Time for Tottenham to concentrate on the league. They wanted to win the Europa League this year but they don't want to be in it next season. They'll feel sore given the way they went out but once the tears have been wiped away, they'll probably admit that Basel deserved to go through. Still, at least they don't have to play this weekend. Their next match is against Manchester City next weekend and Gareth Bale might be back for that. See, it's already looking better. Thanks for reading. Night.
Adebayor's actually a decent penalty-taker but he's not exactly the man you'd want in a high-pressure situation, is he? No. No is the answer to that question.
BASEL WIN 4-1 ON PENALTIES: It's Diaz to win it for Basel. Will he win it for Basel? Yes! He clips it down the middle, Friedel dives to his left and Tottenham's massive effort was all for nothing! The St Jakob-Park erupts! They're in their first ever European semi-final. You have to hand it to them. I don't think they were at their best tonight but they were magnificent last week and ultimately the better side over two legs.
PENALTIES: Basel 3-1 TOTTENHAM: What a terrible penalty from Adebayor! He does exactly what they tell you not to do, leans back and sends his effort comically over the bar. Dear me.
PENALTIES: BASEL 3-1 Tottenham: This is a brilliant penalty from Fabian Frei. He clips it high into the top-left corner with his right foot and it didn't matter that Friedel went the wrong way.
PENALTIES: Basel 2-1 TOTTENHAM: Sigurdsson fires his penalty down the middle. They needed that.
PENALTIES: BASEL 2-0 Tottenham: Friedel goes left, Streller goes right. Cool as you like. Friedel went too early.
PENALTIES: Basel 1-0 TOTTENHAM: Huddlestone's penalty is saved by Sommer! He dived to his right and it wasn't right in the corner, allowing him to push it away!
PENALTIES: BASEL 1-0 Tottenham: Schar steps up first for Basel and finishes it coolly. Friedel went the right way, to his left, but it was struck low and hard.
Although... "Not only have Tottenham lost their last six shootouts, but they haven't taken a single penalty in the league this year," says Lenny Raney.
The prize: a place in the semi-finals of the Europa League. I fancy Tottenham. Basel should have wrapped this up ages ago.
Basel will have to nominate a player who can't take a penalty as Tottenham have had Jan Vertonghen sent off. This has been a stunning effort from Andre Villas-Boas's side, who were on their last legs by the end of extra-time. There were a few hairy moments although Basel were slow to get going.
Full time: Basel 2-2 Tottenham (4-4 agg)
ET 30 min+1: Blow up.
ET 30 min: Alex Frei crosses from the left but it's straight into Friedel's hands. That should be it. Tottenham are spent.
ET 29 min: An inadvertent touch from a Tottenham midfielder sees the ball go out for a Basel corner on the left. Will they crack? No, it's headed away.
ET 27 min: Tottenham have lost their last six penalty shoot-outs. Ah.
ET 26 min: This will buy Tottenham some time: El Nenny gets excited and shoots from 30 yards out. It soars into the crowd. This has all come a bit late from Basel.
ET 25 min: Steinhofer shoots. Dawson's in the way.
ET 24 min: How did that stay out! Diaz swivels and dinks a cross into the six yard box. Streller misses it but it looks like Alex Frei will turn it in, only for Carroll's pressure to unsettle him enough. He can't make proper contact with it and Friedel gathers.
ET 22 min: What a block from Dawson! Basel had sliced Tottenham open with a wonderful, patient passing move which ended with Diaz feeding a pass through to Alex Frei on the left of the area. He had a clear sight of goal but wanted that crucial extra millisecond to set himself and when he did shoot, Dawson threw himself in front of the ball. It was going in. The corner comes to nothing.
ET 21 min: Alex Frei replaces Mohammed Salah. "You're taking penalty advice from Southgate?" says David Wall. "I think that's good evidence you've been at the keyboard too long, you should get signed off for a few days (or signed on to something less heated like live-blogging Thatcher's funeral)." I saw Southgate miss the decisive penalty in a shoot-out in 1999, as it goes. An amusing moment.
