Tottenham send message to the rest of Europe and hope quarter-final home game will be back in N17
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Spurs could have lost 4-1 in Germany and still gone through, but what sort of message would that have sent out?
After securing an emphatic 4-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund on aggregate in the Champions League round of 16, Spurs are now doing everything they can to host their next home match in Europe back in Tottenham.
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has been a long time coming, but this is the closest it has felt to finally opening.
Harry Kane’s 49th-minute goal at the Westfalenstadion, after Moussa Sissoko’s excellent through ball, 100 per cent assured the Lilywhites of a place in the quarter-finals.
After needing Hugo Lloris to be on top form in the first 45 and for bodies to be thrown on the line, the opener was timely for Spurs.
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Kane’s goal – his 24th in Europe for Tottenham – made him the club’s all-time leading goalscorer in European games and also handed them a crucial 1-0 win.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team could have lost 4-1 in Germany and still gone through, but what sort of message would that have sent out?
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Plenty would have looked at the result and fancied their chances against Spurs in the last-eight, but not so many will now.
Tottenham were paired with the runaway Bundesliga leaders and a side scoring for fun, yet they failed to breach Lloris’ goal once.
Yes Lucien Favre’s side are now out of form, but when they went to Wembley last month they were the favourites to progress.
Winning both matches and the way they did it will make Spurs one to avoid in the next round because they are learning from past mistakes.
Tottenham have to wait until Friday week (March 15) to find out who they will play in the last-eight and when they do discover their opponents, the planning can start.
Pochettino revealed post-match on Tuesday the club hope to play the quarter-final home leg in their new 62,062-seater stadium.
The games will be played during April – on either April 9 or 10 and then on April 16 or 17 – and for supporters it really feels like Spurs are close to coming home.
Ideally Tottenham will play the second leg on April 16 or 17 and if that is the case their new stadium should definitely host the tie.
Unfortunately the north London club are waiting on a few things like if Brighton & Hove Albion will reach the FA Cup semi-finals, therefore postponing the Premier League home meeting on April 7.
And test events also need to be confirmed, but that is expected in the near future and all of a sudden life at Spurs looks quite good again.
Considering Tottenham almost lost their third game in a row last weekend, that is one big turnaround from Pochettino and a group of players he has regularly called “heroes” this season.