Match Analysis: Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Inter Milan

Spurs players congratulate Gylfi Sigurdsson following his goal against Inter Milan on March 7, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at Tottenham's impressive 3-0 win over Inter Milan in the Europa League this evening.

Tottenham Hotspur thrashed Inter Milan 3-0 in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie this evening.

Gareth Bale gave the hosts an early lead, which was soon doubled by Gylfi Sigurdsson as Inter struggled to deal with Spurs.

Jan Vertonghen added a third in the second half to put Andre Villas-Boas's men in pole position to advance into the quarter-finals.

Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at what went right for Tottenham, and why it all went so wrong for Inter.

Match statistics:

Tottenham Hotspur:
Shots 17
On target 13
Possession 57%
Corners 5
Fouls 9

Inter Milan:
Shots 7
On target 2
Possession 43%
Corners 3
Fouls 9

Was the result fair?

Most definitely. Spurs dominated for the vast majority of the game while Inter created very little going forward. From the fifth minute, when Bale opened the scoring, there only looked like being one winner. The Italians struggled to deal with Bale, Sigurdsson and Lennon, while Tottenham's defence had no such trouble with the Inter attack.

Tottenham Hotspur's performance

Very impressive. They were as fluid as ever going forward and looked dangerous every time one of the attacking flair players got the ball. They outplayed Inter in every area of the pitch and seemed faster, stronger and hungrier than their opponents. They must have won at least 95% of the 50/50 challenges and kept that intensity going until pretty much the final whistle.

Inter Milan's performance

Very disappointing. However good Spurs were, they were helped massively by how poor Inter were. The Italian giants looked a shadow of their former selves and if they perform like that in the return leg they don't have a chance of qualifying. They created two very good chances, but they were as much down to luck and lazy defending as good approach play, and both were missed as well. A bad day all round for Inter.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Gareth Bale: To be honest, this could have gone to a number of people. The whole Tottenham team put in a great shift, but Bale's goal and assist just puts him ahead of the rest. He was a constant threat and, although he was once again booked for diving, the positives of watching him play far outweigh the negatives. He, Lennon and Sigurdsson were all fantastic and Inter found it very hard to deal with them.

Biggest gaffe

The biggest gaffe of the game would have to go to Ricardo Alvarez. The winger had a great chance to reduce the deficit to 2-1 just before the break, which would have given the match and the tie a completely different complexion. However, he dragged his shot horribly wide despite having all of the time in the world to pick his spot.

Referee performance

Antonio Mateu put in an impressive performance tonight. He got all of the big decisions right and was brave enough to give two yellow cards for diving, both of which he got spot on. There were no major controversies, but Mateu got pretty much everything right on the night.

What next?

Tottenham Hotspur: The big matches keep on coming for Spurs. Next up for them is an away trip to face Liverpool on Sunday.

Inter Milan: Inter also have a rest until Sunday, when they host Bologna in Serie A.

Tottenham Hotspur's Andre Villas-Boas during the Europa League match against Lyon on February 14, 2013
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