Live Commentary: Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Basel - as it happened

Tottenham Hotspur's Andre Villas-Boas during the Europa League match against Lyon on February 14, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live text commentary of tonight's Europa League quarter-final first leg between Tottenham Hotspur and Basel.

Good evening and welcome to Sports Mole for live coverage of the Europa League, which tonight takes us to White Hart Lane for the first leg of Tottenham Hotspur's quarter-final clash with Basel.

The North Londoners survived a scare against Inter Milan in the last round, prevailing only on away goals having led 3-0 heading into the second leg.

Andre Villas-Boas's men also needed a last-minute Moussa Dembele strike to overcome Lyon in the round of 32.

Meanwhile, the Swiss outfit have disposed of Dnipro and Zenit St Petersburg en route to the last eight.

Their last appearance at this stage of the competition was back in 2006, when they lost to Middlesbrough.

How will the first leg play out? You can follow all the action as it unfolds with us below. Please note that kickoff is at 8.05pm.


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7pmGood evening everybody. Welcome to Sports Mole for live text commentary of Tottenham Hotspur's Europa League quarter-final first leg with Swiss side Basel.

7.01pmThe hosts will be looking to build a comfortable lead to take to St Jakob-Park next week, although that will not guarantee their progression, as they found out in the last round.

7.06pmThese two teams have never met before, although they share one thing in common: Christian Gross. The Swiss coach spent 10 years at Basel after an ill-fated spell in charge at White Hart Lane. He will forever be remembered for his first press conference, when he arrived late clutching a tube ticket proclaiming: "I want this to become my ticket to the dreams".

7.12pmSpurs have played five times (over three ties) against Swiss opposition, winning three and losing two. They prevailed 6-3 on aggregate against Young Boys in the playoff for the 2010 Champions League competition having lost the first leg 3-2. They also lost to FC Luzern in the Intertoto Cup in 1995. In 1973, they overcame Grasshopper Zurich 9-2 in the UEFA Cup.

7.17pmBasel on the other hand have quite a bit of experience against English sides, playing 16 times over seven ties. Their record is less than spectacular, winning just three of those contests, with all of those games taking place at St Jakob-Park. However, they knocked Manchester United out of last season's Champions League competition courtesy of a 2-1 victory. They also drew 3-3 at Old Trafford, so they may take confidence from those games.

7.22pmSpurs have won their last four home European matches (Maribor, Panathinaikos, Lyon, Inter Milan). Meanwhile, Basel were unbeaten in six European games before their 1-0 loss to Zenit in the second leg of their last-16 tie. The Swiss side won the first leg 2-0 at St Jakob-Park.

7.25pmRight, let's give you some team news for tonight. We'll start with the hosts.

7.26pmSPURS: Friedel; Assou-Ekotto, Vertonghen, Gallas, Naughton; Holtby, Parker, Dembele, Lennon; Bale; Adebayor

SUBS: Lloris, Caulker, Dawson, Huddlestone, Livermore, Sigurdsson, Dempsey

7.27pmBASEL: Sommer; Steinhofer, Schar, Dragovic, Voser; Elneny, Serey Die; Salah, F. Frei, Stocker; Streller

7.32pmBasel are without a win in six European away games since a 1-0 victory at Molde FK in the third qualifying round for the Champions League. They have not won away from home in the Europa League since a 2-0 win over CSKA Sofia in the 2009-2010 group stages.

7.36pmThis match isn't the only one Sports Mole is bringing you this evening. We're also covering the other quarter-finals. Click for Benfica vs. Newcastle, Chelsea vs. Rubin Kazan and Lazio vs. Fenerbahce.

7.40pmSpurs are bidding to become the fourth side to win this trophy for a fourth time. If they do, they'll join Juventus, Inter and Liverpool in that exclusive club.

7.42pmMeanwhile, Basel have never reached the semi-finals of a major European club competition. The closest they came was back in 2006, when they lost to eventual finalists Middlesbrough at this stage of the competition.

7.48pmAndre Villas-Boas: "These ties are difficult and unpredictable. We are in a good state of mind and confident. Basel will also be confident. They put out tough teams as we have in this competition."

7.52pmBasel's current manager is former player Murat Yakin. He was appointed to the helm in October after spells at Thun and Luzern. He was never quite as lauded as younger brother Hakan during his time at St Jakob-Park, probably due to the fact he was a centre-back while Hakan was a skilful attacker. However, he's proving his worth as manager, having lost just twice domestically and taking them to the top of the Swiss league.


7.58pmREFEREE: Tonight's official is Milorad Mazic of Serbia. Interestingly, he will be observed by Pierluigi Collina.

8pmPREDICTION: Spurs 2-0 Basel

8.02pmIt's difficult to predict, having not really watched Basel this season. As AVB said, these ties can be unpredictable, but I'm going with a home win. The Portuguese coach has named a strong team and he has previous in this competition with Porto.

