Borussia Dortmund cruised through to the last eight of the UEFA Europa League with a polished, professional away performance against Tottenham Hotspur.
Thomas Tuchel’s side imposed their controlled rhythm from the start, and almost took the lead with the game’s first fluent move. Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s back-heel found Marco Reus, who ploughed his shot into the side netting.
Tottenham fought back, but just as the noisy home crowd were beginning to build up some hope, it was snuffed out in spectacular fashion. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s superb dipping strike from range left Spurs needing to score five times to progress.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men attacked the second half with renewed vigour, with the industrious Erik Lamela and Eric Dier leading their efforts. Yet Dortmund remained in charge, and Aubameyang got a second from close in after cruising onto the excellent Mkhitaryan’s through pass.
Tottenham finally did get on the scoresheet via Son Heung-Min. After collecting Neven Subotić’s stray pass, he rounded Roman Weidenfeller and passed his sixth goal in eight meetings with Die Schwarzgelben into an empty net. It was scant consolation as Spurs lost at home to German opponents for the first time in eight UEFA matches.
‘PEA’ a sensation again
Aubameyang’s two finishes took him to ten goals in the UEFA Europa League this term, qualifying included, but his all-round display was notable. His pace and movement worried Tottenham throughout and stifled their ability to play out from the back.
As he did in the recent Bundesliga fixture against Bayern München, Dortmund boss Tuchel fielded an auxiliary full-back. This time, however, it was on the right, with Matthias Ginter providing extra security for Łukasz Piszczek and allowing the Polish international to join the attack.
Crowd brings the occasion alive
In the same way the Westfalenstadion crowd helped the first leg along, so White Hart Lane continued to back its team in a hopeless situation. The old stadium rarely disappoints on a night of UEFA competition.