Spurs cruise past Borussia Dortmund
By James Gill
Tottenham Hotspur look set to advance to the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League with a comfortable 3-0 win against Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund. If they manage to close out the second leg it will be their joint-best campaign ever.
Both sides were marred by injuries in a game which Dortmund were predicted to win. Spurs were without captain Harry Kane and Dele Alli, while Dortmund were missing many key players including Marco Reus, Paco Alcácer, Julian Weigl, and Lukasz Piszczek. All these players however should be fit for the second leg, in a game which promises to be a cracker.
The first half was tight from both teams with few clear-cut chances. However, Son Heung-min changed that just moments into the second half with a brilliant side-footed volley from a Jan Vertonghen cross. Vertonghen had a phenomenal game playing out of position as a left wing-back.
The Belgian mirrored Son with a sublime volley from a Serge Aurier delivery to make in 2-0. Dortmund looked less likely to threat Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris as the game progressed and the game was put to bed shortly before full time by substitute Fernando Llorente.
After the game, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said: “the team is fighting. I am so proud. They deserve full credit. What they are doing is amazing. Son was fantastic again. I think he is a player that provides the team with a lot of things. He has a smile and has lots of energy. His performances every game are improving and improving.”
“3-0 is a very good result but at the same time I think we need to think that we need to finish the job. Always when we play this competition and against a good side like Dortmund it is very difficult.”
“We spoke about our defensive positions and changed things a little. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. We have a lot of talented players. We have an unbelievable squad. I am happy with all the players. The only problem is that we can only play 11 players and not 22.”
The second leg of the tie takes place on March 5th, with Dortmund needing a massive result to salvage their Champions League hopes. Spurs will be not only eyeing up a run in the Champions League, but a potential Premier League title.
They are only five points off the pace and without an FA Cup tie this weekend, they will have over a week to rest their players before a fixture against Burnley. With games against Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and City still to go, some big results could see Spurs win their first Premier League trophy.