Spurs win Group H, beating Dortmund with clinical 2-1 away win


Spurs, with a match to spare, secured top spot of Group H after Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min capped off a sublime second half by the away side. 

Tottenham enjoyed a remarkable transformation after the halftime break, as Kane punished the home side in the 49th minute with a clinical finish for his eighth goal in as many career Champions League matches. Only Didier Drogba and Diego Costa can boast about the same achievement.

Danny Rose, who enjoyed a sterling rebound performance after the adversity of not being included on the roster against Arsenal, won the ball back, playing Dele Alli into space. Dele knocked the ball on to Kane smartly, whose snapshot beat Roman Bürki to the bottom left-hand corner.

Dele then split the defence, somewhat fortuitously, and toe poked a pass to Son, who took a touch and banged it into the top corner, giving Bürki absolutely no chance.

Whatever Mauricio Pochettino said to his team at halftime had the desired effect, as Tottenham dominated proceedings in the second half.

Eric Dier made a few vital interceptions, ensuring Pochettino can rest a few of his best players against APOEL in the last group game.

First half

Nineteen minutes elapsed before a clear-cut opportunity fell to either team. Andriy Yarmolenko bypassed Spurs back three with a ball over the top for Dortmund’s poacher, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Alone on goal, Aubameyang made a hash of it, tentatively passing it well wide of the post.

The German side’s top scorer got another chance in the 32nd minute, this time making no mistake. Yarmolenko, who was responsible for creating any notable Dortmund threat, split Tottenham’s defence in two with an ingenious, no-look flick.

It took 40 minutes before Spurs really tested Roman Bürki. Rose zipped a low cross into Christian Eriksen’s stride, whose side-footed effort forced a strong reaction save from the Swiss keeper. Eriksen’s first-time shot was at an ideal height for Bürki to parry aside.

Dier connected well with a header directly from the ensuing corner, but Bürki somehow made an acrobatic save at full strength to maintain Dortmund’s narrow lead at the half.

Stifled in attack once again, Tottenham created little going forward for most of the first half. Eriksen and Son had weak efforts easily turned aside. Harry Winks and Dele Alli were absent in the first 45, barely getting a sniff. You could see Dele’s frustration mounting as he dropped deeper in an attempt to make something happen.

Bring on the round of 16

How things changed in the second half, though. Winks started to boss proceedings, allowing more space for Rose, Kane, Dele and Son to expose Dortmund’s fragile defence.

Undefeated so far in Group H after five matches, Tottenham deserve a favourable round-of-16 draw. Let’s hope fate is on the Lilywhites’ side.

Then again, to be the best you have to beat the best, and Spurs won’t be too concerned with a tough draw in the knockout stage. Just look at how they dominated the supposed group of death.

(This piece was originally featured on Tottenham HQ. Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

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