Harry Kane double helps Tottenham Hotspur produce sparkling European night to remember against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Champions League Group H: Tottenham Hotspur 3 Borussia Dortmund 1
Tottenham Hotspur produced a night to remember at Wembley Stadium, as a Harry Kane brace inspired a 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the first match in Group H of the Champions League 2017/18 season.
Mauricio Pochettino had constantly dispelled talk of a curse at the national area in the weeks ahead of the match and on this showing, he is quite right.
Spurs defended magnificently and although they got some luck, they full deserved all three points, which kick-starts their European campaign with a bang.
Pochettino made three changes at Wembley to the team which started the excellent 3-0 win at Everton.
Dele Alli missed out due to suspension, but Moussa Sissoko dropped to the bench alongside Kieran Trippier, as Heung-min Son and Serge Aurier were included from the off.
Aurier was handed his debut on the big stage and although Dortmund were without several key players, they still were able to put out an incredibly strong side.
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The likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Andriy Yarmolenko and Nuri Sahin all started at Wembley.
It highlighted the challenge facing Spurs and despite this being the opening match of Group H, you couldn’t help but feel it was also the crucial one.
What was noticeable from the off was how Tottenham didn’t appear nervous despite the magnitude of the match and after four minutes, they took the lead.
Davinson Sanchez intercepted a forward pass and lobbed the ball forward to Son, who headed down for Christian Eriksen.
The Dane passed into Harry Kane’s path and he played Son through, who squared up his opponent before firing past Roman Burki at his near post.
It was a breathtakingly quick counter-attack and wonderful move, but Spurs were also indebted to some poor goalkeeping from Borussia Dortmund’s number 38.
Pochettino and his players were not complaining though, and with only four minutes on the clock, they were leading thanks to Son’s seventh goal in nine games against the Black and Yellow.
Dortmund did respond, however, with a sustained spell of pressure and a dangerous centre by Lukasz Piszczek forced Toby Alderweireld into an important sliding challenge with nine minutes gone.
Spurs, after a fantastic start, were all of a sudden looking nervous and it didn’t take the German outfit long to get back on level terms.
Yarmolenko exchanged passes with former Manchester United ace Shinji Kagawa and curled past Hugo Lloris from 20-yards to stun the home fans.
It was a wonderful equaliser and by now the Wembley crowd should have known they were set to witness a cracker.
With quarter of an hour completed, Tottenham went ahead again, as Kane produced a piece of magic on the left.
The England international firstly outmuscled away skipper Sokratis Papastathopoulos, before he drove past Sahin and then curled home – with the goalkeeper Burki getting beat at his near post for a second time in quick succession.
It was a perfect demonstration of Kane’s qualities and having looked nervous, Spurs were in front again at Wembley.
Dortmund enjoyed more spells of possession following the second goal, but the hosts were defending resolutely.
Ben Davies crucially poked the ball away from Yarmolenko following an excellent cross by Sahin from the right, as the Black and Yellow pepped the Tottenham goal.
Peter Bosz saw his team go even closer on the half an hour mark when Christian Pulisic was put through and looked set to tee up Aubameyang for a tap-in, until Jan Vertonghen slide in to put the ball out for a throw.
It was a timely intervention from the Belgium defender and gave Pochettino’s side more confidence at the back.
Tottenham started to look more assured following that passage of play, although they were nearly caught out nine minutes before half time.
Sanchez gave the ball away and Dortmund broke quickly with Aubameyang getting in down the right.
He looked up and try and square for team-mate Pulisic, but his centre was overhit and the teenage attacker could only poke wide when off-balance.
It was a let-off for Spurs, lthough with half time approaching, they could be mightily pleased with their first-half work.
Dortmund had dominated the lions share of possession, but Tottenham had been able to restrict them to limited opportunities and also hit them at speed on the counter.
Then, on the stoke of half time, the German outfit did have the ball in the net through Pulisic, but it was correctly ruled out for offside due to Aubameyang interfering with play.
