Crouch hat-trick fires Tottenham into Champions League
A Peter Crouch hat-trick ensured that Tottenham take their place in the group stages of the Champions League as they won the second leg of their play-off with Young Boys 4-0 at White Hart Lane.
Trailing 3-2 from the opening encounter in Switzerland, the pressure was on Harry Redknapp’s men to display patience, as well as attacking intent.
However, they got off to a dream start when Crouch headed home Gareth Bale’s cross inside five minutes and Jermain Defoe extended the advantage before the break even if there was a hint of handball as he brought the ball under control before firing home.
Another header just past the hour from Crouch gave Tottenham the cushion they would have dreamed about and then he rounded off his treble from the penalty spot after Bale had been fouled by Senad Lulic, who was sent off for the challenge.
Tottenham remain 33/1 to win the Champions League and will be one of the teams in pot three of the draw, which will guarantee them a group involving at least one of Europe’s big guns.
The BBC reports that manager Harry Redknapp said: “It is a good night for Tottenham. It is great for the club to be in this position now.
“I always felt it was possible. Tottenham were a club which had underachieved for a long time when I arrived. The potential was already here.”
Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are all in pot one but with no teams from the same country able to meet until the quarter finals, Tottenham will face either last year’s winners Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Bayern Munich or Lyon from this pool.
Inter are 9/1 to repeat their success from last season at Wembley in May. See the entire Champions League winners market.