8.05pmThe teams are now out on the pitch and we have had the handshakes and other pre-match rituals. We're now ready for kickoff.

0 minThe hosts get us underway at White Hart Lane.

4 minSpurs have got the ball under control and are knocking it around now. It was a fairly scrappy start, with neither team enjoying any sustained possession. Serey Die commits a foul on Gallas and the Frenchman needs some treatment on the sideline.

6 minThe ball has not really ventured out of the centre of the pitch. Basel are committing a few fouls early on, although nothing too cynical.

7 minThe visitors bring the ball out of defence for this first time and Streller tries to find Salah down the right, but Assou-Ekotto is onto it like a flash. Danger averted.

9 minParker tries to spray the ball out wide for Assou-Ekotto, but that's not his game. The pass was wayward and Basel have a throw. The visitors are pressing well early on, although Spurs don't look like they've switched out of first at the moment.

10 minSHOT! Basel come forward with the full-back Schar, who plays a neat one-two with Streller before taking the first shot on goal. Friedel got behind it, but the danger did not go away as Streller hassled Gallas in defence.

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11 minSHOT! Streller has another pop at goal and Friedel has to parry away once more! Once again, Spurs fail to clear their lines effectively and the ball is crossed to the back post for Steinhofer, but his first-time volley is too high. Great play by Basel!

12 minSpurs looked half asleep at the back there. Gallas dallied on the ball inside the box and nearly got caught by Streller.

15 minIt's been a rather laboured start from the hosts. They have had not cut and thrust going forward so far, and have looked lax at the back. They'll need to step it up here.

16 minDembele wins a free kick just outside the area. He was clipped as he back-heeled the ball out wide for Holtby on the left. Bale winds up...

17 minHe dragged his effort, not really catching it cleanly. A deflection took even more pace of the ball and it went safely through to Sommer.

18 minCLOSE! Nice one-touch play by Spurs! Assou-Ekotto, Adebayor and Holtby combine to set up Bale, but his first-time effort goes wide of Sommer's post.

20 minThe hosts are having more joy in the transition between midfield and attack now. They are keeping the ball inside Basel's final third, but are still finding it hard to cut through the Swiss team. Much better in the last five minutes, though.

21 minAaron Lennon looks like he's had enough tonight. He is signalling to the bench that he has a problem.

22 minGylfi Sigurdsson is warming up. It looks like he'll be the winger's replacement.

24 minSPURS SUB: The switch is made and Sigurdsson comes on for the injured Lennon.

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25 minCLOSE! Holtby's corner doesn't get past the first man, but Naughton hits it on the volley from around 25 yards. It looks like it might find the bottom corner, but a slight touch diverts it just wide of the post.

26 minStreller breaks forward from the resulting corner and wins a free kick in Spurs' half. The Swiss side are able to get out of defence for a breather.

27 minSchar hits an ambitious free kick that dribbles pathetically wide. Not a good effort at all.

28 minBOOKING! Streller tempts a foul from Gallas and the Frenchman is yellow carded as a result. Good centre-forward play by Streller, who rolled Gallas well on the turn.

30 minGOAL! Spurs 0-1 Basel (Stocker)

30 minPoor play by Assou-Ekotto led to that goal. He went to close down the ball and left his man free on the right. Stocker played the ball out wide for Salah, who crossed for Streller. The big striker did well to turn inside the box and shoot beyond Friedel, but his effort came back off the post. Stocker was the quickest to react and finish into an unguarded net. Basel have an away goal!

35 minGOAL! Spurs 0-2 Basel (Frei)

35 minSpurs are shell shocked! Poor defending from a corner has left them with a mountain to climb here! They failed to pick up Fabian Frei and he was able to head beyond Friedel after getting on the end of a near-post flick.

36 minCHANCE! It should be 3-0! Stocker does well to wriggle his way through a couple of challenges but his dinked effort goes wide of the post.

40 minGOAL! Spurs 1-2 Basel (Adebayor)

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40 minSpurs are back in it! It was a messy goal, but a nice finish by the Togolese striker. Scott Parker did well to harry the Basel defence and create the opportunity, and Adebayor prodded home his deflected cross. Yakin will be angry with his team's defending, especially so close to the break.

42 minBAD MISS! Well, well, well... we should be level here! Holtby was denied by Sommer, but the ball fell to Scott Parker with the goal at his mercy... and he shot wide. Replays showed that the ball took a slight deflection off an unwitting Holtby, but that will still go down as a glaring miss. Basel have gone to sleep at the back!

44 minSHOT! Salah dances on the ball inside the area and manages to squeeze off a shot, but it's straight at Friedel.

45 minJust one minute of added time.

45+1 minSHOT! Dembele shakes off a few challenges and has a go at goal, but Sommer was always behind it.

