Tottenham Hotspur registered a resounding 3-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League and here are the five talking points from the match.
Spurs lucky not to fall behind after Foyth error
Having started the brighter of the two teams playing at the Wembley, Tottenham Hotspur had been unlucky not to take the lead after seeing a Lucas Moura shot sail wide of the post earlier in the night.
They were on the other end of the spectrum minutes later as Juan Foyth, starting in place of Kieran Trippier, lost the ball in his own box – with only the keeper to beat for Christian Pulisic, who failed to convert and let Mauricio Pochettino’s side of the hook.
Tottenham fail to match Dortmund’s early intensity
— UEFA.com DE (@UEFAcom_de) February 13, 2019
Having been let off the hook after a potentially game-changing error by Foyth, Spurs did not pick up from there and continued their wobbly form for almost the entirety of the first half.
Dortmund, on the other hand, were in the ascendancy and kept on moving upwards following Pulisic’s miss – only for them to fail with the final pass or the final touch each time.
Playing some pretty extravagant football at times, Mauricio Pochettino’s side were no match for the tempo which Dortmund set and were playing catch-up for almost the entire first period.
Sancho mesmerizes – dancing past men at will
Having captured the imagination of the English fans ever since his national team debut in the back-end of 2018, one of Sancho’s signature strengths has been his ability to get past men time and again. The Wembley crowd was there to see him in good numbers and the youngster did not disappoint, dancing past men almost as if they weren’t there at times in the first half.
His link-up with Pulisic, Gotze et al was a joy to behold and although he faded away like his team in second-half as Spurs took control, he certainly gave people the bang for their buck.
Spurs and Son Heung-Min continue to defy critics
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) February 13, 2019
Having had their own issues with injury and player unavailability in recent times, Tottenham Hotspur had been all but dismissed by the critics as no-hopers, both in terms of the title race as well as the Champions League.
While they were knocked out of the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup by a spirited Chelsea side, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have instead quietly climbed up the table in the Premier League, sitting only 5 points behind the leaders. They put up a magical performance in the second half here to thrash the German league leaders – Son Heung-Min one of the chief architects of their downfall.
The South Korean has carried Spurs on his own shoulders at times in the past few weeks and provided inspiration for them once again, finishing brilliantly in the 46th minute from Verthongen’s cross to put his team ahead.
This provided them with the base to score two more goals, inspite of what was a disastrous first-half showing.
Dortmund thrashed by Pochettino’s men as quarter-finals place beckons
📈Tottenham’s 2nd ever #UCL knock-out match win – first since the 1-0 R16 1st leg victory v AC Milan in Feb 2011
📉Borussia Dortmund’s joint heaviest #UCL defeat (5th time losing 3-0) pic.twitter.com/CBs4ryNuKd
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) February 13, 2019
Despite his failure to win a trophy bringing him under unprecedented scrutiny this season, Mauricio Pochettino remains unfazed and continues to work wonders at Spurs on a shoestring budget.
One of his best qualities is his ability to always somehow find a way to get things done, regardless of the tools in hand and when people expected not much from his side, the Argentine brought about a magical Champions League night at Wembley.
Having weaved his magic once again, Pochettino’s Spurs side are now on the brink of an unprecedented first European quarter-final under the Argentine manager, after having looked like a good bet to drop out of the group stages at one point.