The Match: Inter Milan 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur head into this week’s Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund in a privileged position.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side won 3-0 at Wembley in the first leg and subsequently boast a major advantage heading into the cauldron of Signal Iduna Park.

Spurs, however, have reason to be wary.

As recently as 2013, the club had a 3-0 lead to protect in Europe. Having beaten Inter Milan handily at White Hart Lane, they headed to the San Siro favourites to progress to the Europa League quarter-finals.

There was to be a truly intense amount of drama, however, as Andre Villas-Boas’ men almost folded.

On Thursday, March 14th 2013, Inter threatened to run riot.

Antonio Cassano scored a first-half header to set Spurs nerves jangling but they made it through to half-time without suffering any further damage.

On 52 minutes, however, Rodrigo Palacio curled an effort past Brad Friedel. Inter knew that another goal would see them force extra time; Spurs were aware they were close to snatching an embarrassing defeat from the jaws of victory.

A free-kick taken with 15 minutes left ricocheted off William Gallas and found its way into the back of the net.

Esteban Cambiasso then went within inches of sealing a phenomenal victory for his side with just minutes remaining, sending a low drive just past the post.

Manager Villas-Boas attempted to rally his men at full-time with an extra 30 minutes looming, and it paid dividends.

Emmanuel Adebayor poked home in the 96th minute after Samir Handanovic had spilled a speculative Mousa Dembele drive, an away goal that left Inter needing to score twice.

They would peg Spurs back once again, as Ricardo Alvarez scored just four minutes later, but the Italian side could not find that crucial fifth goal.

Instead, Spurs progressed by the skin of their teeth and played Basel in the last eight, where two games of exciting, attacking football ultimately ended in a penalty shootout.

The two sides drew 2-2 both in England and Switzerland and the deciding tie, which saw Spurs without an injured trio of Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and Gallas, was decided on spot-kicks. Tom Huddlestone and Adebayor both missed as Basel won 4-1 to progress to the semi-finals. Chelsea ultimately won the competition.

It is a timely reminder for Spurs fans as they prepare to travel to Germany to take on a team that has been characterised by the speed and flair brought by Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus.

Dortmund, as with Inter, certainly have the ability to pull off a major upset after a disappointing first leg display.

The club’s ultras will roar them on from the first whistle and Spurs must be wary of conceding early and allowing the Bundesliga side to dictate the tempo of the game.

Otherwise, they may be facing up to a nail-biting repeat of 2013.

Article title: The Match: Inter Milan 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur

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