8.52pmHALF TIME: Spurs 1-2 Basel

8.55pmFootball, no? The score should probably be level heading into half time with Scott Parker's missed opportunity. But Basel could have had a third through Valentin Stocker. The Swiss side deserve their lead so far, they have carried the greater attacking threat. Spurs are still right in this game, though.

9pmClick here to read Sports Mole's Half-Time Report from White Hart Lane.

9.04pmSam Wallace, football correspondent for The Independent, has tweeted: "Chelsea pitch announcer Neil Barnett just asked for a round of applause for the two Basel goalscorers. Provocative"



45 minThe visitors resume play in the second half.

47 minSalah tries to weave his way through a couple of defenders inside the box, but gets crowded out. He goes down as if tugged by Sigurdsson, but there wasn't much in it.

48 minSHOT! Holtby has a dig from distance, but the ball sails high and wide.

52 minBasel seem to have regrouped after switching off for the final five minutes of the first half. They're the team looking more likely to score once again. Stocker is the man who is causing problems, he's looked very good so far tonight. Very direct.

54 minWhat pace from Salah! He absolutely burnt off Vertonghen, who is by no means pedestrian. He darted down the right and forced a save from Friedel at a tight angle.

56 minSAVE! Naughton lets fly from distance but Sommer gets both hands to it and gathers the rebound. Not a bad strike, but not quite in the corner.

57 minSPURS SUB: Michael Dawson comes on to replace Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

58 minGOAL! Spurs 2-2 Basel (Sigurdsson)

58 minSpurs are level! Sigurdsson drifts inside from the left and uncleashes a shot, which takes a deflection to outfox Sommer. A slice of luck for the hosts, who have not exactly started well in the second half. But they're back in it.

59 minCHANCE! Salah should have put the visiotrs back in front! He robbed Dawson and advanced on goal, but his side-foot finish goes over the bar. A let off for Spurs!

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62 minSPURS SUB: Clint Dempsey comes on for Lewis Holtby.

63 minBOOKING Scott Parker sees yellow for a foul on Salah. He claims he got the ball. He didn't.

64 minStocker takes the free kick, which Friedel has to palm around the post.

68 minDespite scoring in the second half, Spurs have not showed much going forward. Basel still look the bigger threat on the counter.

71 minBASEL SUB: Marco Streller makes way for Jacques Zoua. Surpriseing change, given that the big striker has led the line excellently tonight. Good performance.

72 minSpurs nearly caught napping at the back as Dawson gives the ball away needlessly. Basel can't quite capitalise though. The ball found its way to Voser, but his shot from distance looped well over.

73 minLovely change of pace from Salah once again as Basel probe around the Spurs box. He tries to get a shot away but it is blocked. He complains for handball, but the referee isn't interested.

76 minCHANCE! Salah gets down the right once again, setting up Zoua. However, he scuffs his effort wide of the post. Basel look so threatening, while Spurs aren't able to get forward at all.

80 minLong throw from Bale nearly outwits everyone, including Spurs players! It swrved viciously after hitting the ground and Sommer could only parry it away.

81 minBasel break once more, but neither Salah or El-Nenny looked like they wanted to take a shot. Eventually Salah did, but it dribbled right into Friedel's arms. Again, though, it's the visitors who look to have more thrust in attack. They've been impressive tonight, and really should be leading. But they're not.

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82 minBLOCK! Stocker shows lovely technique to kill the ball with one touch inside the box, but his effort is blocked. Unlucky.

84 minBASEL SUB: Mohhamed Salah is replaced by David Degen. Man of the match award surely winging its way to Salah. Tremendous performance, although he should have buried his one chance.

88 minWilliam Gallas is limping off. His night is over and Spurs will have to play the final few minutes with just 10 men.

89 minSpurs have done well to bring this tie level, especially as they could easily be losing. No matter what happens in these last few minutes, they'll have their work cut out for them in Switzerland. Basel have shown themselves to be a very good team.

90 minWe're going to have three minutes of time added on.

90+2 minUh oh! Bale has gone down and is writing in agony, clutching his ankle. Replays show that it was a definite twist. Looks like it could be nasty. Could be bad news for Spurs!

90+2 minThe stretcher is coming on. Bale is in a lot of agony.

9.56pmFULL TIME: Spurs 2-2 Basel

9.58pmSpurs were second best tonight but have held on for a draw. However, their thoughts will quickly turn to the injury suffered late on by Gareth Bale. His ankle twisted badly and had to be stretchered off. Spurs fans will surely have everything crossed that his injury isn't as bad as it looks.

10pmThe North London outfit really have got their work cut out for them if they want to reach the semi-finals. They need to at least score in Switzerland, but not conceding will be as much of a challenge. Basel looked good going forward and completely comfortable in the second half, despite conceding.

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10pmWell, that's all from us at Sports Mole. Thanks for joining us, and come back again!

Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring his second in the Europa League match against Lyon on February 14, 2013
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