Europa League Rewind: Bale leaves on stretcher as Spurs tie Basel; Chelsea rolls; and more

GarethBaleinjuredvsFulham (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Tottenham’s Champions League hopes took a big hit on Thursday evening.

Spurs midfielder Gareth Bale was stretchered off in second half stoppage time after a bad-looking right ankle injury, forcing Tottenham to finish their 2-2 draw with FC Basel down to nine men. Bale has been a key player for Spurs this season, scoring 22 goals in all competitions.

Early reports suggest Bale will likely miss just two matches with the injury.

Tottenham’s draw was part of a so-so day for English clubs in Europa League. Newcastle saw a 1-0 lead evaporate into a 3-1 loss to Benfica in their quarterfinal first leg in Portugal. Chelsea FC jumped out to a big lead in their tie with Russian side Rubin Kazan, posting a 3-1 victory Stamford Bridge.

In the day’s lone match not involving English clubs, Fenerbahce knocked off Lazio, 2-0, in Turkey.

In the Benfica-Spurs tilt, William Gallas also limped off late in the match for Spurs, who lost Aaron Lennon to injury in the 24th minute. Adding to the problems, the two goals on the evening from Basel give them the advantage with the return leg in Switzerland next Thursday.

Basel jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first half, scoring first from Valentin Stocker in the 30th minute, and five minutes later a goal from Fabian Frei. In the 40th minute, Spurs forward Emmanuel Adebayor got on the board, cutting the deficit in half heading into the break.

Spurs came out attacking in the second half and their play was rewarded with a goal from substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson in the 58th minute to tie the match. Stocker and his Basel teammates Marco Strellar and Mohamed Salah came close in the second half, but Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel made a number of clutch saves to keep the home side in the tie.

What do you think of the results? Do you see Spurs finishing in a Champions League place without Bale? What did you think of Fernando Torres’ performance?

Share your thoughts below.

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12 Responses to Europa League Rewind: Bale leaves on stretcher as Spurs tie Basel; Chelsea rolls; and more

  1. dcpohl says:

    There is no way Spurs finish in a CL spot without Bale.

    • ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

      And no way Bale stays at Spurs without a CL spot. Sounds like Spurs have a problem.

      • Matt says:

        Bale leaves even if they do qualify for the CL….or at least I think so.
        HUGE payday ahead for that dude. Spurs are already prep’ing for him to leave by shopping for his replacement.

        • Andy in Atlanta says:

          Often times players step up after a key player goes down… Spurs making the CL will depend on the next two fixtures without Bale… (Everton and Chelsea) Then Man City and they finish with 4 very winnable games..

          I think Clint moves to the LM slot and performs for them… This could be a blessing in disguise… Clint flat out performs in April and May…

          • ld says:

            Losing one of the worlds most in-form players is a blessing in disguise? What utter nonsense you speak

  2. Ryan in NYC by way of NC says:

    Just tell me how it affects Clint.

    • Chuck says:

      Bale is pretty much the reason why spurs are 4th
      without Bale Spurs have no chance to keep their 4th place
      Clint won’t be able to play in the CL next season, and as he is already 30 years old it will be almost impossible for him to win a starting position in CL games as he is already starting to decline and Holtby is gaining more experience.

      • Andy in Atlanta says:

        Clint had the flu last week after a trans Atlantic flight…he came on for Holtby at the 65th min mark… Holtby has not shown that he is any bit better than Clint…

        People just keeping doubting Clint and see where that gets ya in about 7 months..

  3. The Garrincha says:

    How this affects Deauce?,
    Well it potentially gives him more playing time.
    Another thought is that Jozy could be a good fit for a replacement for Bale if he leaves.
    Having he and clint on the same club team and playing quality minutes together would be a good thing.

  4. EasyE says:

    I hate to cheer/wish an injury to anyone but as an Arsenal fan this is quite timely