Usually I use a picture of the stadium we were at in the game I’m writing about, but after last night’s performance, Jan is my picture. Of course he is.
Anyway.. Onto my thoughts. Wow. I mean. Wow. I have woken up on Valentines Day with a lot of love for Tottenham Hotspur that’s for sure. A fantastic return to European Football, and an even better result to take back to Germany. Here’s my review.
So going into this game, whilst we were winning games, we haven’t had a performance to properly praise in a while. Nevertheless, we had been grinding out the results, and not losing definitely gives confidence to the team, and tonight it showed. The starting line-up was good, playing a 3 back with wing-back roles. Last games Man of the Match Hugo Lloris in goal. The man who opened his Spurs scoring account last game Sanchez, next to Toby and Foyth in the CB positions. We started Aurier and Jan in the wingback roles, with Sissoko and Winks in midfield. Lucas and Eriksen started just behind our Sonny boy up front. A solid team.
Now I wish I could just start with reviewing the second half as I think I’ll enjoy that more. But, I will stick to reviewing the whole game, and in terms of the first half, I think Dortmund definitely played better, but that’s not to say we didn’t have our chances too. Lucas volleyed just wide early on from a Sanchez header, we also did look dangerous going forwards, over hitting a couple of what would’ve been top passes through. Our opponents had their chances, and a few really good ones, but our captain continued his good form, making an excellent save to keep just before half time to keep the scores even. What could’ve been if we went into half time 1-0 down is an interesting thought, but we stuck it out, with all to play for in the second 45.
Now for the good bit. Let’s look at the latter half of the game. Or as I like to call it, the best performance from a Spurs team I have seen in a long time! And it couldn’t have started much better from the boys. In just the 47th minute, Jan Vertonghen put in a delightful cross into our man in form Heung Min Son, who calmly volleyed the ball into the top left corner. Can’t stop scoring at the moment can he, what a player he has been for us the season. From then I thought we would pull back a bit, attempt tot hold onto a lead and a vital clean sheet to go into the return leg with. Oh how I was wrong. The lads carried on pushing and just shutting Dortmund out on every attack. And in the 83rd minute, we were rewarded. Serge put in a fantastic cross into Jan, who thumped it past Burki for 2-0. A brilliant cross met by an equally brilliant finish by our veteran. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, off the bench comes big Fernando Llorente, with practically his first touch, nods in a header into the back right corner from a near post Eriksen corner just three minutes after our second goal. 3-0 up against the Bundesliga leaders. Flashbacks of ‘THEY’RE IN DREAMLAND TOTTENHAM NOW’, when we similarly lead 3-0 against Madrid last year, when I was actually at the game! Full time soon followed, and a 3-0 win against Dortmund, with the tie very strongly in our control for the next game in Germany.
Normally this is the point when I name a couple of players who I was impressed with, but I can’t. Because it’s everyone. I can name every single player because they all played their part in this emphatic win. Lloris. Made some very good saves first half, particularly keeping the score 0-0 just before the end of the half. Foyth, another fantastic and mature performance, looked very good all game, minus one small slip up early on. Found his feet and played very well. Toby Alderweireld, playing cross field ping balls all game long, defended well, the usual. Sanchez, whilst was tortured by Sancho first half, played much better second half, another solid game in a Spurs shirt for the Columbian. Aurier. Some brilliant tackles, great offensive and defensive work all night, and a fantastic cross for our second goal. Jan Vertonghen I’ll leave until the end, because he deserves his own paragraph for goodness sake. Winks and Sissoko fantastic in the midfield, both playing some very key passes, making good runs, and keeping the team ticking as it were all up and down the Wembley pitch. Lucas had a good game, whilst not scoring, had some tough chances that he took well, again made some top driving runs at the Dortmund defence, another solid night for our latest signing (that we now made over a year ago actually…). Eriksen was once again brilliant, and again shows the board that they need to pay him what he wants, such a key man for us, playing beautiful passes all night, and all round another fantastic game for the Dane, with an assist to top it off at the end. Son, well what do I say. Another goal to add to the ever-growing tally this season, opening the scoring, working his little butt off all game long once again, and if it weren’t for one other man, a Man of the Match performance.
Two words. Jan Vertonghen. You wouldn’t have thought a 31 year-old would put in one of the best Left Wing Back performances in Europe this season. And that’s not disrespect to Jan, it’s just not his natural position, but boy did he make it his last night. Defensively. A wall as per usual. Making tackles up and down the pitch. Keeping the ball moving constantly. Making runs offensively, defensively, and well putting in fantastic crosses in for goals. And to top it off a brilliant finish for who will definitely be a club legend. A goal, an assist, and a definite Man of the Match performance from our number 5.
So what a night. Performances from all our players were phenomenal, a 3-0 lead to take to Dortmund in three weeks, and all without Dele Alli and Harry Kane! Who needs them anyway…
As always thanks for reading.