Tottenham Hotspur’s UEFA Europa League campaign is hanging by a thread after a 3-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund in the last 16 first leg tie at the Westfalenstadion.
In a game between the second-placed team in both the Premier League and the Bundesliga, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put a much-changed Spurs behind after 30 minutes.
Two goals from Marco Reus after half-time sealed a dominating win for the German side and meant Mauricio Pochettino’s team will have to produce one of the best comebacks in European football history to go through to the quarter-finals.
Tottenham made seven changes from the 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Saturday and Dortmund asserted their dominance from the start, with two good chances in the opening 14 minutes. Aubameyang did well to play in Erik Durm but the right winger was slipping as he fired wide with his left foot from ten yards after seven minutes.
Not long after, Hugo Lloris was forced into a sublime diving save when he pushed Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s 30-yard strike away and Aubameyang was offside when he turned in the rebound.
The prolific striker wasn’t to be denied much longer as he gave Dortmund the lead in the 30th minute. Marcel Schmelzer’s curling cross was met by the Gabon international’s powerful header that gave Lloris no chance as it nestled into the bottom corner, It was a wonderful header and Aubameyang’s 33rd goal of the season.
They nearly doubled their lead with eight minutes to go until half-time. Reus lined up a free-kick from 30 yards and the ball whistled past the post with Lloris beaten. Six minutes into the second half, Dortmund were denied by the frame of the goal. Aubameyang raced onto Mkhitaryan’s pass and squared it for Gonzalo Castro, but the holding midfielder hit the pots from a tight angle.
Dortmund did make it 2-0 in the 60th minute. Casto’s left-footed cross was flicked to the back post by substitute Neven Subotic and Reus was waiting to power in a volley from four yards. It was a well-worked goal and Dortmund were getting rewarded for their good performance.
Ten minutes later, Dortmund got a classy third goal. Aubameyang did well to hold the ball up and release Castro on the left before the defensive midfielder brilliantly picked out Reus with a chipped cross. The winger smashed in his second goal of the game with a half-volley from just inside the penalty area and Tottenham were in tatters.
Dortmund looked a threat every time they went forward and some sloppy finishing by Mkhitaryan stopped the attacking midfielder from making it 4-0. Schmelzer got forward from left-back and pulled it back for the Armenian but he blazed it over from ten yards.
Tottenham failed to force an away goal despite the arrival of Harry Kane from the bench and Dortmund cruised to a result that makes them heavy favourites to go through to the next round.
Match Report by Kyle Dixon (@kyledixon95)