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Spurs crush Dortmund in spectacular second half

Pin Jan Vertonghen enjoyed a fine game in an unfamiliar wing-back role. AFP
Jan Vertonghen enjoyed a fine game in an unfamiliar wing-back role. AFP

Spurs crush Dortmund in spectacular second half

Dortmund are left with a mountain to climb after a dominant second half showing from Tottenham Hotspur saw them put three goals past the Bundesliga leaders.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, missing long-term absentees Harry Kane and Dele Alli, opted for Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura up front. With doubts surrounding the fitness of Danny Rose, Jan Vertonghen was deployed as a left wing-back in an unfamiliar 3-5-2 formation, and the Belgian enjoyed one of his finest games for the club. 

Dortmund began threateningly, with Jadon Sancho and Christian Pulisic stretching the home defence and repeatedly getting dangerously close to the Tottenham goal. As the half progressed, both sides had decent spells of possession, but neither could carve open any real chances. It took until just before half-time for the game's first gilt-edged chance to materialise, and it fell to Dortmund. Sancho dinked a ball into the box from the right flank, and Dan-Axel Zagadou rose highest, powering a header towards goal. Lloris was on top form, producing a fine reflex save to palm the ball away. 

Whatever Mauricio Pochettino told his charges at the break, it worked. Tottenham looked a team transformed in the second 45 minutes, and had a goal only two minutes into the half when Son volleyed home Jan Vertonghen's inch-perfect cross. Tottenham immediately swarmed forward again, with Vertonghen again foraying forward before swinging a shot wide. Then Eriksen evaded the Dortmund offside trap to find himself through on goal, but chose to square to Son rather than shoot, and his cross was cut out by Zagadou at the last moment.

Dortmund seemed unable to string together more than five passes, and with 15 minutes to go Lucas Moura was the latest to go close for the hosts, seeing a close-range volley blocked for a corner. With seven minutes left to play, the second finally came. Moussa Sissoko whipped a ball in from the right, and arriving was Vertonghen, side-footing a volley past Roman Burki in a goal remarkably similar to Son's opener

But Spurs weren't finished, and soon they had a third. Eriksen, the protaganist for many of the home sides best moves, whipped in a corner for Llorente to head home. The Spaniard celebrated wildly, clearly feeling the weight of being Kane's replacement lift a little. And the Spurs fans in Wembley celebrated similarly as the full time whistle was blown - they knew the size of this result. Perhaps best of all for the home side is that they didn't concede any away goals, meaning one goal at Signal Iduna Park would require Dortmund to score five. A tough task indeed for the Bundesliga leaders.

Charles Whitehead

Charles Whitehead

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