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Tottenham 3-0 Borussia Dortmund: 5 Hits and Flops

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.78K   //    14 Feb 2019, 11:52 IST

Tottenham players celebrate after Son's timely opener just minutes into the second-half
Tottenham players celebrate after Son's timely opener just minutes into the second-half

Second-half goals from Heung Min-Son, Jan Vertonghen and substitute Fernando Llorente saw Tottenham earn a commanding first-leg advantage against a tricky Borussia Dortmund side in their Champions League last-16 tie at Wembley. The result sees Mauricio Pochettino's men in real control, with the second leg tie to come in Germany on March 5.

Son's first-time volley after a fantastic delivery by marauding wing-back Jan Vertonghen saw the hosts break the deadlock just a minute after the restart, following an intriguing first-half where Lucas Moura and Dan-Axel Zagadou both came close for their respective sides.

Despite enduring a first-half where the Bundesliga leaders appeared the more threatening for large periods and could've netted a crucial away goal if not for Hugo Lloris, Spurs responded well after Pochettino's tactical tweak proved pivotal in their fast start after the break and eventual confident victory.

With that all in mind, here's a look at five hits and flops from Tottenham's morale-boosting victory on Wednesday evening:


#5 Flop: Achraf Hakimi

Hakimi had his moments, but ultimately failed to remain alert for two of Spurs' goals
Hakimi had his moments, but ultimately failed to remain alert for two of Spurs' goals

Achraf Hakimi has enjoyed an excellent season with Dortmund to date, on-loan from Real Madrid. A consistent and reliable performer, Wednesday highlighted the key areas for improvement that he'll need to address sooner rather than later, if he's to assert himself as one of Europe's best fullbacks in the coming years.

Seen as a potential weakness by Tottenham, he found himself being physically overpowered by someone bigger, stronger and more experienced in the hosts' Jan Vertonghen. It's not good enough an excuse to make though, as the Morocco international should have done more to limit the 31-year-old's impact - especially as Jan's not a left-sided winger either.

Whether that be to command more defensive support from Jadon Sancho further forward, or better yet, to commit a tactical foul and shoo him away instead of inviting him to constantly maraud his way, he didn't provide the visitors with much confidence in possession and looked vulnerable at times. 

Although a quick player, he was slow and appeared sloppy at times when it came to loose balls. In games like these, teams are always going to prey on every subtle weakness and Spurs could sense he was uncomfortable with the physical mismatch, so Vertonghen persisted to overload that side of the pitch.

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For Son's strike, he shouldn't have let Vertonghen whip his delivery in. Easier said than done, he lost possession so cheaply in his own half, to begin with - then virtually watched him cross it in.

Vertonghen's goal is about spatial awareness. He was alongside the Belgian but found himself left behind as Serge Aurier launched a lofted ball into the box, which the versatile defender was more than happy to slot home.

The manner of their defeat will prove an invaluable experience for Dortmund's young core as they're very talented but found themselves outworked and ultimately overrun against a Tottenham side with a comfortable advantage ahead of next month's return leg.

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