Crouchy: "The world stood up and took notice that night..."
18 October 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
From Bern to the Bernabeu, via Bremen and the San Siro, Peter Crouch played a huge part in our Champions League story in 2010-11.
‘Crouchy’ scored the goal at Manchester City to get us into the Champions League play-off, then a hat-trick to make sure we lined-up in the group stages. He then scored in the opener at Werder Bremen, in the 3-1 win against Inter and of course the winner at AC Milan before seeing red in the quarter-finals against Real Madrid. A true rollercoaster ride.
Back in the Champions League this season, the striker, now at Stoke, has been reliving those memories - and as we prepare for Matchday Three at Bayer Leverkusen, we look back at MD3 in 2010.
And there really is only one topic of conversation...
Inter 4-3 Spurs - October 20, 2010
We started our first Champions League voyage with a draw and a win, but now it was the big one - defending champions Inter Milan at the San Siro.
Hopes were high, but it all came crashing down in a disastrous first half in Milan. We were already 1-0 down when goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was sent off in the 12th minute and that turned into 4-0 by 35 minutes. Inter's goalscorers underlined their quality - Zanetti, Eto'o and Stankovic, world-class players alongside the likes of Cesar, Lucio, Maicon and Wesley Schneider.
Below: Crouchy is dejected as Inter celebrate a goal
Then something happened - Gareth Bale happened...
We'd already seen what he was capable of but the Welshman lit up the world stage that night with a second half hat-trick, not just bringing respectibility to the scoreline, but leaving the home side fearing that our 10 men might just nick a point after trailing 4-0 at half-time!
It wasn't to be - but we made up for it at the Lane a fortnight later!
Bale 'terrorised them'
Crouchy: "Beforehand, everything had been rosy in the Champions League, we'd done really well at Werder Bremen and then beaten Twente and we were flying. I don't know, maybe a few of us froze that night, perhaps a touch of the fear factor took over.
"In the second half, we went out and played without fear again, as we had done previously, and Gareth Bale terrorised them!
Below: Gareth waves his team-mates back to the restart after making it 4-3
"It was one of the most incredible performances I've ever seen from a player away from home.
"We came away from that game thinking okay, we'd lost, but we knew we could get at them at White Hart Lane.
"In terms of performances from one individual player, that has to be best I've seen. The whole thing - against the holders, at the San Siro on that stage and Gareth was such a young player at the time, that season was his breakthrough season really. He was on fire. The world stood up and took notice that night."