Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Borussia Dortmund
Spurs are heading to Dortmund with a three-goal lead after a devastating second half put them firmly in charge in a Champions League clash of two halves.
Dortmund boss Lucien Favre is probably still shaking his head in disbelief after his side dominated the first half from start to finish. But whatever Mauricio Pochettino said at halftime certainly did the job!
Jan Vertonghen was the unlikely hero, assisting on one goal and scoring the other.
BVB have just started to show a few Bundesliga title jitters, coming into this game on the back of a 3-3 draw with Hoffenheim after going 3-0 up. And this second-half capitulation will have done the Bundesliga leaders no good at all.
Neither of these teams is at the top of the Champions League 2019 betting lists, and after this result, BVB won’t be this year. Tottenham, though, have the ambition to go deep into the competition.
Highlights of the game
BVB started the game without their league top scorers: Marco Reus picked up an injury in a cup match against Werder Bremen while Paco Alcacer is still out of action. However, in Jadon Sancho, the German champions have the joint-top assist maker in the league. This boy aims to stay in the Champions League 2019 news, and he was lively from the off, switching wings to unsettle the Spurs’ defence.
Pochettino has said he’s not surprised by the way the England youngster has taken the Bundesliga by storm, and with Danny Rose injured, the task of keeping Sancho quiet fell to Vertonghen—with the Spurs starting with three at the back.
The home defence, nonetheless, almost gifted BVB an opener as they tried to play the ball out from the back. Christian Pulisic robbed Juan Foyth and fired a shot at Hugo Lloris’ near post which the French stopper blocked.
Sancho had his first effort charged down and then showed his skill, turning Davinson Sanchez inside out before his cross was intercepted by Foyth.
Christian Eriksen has been the Spurs’ most consistently creative player over the past two seasons, but he struggled to get in the game throughout the first half. The same goes for the in-form Heung-Min Son, though the South Korean did bring Roma Burki into action with a dangerous cross.
Lloris made an incredible save to keep the scores level at the break, brilliantly tipping away Dan-Axel Zagadou’s header.
Spurs were lucky to be level at halftime, and a couple of minutes after, they must have felt they had hit the jackpot. Vertonghen put a beautiful cross in for Son who volleyed home with Spurs’ first shot on target.
The goal relaxed the home side, and they began to play with more fluency. Son drew a foul just outside the box, while Eriksen hit the defensive wall in the ensuing free kick. And moments later, he had a chance to cross for Son for a tap-in before BVB defence cleared.
In a matter of minutes, Spurs put themselves firmly in charge with two late goals. Vertonghen, already with an assist to his name, got on the end of a cross to volley home. The German heads visibly dropped and almost hit the floor on 86 minutes when Fernando Llorente rose highest to flick home an Eriksen corner.
We predicted goals in this game in our us tips, but both teams made it hard for each other with some key players missing.
Spurs didn’t have a shot on target in the opening 45 minutes, but Lloris was a busy boy after making four saves in that period to deny BVB. So we didn’t expect the events of the second half.
Spurs were clinical, especially Son in the second half after scoring what was his 11th goal in 12 appearances. Spurs have been fast finishers throughout this campaign, 11 of their 12 Champions League goals have come in the second half.
That makes it four wins on the run for Spurs. It’s even more remarkable when you consider BVB only conceded two goals throughout their group campaign. This game was also the first time the Germans have failed to score against the English side.
Both Spurs and Borussia Dortmund are in the chase for their domestic titles. Pochettino’s men are on the trail of Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League, while BVB currently lead the Bundesliga.
Spurs have a weekend off, having exited the FA Cup, and then has a tough trip to Burnley next week. After a difficult first half of the season, the Clarets are back to their old selves—unbeaten in seven and always ready for a scrap!
A visit to FC Nuremberg awaits BVB, and that’s a game Favre’s team will be expected to win in some style. Their hosts are rock bottom with just a single point to show for the last six games, and they are beginning to look doomed.
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