Tottenham Hotspur vs. Olympique Lyonnais: Final score 2-1, Gareth Bale does it again

Paul Gilham

God, Gareth Bale is so freaking good.

Ten games. Ten goals. Two games, three free kick goals. Gareth Bale is absolutely insane.

Tottenham Hotspur gave up an away goal to Olympique Lyonnais on Thursday night at White Hart Lane, but they'll be happy with their performance and the result. While they couldn't score from open play, Spurs were the better side for most of the match, and it's tough to say they didn't deserve their 2-1 win.

However, it could have been a much different game. In the 16th minute, Jan Vertonghen -- who had an excellent game from this point forward -- took down Bafetimbi Gomis in the penalty area. The referee didn't spot the foul, and opted to wave play on.

Spurs had a couple of poor misses after that, and looked to be headed into halftime tied 0-0 despite having the better of the play until Bale's first goal. Emmanuel Adebayor missed with a first-time shot at the near post on a fantastic Moussa Dembele through ball in the 27th minute, while Bale missed an absolute sitter in the 37th minute, pulling the ball wide from close range when it was easier to score.

He made up for that bad miss, striking a spectacular free kick goal in first half stoppage time. From 35 yards, he hit a fantastic dipping shot that hit the ground before bouncing into the back of the net, in a manner that made it nearly impossible to save.

Just 10 minutes into the second half, Lyon left back Samuel Umtiti hit one of the best goals of the year to equalize for Lyon. On a deflected cross that bounced out to the edge of the penalty area, he struck a perfect half-volley with his left foot that was still rising when it snuck under the crossbar and hit the top of the net at the far post. Brad Friedel didn't move on the shot, and there was no reason for him to do so.

Friedel came up huge in the 62nd minute, making a big save on Alexander Lacazette. That would be Lyon's last great chance of the match, as Tottenham's substitutions helped them control the game, while Lyon dropped deeper and attempted to hold onto a 1-1 draw.

In stoppage time, Maxime Gonalons committed an ill-advised foul, taking down Gareth Bale 30 yards from goal. Remi Vercoutre appeared to be shaking in his boots waiting for Bale to take the ensuing free kick, and for good reason. Bale got his shot up over the wall and under the crossbar, fooling Vercoutre in the process. The Lyon keeper cheated to his left, then couldn't recover when Bale's shot drifted to the right and whizzed past his hand.

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