UEFA Champions League round of 16 draw

Dortmund vs Tottenham result: Five things we learned as Harry Kane goal send Spurs to quarter-finals

Five things we learned from Tottenham's superb 1-0 victory in Dortmund

Luke Brown@lukedbrown
Tuesday 05 March 2019 22:29
comments

Tottenham defeated Borussia Dortmund 1-0 in Germany to progress to the Champions League quarter-finals 4-0 on aggregate.

Dortmund dominated the first-half and had a number of good chances, only to be repeatedly denied by Tottenham’s captain, Hugo Lloris.

Spurs then struck on the counter-attack to kill the tie, with Harry Kane firing home to become Tottenham’s leading goal scorer in European competition.

It is just the second time Tottenham have reached the Champions League quarter-finals in their history after the 2010/11 campaign, when they lost 5-0 on aggregate to Real Madrid.

Here are five things we learned.

Kane settles the tie

Harry Kane celebrates his goal

Harry Kane’s second-half goal to kill this tie stone dead made him Tottenham’s leading goal scorer in European competition, taking him the 23 scored by Jermain Defoe.

Borussia Dortmund had to take risks to keep pressure under Tottenham and, eventually, they were going to get hit on the counter-attack.

All it took was one pass from Moussa Sissoko to completely bisect the Dortmund defence, with Kane running through on goal and burying his shot beyond Roman Burki.

Pochettino gets his tactics right

It was a good night for Mauricio Pochettino

After the north London derby it was Unai Emery, and not Mauricio Pochettino, who was praised for having the better tactical plan.

But here, Spurs got their strategy spot on. This was a difficult assignment for Pochettino, who knew that he could not simply invite endless waves of pressure by keeping eleven men behind the wall, with Spurs instead switching to a robust 5-4-1 when not in possession.

With Christian Eriksen moving over to the right of midfield and Sissoko tucking in from his usual position, Spurs looked solid and proved difficult for a toothless Dortmund to break down.

Spurs buoyed by return of Winks

Harry Winks was forced off injured

Victor Wanyama had a game to forget for Tottenham against Arsenal on Saturday. Stationed alongside Sissoko in Tottenham’s midfielder, the Kenya captain struggled to adapt to the frantic pace of the game and failed to provide his team with the control they required in the middle of the park.

In other words: they badly missed Harry Winks. The 23-year-old tonight made a surprise return to the Spurs line-up and immediately showed why he has become so important to this Mauricio Pochettino side, setting the tempo with his short passing and driving his team forward whenever possible.

And so what a shame that Winks was forced off midway through the second-half, with what looked to be a muscular injury. How Pochettino will pray that the midfielder is not out for an extended period of time.

Son misses his chance

Heung-min Son in action

Heung-min Son absolutely loves playing against Borussia Dortmund. Prior to this evening’s fixture, in his 10 games against Dortmund, Son has bagged eight goals and been on the winning side six times.

In recognition of those facts, his every touch was vociferously whistled by Dortmund’s supporters, who quickly singled him out as the night’s pantomime villain. And they particularly enjoyed his first-half miss when played through by Christian Eriksen.

One-on-one with Burki it was the kind of chance Son usually gobbles up, but on this particular occasion the South Korea international could only fire wide, with the waves of Dortmund pressure resuming moments later.

Sancho fails to shine

Spurs kept a close eye on Jadon Sancho

Jadon Sancho has shined this season for Borussia Dortmund, but this wasn’t to be the teenager’s night.

As Dortmund toiled, Sancho was still arguably his side’s best player: nobody completed more key passes and only central defender Manuel Akanji had a higher pass accuracy percentage.

Sancho even swapped wings in an attempt to make something happen, but Tottenham’s five-man defence held firm. This was to be Tottenham’s night.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments