UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE
ROUND OF 16
THURSDAY 17TH MARCH, 2016
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1(0) BORUSSIA DORTMUND 2(1)
(Dortmund won 5-1 on aggregate)
Aubameyang, 24, 70
Referee:- Nicola Rizzoli
Assistants:- Elenito Di Liberatore & Mauro Tonolini
Additional assistants:- Luca Banti & Antonio Damato
Fourth official:- Andrea Padovan
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Trippier, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Davies (sub Rose, 13); Dier, Mason; Lamela (sub Onomah, 75), Alli (sub Carroll, 70), Chadli; Son
Subs not used:- Vorm; Carter-Vickers; Winks; Kane
Booked:- Lamela(foul on Schmelzer), Alderweireld (foul on Kagawa)
Dortmund( 3-5-1-1):- Weidenfeller; Ginter, Subotic, Papastathopoulos (sub Durm, 54); Piszczek, Mkhitaryan (sub Kagawa, 71), Weigl, Castro, Schmelzer; Reus (sub Pulisic, 60); Aubameyang
(Armband to Weigl)
Subs not used:- Burki; Hummels; Sahin; Ramos
Booked:- Castro (foul on Lamela)
Bang, bang! Aubameyang puts tie beyond Spurs' reach
The pre-match atmosphere was good. The Spurs crowd were up for cheering their team onto a performance which they hoped would restore some pride. The 3,000 German fans in the lower tier of the south-west corner waved their banners, and flags and despite their occasional efforts of a good home crowd, they out-sung us throughout.
Those Dortmund fans were rewarded with another fine performance by their team, who had one or two adjustments from the team which beat us 3-0 last week. However, they proved just as formidable as last week, without over-stretching themselves.
The Dortmund formation was similar to that of last week, but I made it a 3-5-1-1 this time, with more emphasis upon containment of the home side. This was an endeavour in which they succeeded admirably, with Spurs hardly bothering goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller.
One of the banners displayed by the visiting fans read "The Unity", and this utter harmony between fans and players was once again displayed at the end of the game.
Spurs fielded a slightly stronger team than last week, with Eric Dier, Erik Lamela and Dele Alli involved this time. Both Lamela and Alli were replaced well before the end of the game, indicating where Mauricio Pochettino's priorities lie.
Once again Chadli (anonymous) and Son (too weak on the ball) disappointed, and assuming we do make next season's Champions' League these are places we will need to strengthen.
Dortmund's star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a goal in each half, both of which resulted from Spurs errors. Indeed, the Spurs goal also resulted from an error. Most of the game was played in the middle two-thirds with little goalmouth action to truly excite the crowd.
Even before the first minute had passed, Aubameyang latched onto a loose Spurs ball, and advanced down his right flank. His cross was aimed for Marco Reus (Captain tonight), but Lloris raced out to thwart that idea.
Ben Davies went down in the Spurs area after a collision (with Lloris), and required treatment. Davies never recovered, looking somewhat concussed, and had to be replaced by Danny Rose after only 13 minutes.
The visitors pressed Spurs everywhere, and like all good teams seemed to have men in numbers anywhere on the pitch to deal with Spurs when in possession. Mkhitaryan latched onto a loose ball in the middle, advancing towards the bye-line before teeing up Reus, whose shot passed wide.
Danny Rose was having an impact for Spurs, certainly in the opposition half. Kevin Wimmer sent a good ball to Kieran Trippier who won a corner, from which Dier headed wide at the near post. Dier was one of the Spurs players who can be satisfied with his performance making a number of good creative passes along with his defensive duties.
We had hoped for an early goal or two, to give us hope in the tie, but Aubameyang put it well beyond our reach with a 24th minute goal. This followed a failure by Erik Lamela to keep possession of Trippier's pass. Castro fed the ball to Aubameyang, who hit a great right footed shot into the net to the left of Hugo Lloris. That made it 1-0 on the night and 4-0 on aggregate. Spurs would need no less than five goals to secure the tie. That just was not going to happen.
More poor defensive work, this time from the usually reliable Wimmer, who was trying too much fancy stuff at the back, resulted in Alderweireld coming to his partner's rescue.
Lamela tried a shot after 36 minutes after a pass from Dele Alli, but the shot went too high. Alli was being contained and stemmed very well by the German efficiency. Son had a shot from the right go wide across goal, after Lamela's pass.
As the first half drew to a close, Alderweireld was required to clear from Mkhitaryan as he made a break for goal.
10 minutes into a so far uneventful second half, Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel started to rest certain players, replacing Piszczek with Erik Durm, who had made such an impression last week.
Trippier sent a good ball to Son, but not for the first time the South Korean International was unable to control and deal with the ball. Spurs had an escape after Alderweireld's attempted header failed, and that man Aubameyang had another chance, but fired wide.
Now Reus went off (applauded by both sets of fans) and was replaced by Pulisic.
Referee Nicola Rizzoli, who we have met before, was not giving much Spurs' way, and any decision he did give us was ironically cheered. Gonzalo Castro got the one yellow card for the visitors for stopping Lamela unfairly in his tracks.
Nacer Chadli had a shot blocked after 67 minutes, after a great ball by Alderweireld to Danny Rose, and Rose's cross.
However, the visitors went 2-0 up on the night with another Aubameyang goal. This one resulted from another Spurs breakdown in the middle and a pass by Mkhitaryan to Aubameyang, who fired home from the right hand Side of the goal.
Spurs did get a goal back through Son after Subotic's weak back pass, gifting the ball to our number 7. 2-1 down on the night still left us needing five goals!
Substitute Pulisic skipped his way round or through the Spurs defence on his left of goal, crossing to Castro, who fired over. After another failure by Son on the ball, Aubameyang made a break down the left and fed the ball to Kagawa, who fired high and wide.
There weren't many Spurs fans left in the ground to witness the last rites, but I understand there was more mutual love and respect expressed between the Dortmund players and fans. They must surely be favourites to win this Europa League.
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