ET 19 min: The Basel fans haven't stopped singing all night. But their team needs to step it up. "The trouble with episodes like 'Jurassic Bark' and my favourite of the emotional ones, 'The Luck of the Fryrish', is that in the films and new episodes in the last few years Fry's traveled back in time and stopped his family not knowing what happened to him and stopped Seymour from dying alone outside the pizzeria," says James Roberts. "For the record I've lost interest in the game and now have it on mute while I watch Futurama and avoid writing my dissertation."
ET 17 min: Alex Frei is warming up for Basel. "Is somebody playing the long game here in the hope that the water level rises above the players' ankles?" says Ian Copestake. "A cunning Spurs plan to have Bale/Messi fit for the replay."
ET 16 min: Here we go again. Gareth Southgate reckons that Tottenham are going to win this on penalties and I kind of agree with him.
Half-time in extra-time: Basel 2-2 Tottenham (4-4 agg)
Peep! Peep! "Actually feel more at ease since the red card," says Ben Culling. "With Adebayor in the team we've got used to playing with 10 men this season."
ET 15 min: Diaz feints inside past Carroll and curls a shot inches past the far post with his left foot.
ET 14 min: Dawson flicks a header straight at Sommer from Huddlestone's free-kick. "What happens if it ends in a tie?" says Kevin O'Toole. Er, penalties.
ET 13 min: El Nenny is booked for a foul on Carroll on the halfway line. The referee played advantage but brought it back after Adebayor was fouled midway through Basel's half.
ET 11 min: Beyond the fact that Tottenham are sitting back and refusing to attack, you wouldn't necessarily know that they've had a man sent off. Basel don't seem to know how to make the most of their advantage.
ET 10 min: They can watch Diaz head it away. "Obviously Jacob gets paid according to how many discussions of television programmes he can incorporate into his mbms," says Timo Staudacher. "I'm currently re-watching the X-Files Season 5. Postmodern Prometheus my favourite episode so far." I've stuck Emmerdale on the other television in the office.
ET 9 min: Adebayor wins a corner for Tottenham after a rare attack down the right. What can they do with it?
ET 8 min: El Nenny hits the post! He absolutely thumped one from 30 yards out with his right foot and it roared past the despairing Friedel, only to go behind off the right post! What an effort. Phew.
ET 7 min: Nothing's happened. It's defence v attack.
ET 5 min: "Onto more important matters, do you get paid overtime when the game goes into extra time, or are you get less time to do a wrap-up after?" says Angela Ho. What do you think?
ET 3 min: Huddlestone is playing at the back alongside Dawson.
ET 2 min: It already looks like this is going to be 30 minutes of defending for Tottenham. The good thing for them is that Basel have taken off Stocker, who's one of their best players. "Wenger definitely loves booze," says Jack Goodson. "Imagine how much he's able to stash away in that zeppelin-sized puffy coat of his." Oh to be there on the day that tiny bottles of gin and vodka tumble out of that jacket.
ET 1 min: Basel get the first half of extra-time underway. "Due to TV difficulties I havent seen one jot of this tie, but are Tottenham being outplayed as much as I think they are, based on the MBMs over the course of the two legs?" says F Brenden. "If they get knocked out, where will Europe turn to for dashing, cleancut men with 40's haircuts (not including Huddlestone)?!?" They haven't been outplayed tonight but it didn't look like it was going to happen for them. It still might not.
"There's only one thing for it Jacob," says Seamus Devlin. "Drink thru the night to stay awake and then ask Arsene all those questions you never could if you were sober. It'd be your last day on the job obviously, but think of the legend!" Wenger loves booze.
Full-time: Basel 2-2 Tottenham (4-4 agg)
Peep! Peep! Peep! It's extra-time! But Tottenham will have to survive it with 10 men after Vertonghen's late red card.
90 min+4: Streller, Dawson and Walker have both been booked for their parts in that shenanigans. And Dragovic puts the free-kick over.
90 min+3: Basel have another free-kick after Assou-Ekotto sends Schar flying 25 yards from goal! He's booked and there might be more after the teams exchange views about a few hefty challenges.
90 min+1: Diaz slams the free-kick well over the top.
Jan Vertonghen is sent off!
90 min: Will the drama ever end*?He totally misjudged a pass through to Streller and ended up clumsily clipping his heels. Streller was through so the referee has no option but to show the red card. There will be three minutes of added time.
*It will end.
88 min: Some of you are saying that another half-hour's football for Tottenham will suit Arsenal. However they don't have a game until next weekend.
87 min: <kevinkeegan>There's only one winner now</kevinkeegan> Walker breaks in behind Park on the right and somehow his cross flashes across the six-yard box!
86 min: As it stands, we're going to extra-time. Another Tottenham goal would mean Basel need to score twice.
84 min: Basel almost retake the lead but Streller's header towards the right corner doesn't have enough pace on it to beat Friedel.
GOAL! Basel 2-2 Tottenham (4-4 agg; Dempsey, 82 min)
Somehow Tottenham are level! I'm not entirely sure how but they won't care. Once again, it's shocking defending from Basel. From the centre circle, they get themselves in a mess under a hopeful high ball from Huddlestone. It finds Dempsey in the clear on the right of the area and his Shpitz-goo-gah somehow squirms underneath Sommer and bobbles over the line at around 2mph.
81 min: Sigurdsson's shot from 25 yards goes miles over. The look on his face tells its own story. This is slipping away from Tottenham. To be honest, they've been made to look pretty average over the course of the two legs.
80 min: What Tottenham would give for some pace. Cover for Lennon and Bale (if he stays) should be a priority this summer. "Huddlestone's hair is sexy," says Bronwyn Jones. "TRUST ME ON THIS." You have the same haircut, don't you.
79 min: Tottenham make their final change. Assou-Ekotto is on for Naughton. "I saw Tom Carroll play against liverpool over the summer and while being slightly depressed he was the same age as me, was impressed and thought he had the best touch on the field," says Edward Painter.
77 min: A loose pass from poor old Holtby outside Tottenham's area tees up Diaz for a shot which he hits straight at Friedel. That's the cue for Tom Huddlestone and His Silly Hair to replace Scott E. Parker.
75 min: "Do not make rude comments about Huddlestone's hair again," orders Bronwyn Jones. But it's silly.
73 min: Tottenham have their first chance for what feels like an age. But Parker's shot from 25 yards out is deflected over for a corner. From which Dawson almost equalises! Sigurdsson whips it in and Dawson's bullet header is pushed out by Sommer! He's fouled as he goes to collect the rebound.
71 min: "Dembele did not have a good game, but substituting him was idiotic by AVB," says Sasu Laaksnonen. "Now Tottenham have no one who can create openings by himself or cover Scott(ie) Parker's limitations. Curtains, unless Basel get nervy." Tom Carroll is one to watch, mind you.
70 min: Streller looks knackered. But he's going to stay on and Stocker is off for Steinhofer. That's a defensive move by Basel.
68 min: Scott Parker is feeling a bit sore after being kneed in the back by ... Vertonghen. "I'm half Swedish, so anything British is guaranteed to be as low-brow as the shine on Groucho Marx's pants," says Nigel Moore.
67 min: That's how I'll feel if there's extra-time. I've got to be at London Colney at 9am for Arsene Wenger's press conference tomorrow morning.
65 min: El Nenny unleashes one from miles out but it moves viciously in the area, forcing Friedel to push it out a tad unconvincingly. Fortunately for him Dawson is there to mop up. "Shouldn’t we be discussing the best bits of “Dawson’s Creak”?" says Daniel Farthing. "And didn’t those ‘best bits’ belong to Tom Cruises ex-missus?"
Look no further.
64 min: A swift one-touch move by Basel opens Tottenham up and Salah turns a pass into the area for the overlapping Degen, who has to hit his volley early. He skews it wide in a rush. There are chances for Basel here though. Moments later Salah races clear on the right but he can't find the right pass for Diaz in the middle.
62 min: Holtby is just in that zone where, try as he might, he can't do anything right. He's got the talent to make a difference though. As does Dempsey. He turns on the right of the area but miskicks as he tries to shoot, scooping it wide for a goal-kick.
61 min: Tottenham are struggling for fluency. Bale's not done much. "I'm Canadian, so anything British is, by definition, high-brow," weeps Dale Marsden.
60 min: "I have a love/hate relationship with the episode Jurassic Bark," says Michael Kruse. "It may be a wonderful episode but if I watch it while the wife is in the room I have to hide tears from the wife and avoid eye contact with the dog while Connie Francis belts out “I Will Wait for You” and Fry’s dog ages and then dies."
59 min: And that's Die's last contribution. He's replaced by Diaz, while Tottenham bring on Tom Carroll for the disappointing Mousa Dembele.
58 min: Die is booked for managing to produce two fouls in the space of five seconds.
57 min: Dawson escapes a booking for a heavy challenge on Dragovic, who had gone past two players with two exceptional Iniesta-style spins. He's supposed to be the centre-back. He's playing more like a striker and from the resulting free-kick he goes so close to scoring his second! The free-kick is sent in from the left and Dragovic, all alone, glances his header just past the far post. Friedel just watched and hoped.
55 min: Sorry, you lot think MBMs are high-brow? You guys!
54 min: Holtby plays a sliderule pass through to Adebayor, who sprints clear of Schar, only to take the ball too wide and crunch his shot into the side-netting. "I've always considered MBM's a bit too highbrow to be discussing episodes of the distinctly mediocre and lethargic Futurama," overestimates Daniel Schulwolf. "Surely a better riff would be a discussion of the best episodes, story arcs, and/or secondary characters of the brilliant and thankfully soon to be back Arrested Development. Personally, I am a fan of Gene Parmesan episode, the eponymous secondary character, the Mr. F Story Arc, and Larry Middleman: Professional Surrogate."
53 min: Sigurdsson's effort wafts harmlessly over the bar. It should be pointed out that a Tottenham goal would take this into extra-time. No one wants that. Basel attack and Salah's clever pass finds Die in the area. He twists this way and that but his shot is blocked.
52 min: Dempsey goes over under a challenge from Stocker 30 yards out - and manages to get himself booked for talking too much to the referee. Well done.
51 min: There wasn't much more Friedel could do about that. The header from Schar came at him really quickly so it was all he could do to get something on it.
GOAL! Basel 2-1 Tottenham (4-3 agg; Dragovic, 49 min)
Basel take the lead and now Tottenham really are in trouble! Stocker curls the corner towards the near post from the right. Schar darts to meet it and flicks it into the six-yard box where Friedel parries it out to Dragovic, who slams it into the net from close range!
48 min: Sigurdsson curls it in from the left and Adebayor nods straight at Sommer from six yards out. He was well-marked though so it wasn't a great chance. Basel break and Salah slips a pass into the area for Streller, whose chip over Friedel is deflected wide and into the side-netting for a corner. From which...
47 min: Adebayor wins a corner off Degen on the left.
46 min: Here we go again. Tottenham get the second half going. Enjoy. "Wait, so does all this sudden newfound English interest in pronouncing foreign names right (when did this happen?) mean no Futurama episode banter?" says Ron Eddy. "'Cause I want to put a vote in for the one where Bender is worshipped as a god by microscopic aliens, which - perhaps embarrassingly - proved deeply beautiful and spiritually comforting to myself and (I'm sure) many other agnostic but hopeful types who find ourselves crippled from time to time by the vast inexplicable beauty of the universe. That and it had monks eating shoes while locked in a laundry room cause they were bored, so, y'know, win-win."
