Inter Milan Holds Off 10-Man Tottenham 4-3 in Champions League

Inter Milan held on to defeat 10-man Tottenham 4-3 in soccer’s Champions League, as Barcelona and Manchester United also won.

Tottenham gave up three goals and had goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes sent off in the first 14 minutes in Milan before staging a second-half rally last night against the defending champion.

“We started out sloppy and we paid the price in the first half,” Gareth Bale, who scored all three Tottenham goals, told ITV. “If we had 11 men on the field, I think it could have been a different game.”

Lionel Messi scored both goals to lead Barcelona past Copenhagen 2-0, while Manchester United defeated Bursaspor 1-0.

Schalke and Lyon also won and Rangers tied Valencia 1-1. FC Twente and Werder Bremen also drew 1-1, while Panathinaikos and Rubin Kazan played out a scoreless game.

Inter went ahead after 68 seconds as Javier Zanetti fired a shot past Gomes. The Spurs keeper was sent off seven minutes later for taking down Jonathan Biabiany in the area and Eto’o put his penalty kick past replacement Carlo Cudicini.

Dejan Stankovic increased the Inter lead in the 14th minute by finishing off a series of passes and Eto’o made it 4-0 with his second goal 10 minutes before halftime.

Bale put Tottenham on the scoreboard in the 52nd minute after making a long run down the left side. He repeated the effort in the 90th minute and completed his hat trick in stoppage time.

‘Had a Go’

“Second half we got at them every opportunity,” Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said. “We stayed positive and we had a go.”

The win moves Inter to the top of Group A with seven points, three more than Tottenham after three of six group matches.

Twente and Werder Bremen have two points each after their draw in the Netherlands. Theo Janssen opened the scoring in the 75th minute and Marko Arnautovic tied it for Bremen five minutes later.

Barcelona moved ahead of Copenhagen to the top of Group D with its win in Spain. Barcelona has seven points and Copenhagen has six.

Messi scored after 19 minutes with a shot from about 25 yards (22 meters) into the top corner of the net. The World Player of the Year clinched the win in second-half stoppage time from six yards out.

Rubin Kazan remains third in the group with two points after its draw at Panathinaikos, which has one point.

Manchester Leads

Manchester United took over the top spot in Group C by beating Bursaspor at Old Trafford.

Nani scored the only goal in the seventh minute when he cut in from the right side and fired a left-footed shot from about 25 yards into the corner of the net.

“We controlled the whole match, I think they had one shot with two minutes to go,” United manager Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports. “I didn’t think they could score, our defensive concentration was very good.”

The victory gives United seven points and came on the day that striker Wayne Rooney said he’s asked to leave the club. Ferguson said two days ago Rooney wouldn’t play in the game.

Rangers sit second in the group after a 1-1 home draw with Valencia, with Maurice Edu accounting for both goals.

Edu gave Rangers the lead with a header in the 34th minute, then put the ball into his own net in the opening minute of the second half.

“We’re definitely disappointed because I thought we created the more dangerous chances and we were unlucky not to finish a couple more,” Edu told Sky Sports.

Lyon Stays Top

Lyon beat 10-man Benfica 2-0 to hold on to the top spot in Group B. Lyon has nine points, three more than second-place Schalke, which beat Hapoel Tel-Aviv 3-1.

Jimmy Briand and Lisandro Lopez scored the goals for Lyon. Benfica’s Nicolas Gaitan was sent off for a second yellow card late in the first half.

Raul Gonzalez scored twice to lead Schalke over Hapoel. The Spaniard now has 68 goals in the Champions League to extend his own scoring record, and also breaks a tie with AC Milan’s Filippo Inzaghi for most goals in all European competitions, with 70.

The next round of group games will be played Nov. 2 and 3.

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