Europa League: Gareth Bale helps Tottenham past Lyon


Gareth Bale bagged two goals from free kicks as Tottenham beat Lyon in a Europa League round of 32 first leg meeting full of amazing goals. Bale started on the wrong foot as he missed an open net but then made up for that with a superb swerving effort from 35 yards just before half time. Lyon's Samuel Umtiti replied with a cracking half-volley from the edge of the box to make it all square but Bale struck another free kick home deep in injury time to give Spurs a slim advantage before the second leg.

Tottenham had a good start to the match but it was Lyon who created some excitement as they demanded a penalty kick when striker Bafetimbi Gomis went down inside the box after a challenge by Jan Vertonghen. Emmanuel Adebayor had the first chance for the home side after receiving a great through pass from Moussa Dembele but the African striker missed the opportunity. Then Bale missed an even bigger chance as he was unmarked inside the area and with the whole open net in front of him. The Welsh star earned redemption just before the break as he fired a delightful free kick past goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre.

The French side tried to react after the interval and they got back on level terms with a superb shot from left back Umiti, a precise half-volley straight into the top corner of the net. Then young striker Alexandre Lacazette came close for Lyon but he fired straight at the keeper after weaving his way past two defenders. The Spurs didn't do much to get back into the lead but they have Gareth Bale and the phenomenal Welsh player did the job all by himself. He powered in another fabulous free kick shot to earn the Spurs a narrow but important lead before the second leg.

Tottenham's next league match is next week, on February 25, when they take on London rivals West Ham. Here are the odds for that match at Bet365:

West Ham win - 12/5
Draw - 12/5
Tottenham win - 23/20

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