Tottenham 4 Young Boys 0: Tottenham strike £20m jackpot after Crouch hat-trick

(Spurs win 6-3 on aggregate)

Tottenham hit the Champions League jackpot last night as they finally put Young Boys in their place to reach the group stage for the first time in their history.

Spurs were on the brink of utter humiliation in Bern eight days ago, 3-0 down and all at sea on their opponents' plastic pitch.

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Having somehow scrambled two away goals and back on the green, green grass of home, Harry Redknapp's men demonstrated the true gulf in class that exists between fourth place in the Barclays Premier League and second in the Swiss Super League.

But Spurs' claim to what will be a 20m-plus cash bonanza was not achieved without controversy on a night of torrential rain at an electric White Hart Lane.

Jermain Defoe, set to undergo a groin operation, blatantly controlled the ball with his arm to score the second goal that all but killed the contest.

There were echoes of Thierry Henry's scandalous handball that saw France reach the World Cup at the expense of the Republic of Ireland.

But Tottenham fans will rightly point out their side were already ahead in the tie on away goals thanks to Peter Crouch, who went on to complete a hat-trick, while it could have been much, much worse for the hapless visitors, who had Senad Lulic sent off.

Young Boys were simply unable to cope with Crouch, who scored two unmarked headers and a penalty to edge the man-of-the-match honours ahead of Gareth Bale, whose four assists surely make him man of the season so far.

"This is massive, we played extremely well and we deserved the bonus of Champions League football," Crouch said.

"That's why we worked so hard last season. We want massive games. We want Real Madrid and Inter Milan. You don't know how good you are until you play against the best."

Defoe, who is set for an injury lay-off after postponing an operation to take part in the match, added: "All the hard work we put in last season has paid off now. This means the world to us."

Martin Jol's Ajax edged into the group stages with a 2-1 win on the night against Dynamo Kiev earning them a 3-2 aggregate victory over the Ukrainians.

Luis Suarez put the Dutch side ahead in the 43rd minute and a second from Mounir El Hamdaoui on 75 appeared to put the tie safe. Andriy Shevchenko's 84th minute penalty caused a few anxious moments.