when his finish crashed against the crossbar after Lloris was beaten.

Vinicius added the fourth when his Erik Lamela flicked on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s cross in a move where Spurs’ substitutes combined.


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