Spurs played it differently to to beat Dortmund in the Champions League for the first victory of the season at their new “home”.
In the previous two outings at Wembley, which both ended in disappointment, Spurs had all the ball and didn’t win because they didn’t take their chances. Against Dortmund in the opening group game of this season’s Champions League the visitors took on that role.
The current German league leaders arrived in London minus a few of their regulars maybe this led to their formation looking like two at the back and everyone else camped on the Spurs box.
Spurs were under the cosh for a lot of that first half but thankfully two of the breakaways did come off. An early goal helps these days, remember the old times of “too early”. Not four minutes on the clock when Son nods down Davinson’s clearance to Eriksen, he passes to Kane and he in turn back to Son and all three are on a charge into the Dortmund box. But Son doesn’t need any help so bangs the ball past the keeper before he knows what happened. Another of those goals Son shouldn’t actually score, far too wide and tight an angle.
The lead didn’t last long, offside in the build up but Spurs could never really clear their lines and Hugo had absolutely no chance with Yarmolenko’s left foot curler from the right of the box into the top corner.
It was all Dortmund but Spurs were defending decently, though it was a back five most of the time. The scoreline parity lasted less time than Spurs lead.
Another breakaway, ball played up to Kane who held off the player trying to foul him, he climbs past the second defender who tries to block his route, then into the box about where Son was, but instead of head down blasting it like his teammate, Kane looks at the keeper and bangs a curler round him.
Dortmund moan about the build up. My thoughts if a player is just trying to stop another without even trying for the ball, he’s fair game.
Spurs survived the half with the lead, thankfully the Germans having an equaliser correctly chalked off for offside.
The second half was different, Spurs had more possession and better possession, further up the park. Both Son and Kane blazed good chances over the bar before Aubameyang thought he had equalised. This time was it incorrectly flagged offside? Well the striker, who struck the half volley, from an excellent cross, sweetly, wasn’t offside, two others were. Now they didn’t go for the ball but they influenced the defence and so were interfering with play.
Moments later the visitors were really seething as Kane doubled his tally on the night. Some really good build up play, nice left footed cross from new boy Aurier nearly found Davies, but when the ball was played into the middle, some one touch stuff between Son and Eriksen before the Dane played in Kane and this not being August, Kane did what Kane does.
There were more chances as Spurs looked more comfortable though they still had to rely on an excellent save from Lloris to deny Aubameyang. But Spurs missed some good chances, Sissoko galloping up the park you figure would be classed as one if it wasn’t Sissoko, noby surely was confident of him finishing it off.
Before that there was time for Mario Goetze to embarrass himself and his club with his pathetic tart routine after Vertonghen brushed the German’s face with his hand, which saw the Belgian depart after being shown a second yellow. Could have been worse, initially some thought it was a straight red and so a three match ban not one. Though that could have been appealed.
The new boys looked great additions. Davinson had a few dodgy moments but some excellent ones too. While Aurier, can you imagine selling Walker and getting this bloke for less than half the price? His in the box dummy followed up by charging through a Dortmund players instead of the usual hump up the park, or his playing out of the corner with Eriksen when everything looked covered. Looks a bargain at twice the price. As said in last post thought he’d get the European outings while Trippier played in the domestic games, wonder if the latter will change.
So where does that leave the Wembley hoodoo. Beating the current German league leaders in a confident display, if on the back foot for that first half. Last season they wouldn’t have won that.
And in this tough group it’s vital to win the home games, especially against your main competition for a qualifying spot.