Referee Gianluca Rocchi brought the first 45 to an end soon after and Pochettino’s men had completed part one of the job.
With the home faithful in fine voice, Spurs should have given them a third goal to cheer about in the 50th minute.
The impressive Aurier knocked the ball inside for Eriksen, and he put Kane through on goal.
But with virtually just Burki to beat, the Spurs number 10 drilled over from just inside the area.
It looked a costly miss and yet less than 60 seconds later, Tottenham created another fine opportunity.
Eriksen and Kane were again involved and this time Son was the man presented with the change.
The South Korean cut inside his marker and composed himself, but curled over when he should have really scored.
With Dortmund showing their prowess during the first 45, you wondered how much Spurs may pay for failing to make the most of two great openings.
Bosz saw his team almost immediately punish Tottenham for their lack of clinicalness when Aubameyang fired home in the 56th minute.
The linesmen on the right-hand side had put his flag up for offside, however, much to the frustration of the visitors.
Dortmund’s annoyance was completely understandable, as Aubameyang was clearly onside from Sahin’s cross.
Was it the luck Spurs finally deserved at Wembley? Well, four minutes later it did seem like it might be when Kane scored again.
Mousa Dembele picked out Eriksen despite a number of bodies in his way and the Dane exchanged passes with Davies.
With Kane free on the left, Tottenham’s playmaker put him in and the Spurs striker drilled into the corner to send Wembley into raptures.
Just minutes after a huge let-off, Spurs had doubled their lead and the national stadium was rocking now!
The away side made their first change of the night with 66 on the clock as Mario Gotze replaced the ineffective Kagawa.
It highlighted the quality of the German outfit, although it was Spurs who were keen to get another goal.
Aurier and Eriksen, a combination which had looked dangerous all night, combined again with the latter picking out Davies, who saw a low effort pushed away by Burki.
Dortmund remained a threat, however, and in the 70th minute Lloris was called into action and delivered.
Sahin flicked on a Yarmolenko corner and Aubameyang got a shot off at the back post, but Tottenham’s captain got down well to save.
The next opportunity fell to the hosts when Kane cut back for Eriksen, yet he fired way over.
It was that same duo involved again in the 80th minute, but Kane scuffed his shot wide after collecting Eriksen’s header.
The Spurs faithful were urging their team over the line at Wembley and Pochettino killed some more time by bringing on Sissoko with seven minutes to go.
Son was the man to make way and he did so to a standing ovation after an excellent shift against the German side.
Four minutes later and it was Kane’s turn to leave to huge applause with Fernando Llorente coming on for his debut.
The fourth official signalled for fourth minutes of additional time at the end of the 90 and there was still time for more drama.
Vertonghen, who had been colossal, was surprisingly given a second yellow and then a red by referee Rochhi for a suspected elbow on Gotze.
It looked harsh on second inspection and was the only sour note on a terrific night for the Lilywhites.
After so much talk of a Wembley hoodoo, they made the national arena look like home against one of the best sides in Europe.
With Dortmund likely to be their main rival when it comes to progressing as runners-up to Real Madrid in Group H, Spurs may have also inflicted a killer blow already.
Only time will tell how big this victory is in the Champions League, but what is clear is this should give Tottenham a massive boost going forward this season.
They are back at Wembley on Saturday for the visit of Swansea City in the Premier League and they’ll be looking for a third consecutive win.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Aurier, Dembele, Dier, Davies; Son (Sissoko 83), Eriksen; Kane (Llorente 87).
Unused substitutes: Vorm, Trippier, Foyth, Winks, Walker-Peters.
Borussia Dortmund: Burki; Piszczek, Papastathopoulos, Toprak, Toljan (Zagadou 80); Dahoud (Castro 72), Sahin, Kagawa (Gotze 66); Yarmolenko, Aubameyang, Pulisic.
Unused substitutes: Weidenfeller, Subotic, Isak, Philipp.