"Instead of arguing about the pronunciation of Basel, you might wanna talk about the word "Spitzguuge" [Shpitz-goo-gah]," says Christoph Emch. "It's an informal expression for "toe kick" and loosely translates to "tip wind instrument" (which, quite frankly, doesn't make much sense). It's mostly used by kids. And it's exactly what Salah did. No offence, but conceding a goal like this can be seen as a humiliation."
"The English actually made a new name in Basle but this has been less and less used and based on my flights into Basel airport the english speakers/pilot use Basel/Bâle equally." says Mark Bennett. "It is NOT Basil as in Fawlty ever. The reason for french speaking is it is on both FRENCH and GERMAN borders."
Half-time: Basel 1-1 Tottenham (3-3 agg, Basel lead on away goals)
That's your lot for another 15 minutes. It's been an encouraging half for Tottenham but Mousa Dembele's mistake means that Basel are ahead on away goals. Clint Dempsey did briefly have Tottenham in the lead and they've played well enough to suggest they can nick this.
45 min+2: Stocker's corner is headed away and...
45 min+1: The free-kick is set for Frei, whose low effort is deflected wide for a corner by Dempsey.
45 min: Naughton finds himself in acres of space on the left of the area but his low drive is straight at Sommer. From there Basel break at speed, Stocker sprinting away into the distance. As he reaches the D, he's bundled over from behind by Dembele, who's booked.
44 min: A cute reverse-pass sends Streller hurtling into the area on the right but his inviting cutback from the byline finds no Basel player in the area.
43 min: Degen is down clutching his knee after a collision with Holtby, who I've just remembered is on the pitch.
40 min: "It should be pronounced Basel as in Fawlty," says Paul Hurley. "Bahl is the French pronunciation and makes no sense as it is a Swiss-German speaking city."
39 min: Now Naughton is booked after obstructing Salah on the right. "I'm not really convinced by Salah's finishing (strange as it may seem to say right now)," says Avery Kode. "Doesn't look very polished. Streller, I must say, looks a rather classy target man, like a plus-size Dean Ashton."
37 min: Another good chance for Tottenham goes begging. Adebayor is played in on the left of the area but selfishly shoots straight at Sommer from a tight angle when he could have rolled it across the face of goal to Sigurdsson.
36 min: An excellent save from Sommer preserves Basel's slender advantage. Naughton pings a cross into the middle. Adebayor should be flagged offside but his presence causes enough of a nuisance for Dempsey to touch a pass back to Dembele on the edge of the area. He doesn't bother with the niceties and instead sends a fine curler towards the far corner with his left foot. Sommer beats it away and Sigurdsson can't reach the rebound as he slides in.
35 min: "It's easy," says Mark Bennett. "If you're German it's Basel BA-ZEL or if french it's Bâle the BAHL." And if you're English?
34 min: "Jacob - is slipping really dreadful defending?" says Hugh Odling-Smee. "Surely it's an unfortunate accident?" Well it's not good defending.
32 min: Basel had been fairly tame until their goal but now they're looking dangerous every time they go forward. Walker misjudges Die's pass to Streller on the left, allowing the forward to break into the area. His low centre is cleared by Dawson though. "Can we please talk about how to pronounce Basel?" says Timo Staudacher I remember during EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland most English speaking commentators seemed to agree on BAHL. Like (Demba) Ba with an L attached, completely igonoring the presence of the letter s. It should of course be pronounced like Basil, only without the i. What's the pronunciation de jour on English TV these days?" Whatever the commentator feels like saying at the time.
31 min: Walker wins a corner on the right for Tottenham although it should have been a goal-kick. You'll hear more about this if it ends up as a goal. And it nearly does as Dempsey meets Sigurdsson with a downward header that Sommer saves low to his left.
29 min: Tottenham are rocking all of a sudden. Salah bursts into the clear again but this time his heavy touch allows Walker to get across and clear just as the winger looked set to score again.
GOAL! Basel 1-1 Tottenham (3-3 agg, Basel lead on away goals; Salah, 27 min)
Well that didn't last long and Tottenham will be livid with themselves. Especially Mousa "Moussa" Dembele, whose wayward pass offered Basel the chance to equalise. He gave the ball away in his own half and suddenly Streller found himself in a two-on-one situation. He quickly shuffled it to the right for Salah. His first touch was heavy and looked to have ended his hopes of scoring but he reacted quickly to somehow toepoke a left-footed shot low past Friedel from the edge of the area. He's some player.
26 min: "As a shout-out to the very few Swiss following this MBM, I must say Hopp Basel and Allez Gottéron," says Thomas Meyer.
25 min: That was an absolute gift but Dempsey was very cool when he got the chance. "That picture of Vertonghen and Parker makes me realize that a number of Spurs players, as well as their manager, have very nice hair. I’d ask if it’s a north London thing, but then there’s Gervinho, so it must be geographically restricted," says Tracy Mohr.
GOAL! Basel 0-1 Tottenham (2-3 agg; Dempsey, 23 min)
And this time Tottenham do get in behind and they lead the tie for the first time! But what a horrendous mix-up at the back from Basel. This is absolutely atrocious defending from Dragovic. From the centre-circle, Vertonghen played a straight pass through the middle, looking to release Dempsey. It was read easily enough by Dragovic but he slipped as he went to cut it out and ended up diverting it to Dempsey, who rounded Sommer and rolled the ball home.
21 min: Tottenham have had a lot of the ball but it's all been in front of Basel. That's the difference without Bale and Lennon. They might argue that it's been controlled possession but Basel haven't been troubled much yet and it's Tottenham who have to score.
20 min: This is very tactical.
18 min: Naughton is very lucky to escape with no yellow card after pulling back Salah on the right.
17 min: Here's news from Switzerland. "2 of 3 (german & french speaking) main swiss channels prioritising Ice Hockey playoffs over football here," says Mark Bennett.
16 min: Salah inadvertently puts his team in trouble by keeping Sommer's errant clearance in on the right touchline. He only succeeds in flicking the ball to Sigurdsson, who runs at the Basel defence and spanks one well off-target from long range when he might have been better advised finding a team-mate.
14 min: "I feel like we're the only people here Jacob," says F Brenden. "My girlfriend hates it but I'm starting to develop a man crush on Mr Vertonghen. Is he made up of 3/4 parts muscle and 1/4 part handsome as I suspect? In Australia we can see him on TV but you know it's not the same." We're not the only ones, it's just that the quiet bat people haven't piped up.
12 min: Twist! Basel suddenly burst into life with a lovely move down their right flank. Degen plays a canny one-two with Streller, who sends the right-back haring away past Naughton. He clips the ball over Dawson's head and Salah arrives on the edge of the area, only to hoick his acrobatic volley well over the bar.
11 min: Basel are in the slightly tricky position of not being sure whether to stick or twist. Tottenham could make their mind up for them.
10 min: Dembele shimmies away from two Basel midfielders and finds Dempsey, whose ambitious shot from 25 yards out is too ambitious. He could do with thinking a bit more.
9 min: From the resulting free-kick, Vertonghen tries to score from 40 yards out. He does not force me to write GOAL!
8 min: Tottenham are actually enjoying a lot of possession and they're working some neat triangles in midfield. Dragovic looks to put an end to that but he ends up sending Walker flying through the air on the right.
6 min: It's been a relatively slow start with both sides just feeling their way into it. Tottenham must hope that Basel's advantage leaves them open to an attack of the jitters.
