Trouble in Europe for Spurs and Inter

Tottenham fall to a brilliant Real Madrid as defending champions Inter are crushed 5-2 at the San Siro by Schalke.

Emmanuel Adebayor
Two moments of stupidity for Peter Crouch, right, dictated a night of woe for Spurs [AFP]

Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspur endured nights to forget in their European Champions League quarterfinal first legs on Tuesday as both sides were demolished by their opposition.

Real Madrid’s Emmanuel Adebayor was the architect of Tottenham’s downfall as his double inspired a 4-0 routing of the London side, helped in no small way by the sending off of England striker Peter Crouch after just 15 minutes.

German side Schalke silenced the San Siro with a stunning 5-2 victory over the defending champions Inter, leaving the Italian side with an almost impossible task ahead of them next week and facing almost certain elimination from Europe’s top flight competition.

Adebayor headed a goal in each half as Real gained the upper hand, before goals by Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo ensured a comfortable advantage ahead of next week’s return leg at White Hart Lane.

In Italy Dejan Stankovic gave Inter the lead 29 seconds into the match, but Schalke levelled through Joel Matip. Diego Milito put Inter back in front, but Edu scored the first of his brace to bring Schalke level before halftime.

Two goals in quick succession from Raul Gonzalez and an own goal from Andrea Ranocchia put the German side in total control and after Inter defender Cristian Chivu was sent off in the 62nd, Edu added his second in the 75th.

Red card

English side Spurs, who last reached a European Cup semifinal back in 1962, were left to rue the early sending off of Crouch for a late lunge as Real made the ten men pay.

Real coach Jose Mourinho. who won the Champions League with Inter Milan on this ground last year, had seen his 150-match nine-year unbeaten home league record come to an end on Saturday with a 1-0 loss against Sporting Gijon, but any nerves the Bernabeu home crowd may have had were quickly soothed as the hosts got off to the perfect start scoring after just four minutes.

A corner from the right found Adebayor in the penalty area and the striker planted a header goalwards and the unfortunate Luka Modric could not keep the effort out as it went between his legs.

It was a setback for the visitors, who were then reduced to ten men with Crouch’s rash lunge on Marcelo earning him a second caution.

Real dominated possession but a half chance from Ronaldo was all they had to show for their extra man.

Adebayor, well known to the Spurs fans from his Arsenal days, was inches away from heading in his second goal on 32 minutes.

On 57 minutes Real got the second goal they craved with a corner finding Marcelo who crossed and Adebayor was again unmarked to direct a header into the corner.

Adebayor almost got a hat-trick with another header before Argentine di Maria netted on 72 minutes cutting inside before bending a terrific shot into the corner with his left foot.

Ronaldo made it four in the closing minutes with a volley although goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes should have done better.

Under pressure

In a thrilling game at the San Siro a pulsating first half began as it meant to continue with a stunning goal after just 27 seconds.

Results & fixtures

Tuesday April 5

undefined Inter Milan 2-5 Schalke 04
undefined Real Madrid 4-0 Tottenham

Wednesday April 6

undefined Barcelona v Shakhtar
undefined Chelsea v Man Utd

Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer came charging out of his area to meet the ball with a crowd-pleasing flying header to clear but Stankovic, just a couple of yards inside the Germans’ half, adjusted his body quickly and on the volley sent the ball straight back over the Schalke captain’s head and into the gaping open goal.

Schalke were level on 17 minutes as Kyriakos Papadopoulos had a free header from a corner but although his effort was weak and Julio Cesar stopped it with his feet, the ball broke kindly to Matip to blast home from close range.

The hosts went back in front on 34 minutes from a lovely move as Wesley Sneijder stood the ball up to the back stick and Esteban Cambiasso put a cushioned headed back into the danger zone where Milito, for once onside, volleyed home.

But on 40 minutes Edu ran onto an inch-perfect through ball and although his initial shot was deflected, it almost deceived Cesar who could only weakly parry allowing the Brazilian to slide in the follow-up from a tight angle.

Attacks had been on top in the first 45 minutes and they were again after the restart as Milito got in behind the Schalke backline but surprisingly failed to hit the target.

Schalke took control as Farfan slipped in Raul who held off Andrea Ranocchia and shot past Cesar on 53 minutes.

Four minutes after that Ranocchia inadvertently directed a Jurardo cross past his own keeper as Inter started to implode.

Their task became even more complicated as Chivu received his marching orders on 62 minutes for a second booking in quick succession – he had also been dismissed against AC Milan on Saturday.

Edu curled home a killer fifth that surely renders the second leg a formality.

Source: News Agencies