Tottenham took a big step towards the final eight of the most prestigious competition in Europe as they thrashed Dortmund 3-0 at Wembley. The German side looked formidable in the first half, but the Lilywhites could not be stopped in the second frame.
xG map for Spurs - Dortmund— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) February 13, 2019
It wasn't exactly easy -- Spurs had to do a bunch of defending in the penalty area -- but on the whole a deserved first leg blowout. pic.twitter.com/SETEbEU0Yb
Danny Rose’s shin injury kept him on the bench and forced Mauricio Pochettino to include four center backs in his lineup. Jan Vertonghen played at left wing back, while Davinson Sanchez, Toby Alderweireld, and Juan Foyth played in a back three. Fernando Llorente dropped to the bench as Son Heung-Min, Lucas Moura, and Christian Eriksen started up front.
Spurs were once again without two of their most important players in Harry Kane and Dele Alli, but Dortmund had their own share of absences due to injury. Marco Reus, Julian Weigl, Paco Alcacer, Manuel Akanji and Lukasz Piszczek all stayed back in Germany.
But Dortmund did have Jadon Sancho. The 18-year-old sensation from South London has been their most dangerous player this season.
The home side almost opened the scoring in the 7th minute through Lucas. Sanchez headed a clearance back into a dangerous area, and the Brazilian did well to volley just wide of the far post,
Lucien Favre’s style is an unusual mix of patient build-up and quick counter-attacks, and his team soon began to make their imprint on the match.
Christian Pulisic pounced when Foyth was a bit ponderous passing out of the back, but Hugo Lloris was there to save the American’s shot with his knees.
There was almost a moment of deja vu when Son drove down the left wing in the 35th minute. When these two teams met at Wembley last year, the South Korean beat Roman Bürki at his near post to open the scoring, but this time the Swiss keeper was up to the test. His kick-save denied Son and cleared the danger.
Dortmund nearly went into the half with an advantage. Dan-Axel Zagadou rose above Foyth on a corner, but his deflected header was met with a brilliant save from Lloris.
Son had missed his chance in the first half, but he was clearly eager to make amends. He did so just two minutes after the restart.
BVB turned the ball over in their own end and allowed Vertonghen to put a cross in with his preferred left foot. Sonny pulled away from his marker in the box and stuck a boot in the air to calmly place the ball past Bürki. Wembley erupted.
Spurs almost made it two by thinking quickly and taking a free kick quickly. Alderweireld’s long ball played Eriksen in, but Zagadou recovered to thwart the Dane’s cross for Son. The Belgian was involved again on the resulting corner when his header nearly snuck by Bürki.
Thomas Delaney made a brave block to deny another volley from Lucas off a corner kick, this time with 15 minutes left in the contest.
Both teams had settled down. Dortmund seemed to be relatively okay going into the second leg down just 1-0, but Pochettino wanted more.
Vertonghen made a run into the box when Spurs, once again, won the ball back quickly. Aurier showed great vision to see him across the pitch, and his cross was smashed past Bürki.
Dortmund proceeded to capitulate. A few minutes later, it was three.
Fernando Llorente hadn’t been on the pitch for long when he stooped to head an Eriksen corner past a stunned Bürki. Wembley was so loud it seemed to be shaking.
The final whistle sounded and the celebrations began. It was another “Glory, Glory” night in Europe for Tottenham Hotspur, who now look like solid bets to reach the next round.
But as every Spurs fan knows, anything can happen. The squad will have to take care of business again in three weeks time when they travel to Germany.