4 min: "What's the riff today Mr Steinberg?" says F Brenden. "Favourite Futurama episodes? I enjoyed the Simpsons topic last week. As long as it's not that derivative Family Guy rubbish!"
It's whatever you want it to be.
3 min: But up the other end, Parker brings down Stocker from behind around 35 yards out. It's surely too far too shoot. Or not. Stocker taps it to Schar, whose low drive skims through the crowd and just past Friedel's right post.
2 min: An early chance for Spurs as they win a free-kick on the left touchline. Sigurdsson curls it in but it's headed away and after a bit more pressure from the visitors, it's booted away.
Off we go at a rainy St Jakob-Park. The Basel fans are bouncing and making a din and it's their team who get the match underway. They're attacking from right to left in the first half. Tottenham fans are singing about marching in. Here's hoping they're doing the silly thing they do with their fingers. It's not remotely weird.
Here come the teams. Basel/Basle/Barrllll are in their blue and red striped shirts. They're excellent shirts. Tottenham are in all-white. It's just like The El Clasico, albeit with a few missing ingredients. Although Emmanuel Adebayor is playing and he's featured in an El Clasico.
Perhaps Gordon Strachan is making some erudite points but he's so excitable and talks so quickly that he's almost impossible to understand. He's on to the next point before he's even finished the first one. His team-talks must be interesting.
Here are the teams. Enjoy.
Basle: Sommer; Philipp Degen, Schar, Dragovic, Park; El-Nenny, Die;
FaSalah, Stocker, Fabian Frei; Streller. Subs: Vailati, David Degen, Alexander Frei, Diaz, Cabral, Sauro, Steinhofer.
Tottenham: Friedel; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Naughton; Dembele, Parker; Holtby, Dempsey, Sigurdsson; Adebayor. Subs: Lloris, Huddlestone, Livermore, Assou-Ekotto, Caulker, Coulthirst, Carroll.
Referee: Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal)
Evening. Last night Lionel Messi proved once and for all that he is the Argentinian Gareth Bale by coming off the bench to inspire Barcelona despite only having one hamstring and tonight Gareth Bale can prove he is the Welsh Ryan Giggs by propelling Tottenham past Basel despite only having one ankle. Or not. Unfortunately Tottenham have absolutely no Gareth Bale for at least another 10 days so it's up to the supporting cast to get them into the semi-finals of the Europa League and perhaps end talk that this is a one-man team. It's a taller order than a package containing Peter Crouch standing on top of Nikola Zigic. Tottenham, lest we forget, were totally outplayed by Basel at White Hart Lane last week and were extremely fortunate to escape with a 2-2 draw.
It should have been a thrashing, with Basel locating more holes in the Tottenham defence than some kind of Swiss dairy product. But it wasn't. While Basel were unlucky to concede two slightly flukey goals after going 2-0 up, they weren't ruthless enough and missed a glut of chances, created by the outstanding pair of Valentin Stocker and Mohammed Salah, to put the tie to bed. It could end up being their undoing. Maybe. It has been suggested that last week they played with the freedom of the underdog while this week the pressure might get to them, just as it almost caught Borussia Dortmund out on Tuesday. On the other hand, they're used to being the favourites in the Swiss league every week, while they've also beaten Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Zenit St Petersburg at St Jakob-Park.
Tottenham, like PSG last night, either need a win or better than a 2-2 draw to go through. Without Bale, they're up against it. But it's more than that. Aaron Lennon is also out, robbing the side of its speed and incision, which makes the decision to allow Andros Townsend to go on loan to QPR rather perplexing. The deputies for Bale and Lennon are Clint Dempsey, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Lewis Holtby, who all lack the pace that allows Spurs to play such a devastating counter-attacking game. All three are good players but they do not offer the same qualities as Bale and Lennon. That's not to say they can't make a decisive contribution though. Which is handy, because Spurs need them to shine tonight.