The only dampener for Tottenham was that Bale was shown a yellow card – again for diving – meaning he will miss the trip to Milan due to suspension.
Spurs’ London rivals Chelsea will have a little bit of ground to make up when they face Steaua Bucharest at Stamford Bridge next week after losing 1-0 to the Romanians at the National Arena.
Raul Rusescu converted from the penalty spot in the 34th minute after he was felled by Ryan Bertrand as the Romanian league leaders put themselves in a decent position against the reigning European champions.
Elsewhere in the Europa League, goals from Ederson and Ogenyi Onazi helped Lazio to an advantageous 2-0 win at Stuttgart, a 21st minute Cedric Carrasso own-goal gave Benfica a 1-0 home triumph over Bordeaux, Fenerbahce edged Viktoria Plzen 1-0 away from home, Levante and Rubin Kazan played out a scoreless draw as did Anzhi Makhachkala and Newcastle United.
The return legs of the Europa League Round of 16 stage all take place next Thursday, March 15.
2012/13 UEFA Europa League – Round of 16 first leg
Anzhi Makhachkala (RUS): 0
Newcastle United: 0
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow – 5,000
Viktoria Plzen (CZE): 0
Fenerbahce (TUR): 1 (Pierre Webo 81’)
Struncovy Sady, Plzen – 11,701