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Gareth Bale hurt as Spurs fight back for draw with Basel

  

REUTERS

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur fought back from two goals down to claim a 2-2 draw at home to Basel in the first leg of Thursday's pulsating Europa League quarter-final where Gareth Bale was carried off on a stretcher late on.

Substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson made it 2-2 just before the hour when he cut inside and fired home a deflected shot to give Spurs a fighting chance in the second leg after the Swiss champions had stunned the home crowd by taking a two-goal lead after 34 minutes.

Spurs' joy was tempered by Bale, their shining light this season, being injured in the closing stages after appearing to turn his ankle in a challenge with David Degen.

Basel deservedly opened the scoring on the half hour thanks to Valentin Stocker.

The dangerous Mohamed Salah crossed from the right and captain Marco Streller turned sharply and hit the post, with Stocker on hand to put the rebound into the empty net.

Swiss league leaders Basel doubled their advantage four minutes later through Fabian Frei, who was left unmarked to head home after Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen could only divert a corner across the area.

Spurs striker Emmanuel Adebayor then stabbed the ball home ahead of the break to give the hosts hope and the Londoners should have gone in level but Scott Parker put the ball wide of an empty net from close range.

Tottenham, who won the competition in its previous guise as the UEFA Cup in 1972 and 1984, were favourites to reach the semi-finals going into the tie but Basel have two away goals for next week's second leg at St Jakob Park.

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