Tottenham eased past Borussia Dortmund to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2011 as Harry Kane became the club’s top scorer in European competition. Leading 3-0 from the first leg, Spurs were forced to survive a first-half barrage from the Bundesliga leaders in the crackling atmosphere of the Westfalenstadion.
But Kane’s intervention just after half-time ensured a comfortable second period in which the hosts failed to register a shot on target. Latching on to Moussa Sissoko’s pass, the England captain clinically lifted the ball past home goalkeeper Roman Burki into the right corner.
It was Kane’s first effort on goal and confirmed a 4-0 aggregate win for a Tottenham side that defended resolutely throughout. Kane’s 24th European goal moves him one clear of the club record he previously shared with Jermain Defoe. The draw for the quarter-finals takes place on Friday, 15 March.
Defensive show lays platform for Kane
Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs side have kept just one clean sheet in the Premier League in 2019, but they looked solid in Germany after deploying the same three-man defence that helped them to a commanding first-leg lead.
Jan Vertonghen’s 10th-minute tackle on Marco Reus exemplified their early resolve. Timing his challenge to perfection, the Belgian nipped the ball away from the Dortmund attacker who had broken clear inside the area.
When Dortmund did break through, Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made brilliant saves from Reus, Julian Weigl Mario Gotze and Jadon Sancho, while Weigl was denied a second time by a superb Ben Davies block.
Dortmund bombarded Lloris’ goal with five shots on target in the latter stages of the opening half, but Tottenham carried a threat on the break with the pace and movement of Son Heung-min and Kane.
Son clipped an effort just wide of the left post when clean through before Kane’s clinical finish inflicted a first home defeat on Dortmund under manager Lucien Favre.
It also ensured only Tottenham’s second ever appearance in the last eight of the competition.
Sancho struggles for Dortmund
Despite a strong first-half showing in which they monopolised possession and chances on goal, it proved a disappointing evening for Dortmund.
Former Borussia Monchengladbach and Nice coach Favre has taken the club back to the top of the Bundesliga as they aim for their first league title since 2012.
However, their attacking threat was blunted by a strong Tottenham defence with centre forward Paco Alcacer managing just 27 touches during the game.
That impacted on Dortmund’s other attackers, particularly after the break, with the likes of England winger Jadon Sancho struggling to make an impact as a result.
With no central thrust to the Germans play, the 18-year-old, who has registered nine goals this term, was shackled throughout and snatched at his only shot on target.
With just five touches in the Tottenham penalty area, Sancho was unable to influence the game in the final third.
Instead he was restricted to the middle of the pitch where he was well marshalled by a combination of Davies and Harry Winks.
Man of the match – Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
‘Lloris was great’ – what they said
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, speaking to BT Sport: “We are in the quarter-finals. I’m so happy for the players, and the fans. It’s an important victory. Of course we suffered a bit but it’s OK and we fully deserve to be to be in the quarter-final.
“Hugo Lloris was great. We conceded more chances than we expected but that’s football. After losing in the first leg they had nothing to lose.
“In the last 10 minutes of the first half it was difficult for us. They started to play a little but more and then in the first action when we were able to connect we managed to score the goal.
“Now it’s about enjoying that we are in the quarter-final. We need to feel proud.”
Clinical Kane emulates Gerrard – the stats
- Tottenham have qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions League for just the second time in the club’s history, last doing so back in 2010-11.
- Dortmund have now been eliminated at the last-16 stage of the Champions League on two of the last three occasions they have reached this stage (also in 2014-15 v Juventus).
- Tottenham have beaten Dortmund in each of their four Champions League meetings, meaning the German side have become the fourth side in the competition’s history to lose each of their opening four such matches against a single English side (also Olympiakos v Manchester United, SK Sturm Graz v Manchester United and Sparta Prague v Arsenal).
- Having lost just two of their first 12 home European contests against English sides (W6 D4 L2), Borussia Dortmund have now lost back-to-back such matches (both against Spurs).
- 12 of Tottenham’s 13 goals in the Champions League this season have come in the second-half (92%).
- Harry Kane’s opener for Tottenham made him their highest goalscorer in European competition in the club’s history (24).
- Kane is just the second Englishman to score at least five goals in multiple Champions League campaigns after Steven Gerrard, who did so in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
Tottenham resume their Premier League duties when they travel to Southampton on Saturday (15:00 GMT).
Source: BBC News