LASK 3 Tottenham 3: Gareth Bale gets 200th career goal as Spurs clinch qualification in Austria despite late collapse

GARETH BALE bagged his 200th career goal as Tottenham booked their place in the Europa League knockout phase.

But on a milestone night for the Welshman it was confirmed there is only one real superstar at Spurs – and it's not Bale.

Nor is it Son Heung-min who fired the North Londoners ahead after the break to become their fourth all-time highest Euro marksman.

No, this victory highlighted once again that for all of the big names now in Jose Mourinho’s squad, the main man is still – and probably always will be – Harry Kane.

The England captain missed this trip with an injury his manager refused to divulge details of.

You suspect, after this showing, the Spurs boss did not want to take the blame for resting his talismanic frontman in case this clash went nipples north – which it very nearly did.

The Premier League leaders showed how important Kane is to them as they looked a shadow of their recent selves without him.

Spurs thought they had won it through Dele Alli’s penalty that made it 3-2 in the 86th minute.

But Mamadou Karamoko’s stoppage time strike earned the Austrians the draw their display deserved.

It was far from vintage Spurs and Mourinho will be looking forward to welcoming Kane back for their North London derby at home to Arsenal on Sunday.

Bale’s strike – also a penalty – at the end of the first half means he has now scored 57 goals in his two spells at Tottenham, to go alongside the 105 for Real Madrid, 33 for Wales and five at Southampton.

And while the four-time Champions League winner may have a trophy cabinet Kane can only dream of, even he must accept he is not as important to Spurs right now as the Three Lions skipper.

That is why Bale is likely to be back on the bench when the Gunners visit this weekend.

There are not many positives Mourinho could take from this – except at least his team are in the last 32 of Europe’s second competition.

LASK – or to give them their full name Linzer Athletik Sport Klub – are based in Linz, the third largest city in Austria.

Based on the banks of the Danube it is most famous, or infamous, for being the place where Adolf Hitler lived during his youth.

So nothing more to be linked with that other than the fact this match was also played with just one ball.

And no, before World War II music hall fans ask, the other was not in the Albert Hall.

Despite thumping them 3-0 at home in October and then losing 1-0 at Royal Antwerp a week later, Mourinho insisted in the build-up LASK were his team’s strongest challengers in the group.

Mourinho made eight changes to his starting line-up after Sunday’s goalless draw at Chelsea.

Even though that result kept Spurs top of the Prem ahead of Liverpool on goal difference, Mourinho insisted his side were just a pony in a title race of horses.

He conceded, though, in the Europa League they are viewed as one of the thoroughbreds in a competition so arduous it makes the Grand National look like the 100metres.

Dele must surely now be looking to gallop out of Tottenham next month after being named as a sub, despite his impressive display in last week’s 4-0 win at home to Ludogorets.

Spurs had an early scare when Eggestein fired a shot against a post.

Joe Hart, starting in the Spurs goal ahead of skipper Hugo Lloris, then had to beat away a powerful shot from Rene Renner.

And the former England keeper denied the same player with an even better stop on the half-hour mark as Spurs struggled to find their groove before the break.

So perhaps it was no surprise when Peter Michorl fired the hosts into a 42nd minute lead with a long-range shot which dipped and swerved as it doodlebugged its way past Hart into the bottom corner.

A half-time lead would have been no more than the Austrians deserved – but unbelievably they did not get it as Andres Andrade, who scored an own goal at Tottenham, came to their rescue again by blocking Tanguy Ndombele’s shot in the box with his hand.

Polish ref Paweł Raczkowski pointed to the spot and Bale netted the resulting penalty to make it 1-1 with the last kick of the first half.

Blimey. And you thought Harry Winks’ flukey 56-yarder in the 4-0 win over Ludogorets last week was lucky

With snow surrounding the pitch, Mourinho must have thought all his Christmasses had come at once as his outclassed stars went into the interval on level terms.

You suspected his Premier League ponies would not look this gift horse in the mouth and so it came to pass as Son raced away onto Ndombele’s through ball to slot the Londoners 2-1 up in the 56th minute.

It ensured the South Korean became the fourth Spurs player to reach the 20-goal mark in Europe, behind Kane, Jermain Defoe and Martin Chivers.

That looked to be that for Mourinho but Hart undid all of his good work when he let Eggestein’s shot through him for LASK’s leveller in the 84th minute.

But parity was short-lived as Philipp Wiesinger clipped sub Steven Bergwijn’s heels in the box, allowing fellow sub Alli to restore Tottenham’s lead from the spot two minutes later.

Yet LASK had the last laugh with Karamoko’s last-gasp leveller.

Tottenham now host Antwerp on Thursday in a clash to decide who finishes top of Group J.

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