Tottenham’s Europa League exit is confirmed after home defeat to Borussia Dortmund
Tottenham’s Europa League exit was confirmed as they suffered a 2-1 home defeat against Borussia Dortmund, losing their last-16 tie 5-1 on aggregate.
Spurs’ hopes were already slim when they took to the field at White Hart Lane this evening, having lost 3-0 to the 2013 Champions League finalists in Germany last Thursday – and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first-half strike effectively rubber-stamped the Lilywhites’ elimination before the interval.
The Gabon international striker then netted again 20 minutes from time before Tottenham got a consolation goal as Heung-Min Son pounced after a poor backpass from Neven Subotic.
Mauricio Pochettino made three changes from the side that had started the first leg on the continent, with Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Erik Lamela getting places in the line-up, while Harry Kane was left in reserve on the bench.
There was little to trouble either goalkeeper in the opening stages – although Hugo Lloris forced his boss to make an early substitution when he rushed off his line to intercept a through ball and clattered into left-back Ben Davies, who was unable to continue for long.
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Dortmund created the first chance as Henrikh Mkhitaryan ran in behind the Tottenham defence and backheeled the ball to Marco Reus, who fired wide of the near post. And, although Eric Dier went close with a header from a corner, the German outfit took the lead in the 24th minute.
Lamela gave the ball away and the Spurs players gave Aubameyang the room to advance before sending a swerving 25-yard drive past Lloris.
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It nearly got worse for the hosts as an error from Kevin Wimmer gave Aubameyang a run at goal, but Toby Alderweireld got back to make a tackle before spinning elegantly away from his next opponent on the edge of his own box.
The Belgian defender nearly made an impact at the other end of the field soon afterwards as Lamela’s free kick found him at the back post, but a slight deflection meant he was unable to get a shot on target.
Wimmer made a key sliding interception to stop Aubameyang getting in on goal again, and Spurs then created their best chance of the first period as Lamela freed Son, who scewed his shot wide of the left post.
However, the half ended with another big opportunity for Dortmund – and another fine piece of defending from Alderweireld. Wimmer’s failed attempt to win the ball ahead of Aubameyang near the halfway line allowed Mikhitaryan to run clean through against Lloris, but Alderweireld caught him and got a foot on the ball to save his side.
The visitors continued to threaten after the break though and Aubameyang shot wildly over from 10 yards before doubling his tally for the night in the 70th minute, taking Mkhitaryan’s pass and firing past Lloris.
Spurs pulled a goal back three minutes later as Dortmund made a rare error, Subotic underhitting his backpass and allowing Son to round goalkeeper Roman Weidenfellar and finish into the empty net.
The South Korea international eagerly sprinted back to the centre circle with the ball, but it was a little unclear what he was hoping for - an equaliser and the avoidance of a home defeat, probably, because the tie had ended as a contest long before.
Tottenham: Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Davies (Rose 13), Dier, Mason, Lamela (Onomah 74), Alli (Carroll 69), Chadli, Son
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs