Article by Rory Thompson @rory4spurs
A historic achievement for the club in an otherwise unremarkable game. Our first quarter final since 2011 and a 4-0 aggregate win over the team top of the Bundesliga.
The starting line was as strong as it could possibly be, apart from Davies starting over Rose and it was good to see Dier being fit enough to be on the bench. Fans all over social media were nervous about how the game was going to start and if we were going to qualify to the next round at all. The way Spurs started did nothing to stop these fears.
Dortmund started much the better of the two teams with fast flowing football in attack and early pressing in defence, Dortmund took command of the game and could have had 2 goals within the first 15 minutes. Spurs were slow and off the pace and had their resolute defence to thank for keeping them in the game. It felt as if it was only a matter of time before Dortmund took the lead.
However, the back 5 and Lloris had other ideas. They were impregnable with Jan making several key tackles, a much improved Davies blocking shots and Lloris producing world class save after world class save.
After a break in play on the 29th minute, Pochettino put Son to play wide left and this changed the complexion of the game. Dortmund were no longer having attack after attack and Spurs slowly started to take control of the game. Although, the half time whistle was a welcome sound to players and fans alike. The half time stats of their 10 shots to our 1 was a fair reflection on the game.
The second half started with Dortmund having 2 good opportunities in the first 2 minutes. However, after a fantastic through ball from Sissoko, Kane smashed the ball past Burki to give Spurs the lead. Knowing that they would need 5 goals to qualify to the quarter finals, seemed to deflate Dortmund and from that moment on, the game was realistically over as a contest.
Spurs were forced to make a change on the 55th minute with Winks going down with an injury. Hopefully, this was a precaution but it was good to see Dier get some minutes on his return. Dortmund had the last roll of the dice and brought on 2 subs but they never really made the desired impact. Towards the end of the game, Son and Eriksen were given a rest with Lamela and Rose getting some minutes. Spurs could have got a second goal but it was disallowed for being marginally offside.
This game feels like it could be a turning point, the players need to get the win against Southampton on Saturday but will then get three weeks away from the Premier League and it is a rest they all deserve. Hopefully, that will reinvigorate them for the last 2 months of the season with the battle for top 4 still on and a Champions League Quarter Final to look forward to!
Man of the Match
Lloris: Made some world class saves and produced a much improved performance than his last two games. Although, all the defence were absolutely fantastic!
Opposition Player who played well
Marco Reus: Most of Dortmund’s good play came through him and this performance was particularly impressive considering he is just returning from injury.
Lloris: 8.5 – Made a string of quality saves and showed real captain qualities in calming the defence.
Aurier: 7 – Made some good tackles but still needs to work on his concentration levels.
Jan: 8 – Made key interceptions and tackles, been fantastic in both legs of this match.
Toby: 7.5 – Solid at the back and tried to make some good diagonal passes.
Sanchez: 7.5 – Used his pace to stop any attacks in the first half and tried to play the ball out in the second half.
Davies: 7.5 – Much better performance than recent games and his block in the first half was vital.
Sissoko: 8 – Won the ball several time in midfield and just needs to work on the quality of his passing into the final third.
Winks: 7 – Always trying to move the ball forward and played well considering he was probably carrying a slight injury.
Eriksen: 6 – Nothing seemed to go right for him today, he will surely be needing the three week break the most.
Son: 7 – Played much better when playing on the left wing.
Kane: 7 – Superb finish to secure our progress but is still finding his way back into form.
Dier: 6 – A rusty performance but that is to be expected after 2 months out.
Lamela: 5.5 – Tried very hard but nothing seemed to go well for him.
Rose: NA – Not enough time to make an impact.