Gareth Bale's hat-trick at FC Internazionale Milano was in vain with the winger bemoaning how Tottenham Hotspur FC had "started off sloppy and paid the price" at San Siro.
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He may have just scored a hat-trick in one of Europe's most famous stadiums but Gareth Bale was in no mood to accept personal plaudits after his ten-man Tottenham Hotspur FC team lost 4-3 to UEFA Champions League holders FC Internazionale Milano.
The north Londoners had gone 4-0 down by half-time at San Siro following a torrid first half in which goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was dismissed after eight minutes for bringing down Jonathan Biabiany. Yet Bale, irrepressible throughout down the left, reduced the Premier League club's arrears early in the second half after a superb solo run and completed his treble with two equally emphatic stoppage-time strikes.
Any joy at his individual achievement, however, was tinged with regret at the way Harry Redknapp's side had begun the Group A fixture. "It's hugely disappointing," said the left-winger when asked about his feat. "The result is what matters to us and it was massively disappointing so we want to put that right next time."
Of Tottenham's nightmare opening, when they fell three goals behind inside 14 minutes, the 21-year-old Welsh international explained: "We started off sloppy and paid the price in the first half but with ten men we showed what a good team we are. If we had 11 men on the field it could have been a different game."
Nevertheless, Bale drew encouragement from how Tottenham caused the Serie A champions problems after the restart despite their numerical disadvantage. He is confident of a different outcome when the sides meet again on 2 November.
"A lot of positives came out of the second half. We kept the ball well with ten men and hopefully back at White Hart Lane we can do a better job and get a victory," said the former Southampton FC full-back, who scored all his goals with his favoured left foot.