For the first time for 3 weeks, I can enjoy writing a review, given that we finally ended our winless streak! And what a win it was in Germany last night, a fantastic effort from the entire squad. So here’s my review on the game.
In terms of European games, it seems when we go with a back 3, we come out on top. We have used it against the likes of Dortmund before and Real Madrid, and it has served us well. So you can understand why Poch elected to use it once again as we travelled to face Dortmund in this return leg. I loved our starting 11, maybe would’ve elected to give Son a rest, but I can see why he started given his record against Dortmund. The usual skipper in net. Rose was given another rest, with Davies playing the role of LWB. Aurier came back into RWB. Sanchez, Toby and Jan were our trio at the back. Sissoko, and the returning Winks in midfield. With Eriksen and Kane joining Son, as previously mentioned up front. A solid starting lineup, but nevertheless, I was still nervous. For the reasons being, we hadn’t been playing well last few games, a couple of new faces in the opposition lineup like the returning Reus, and that 3 goal leads are not as much as people believe. Especially going to a place like Signal Iduna Park, with the atmosphere that Dortmund give.
This game was always going to be so key in terms of defensive duties, and our defence certainly did the job. From minute one we were always going to get attacked heavy and fast by the Dortmund lads, and boy did we. For the opening half hour we were on the defence, but at no point did our players seem overly phased. All of them were absolutely brilliant defensively, with top class tackles from the likes of Jan, and some fantastic saves from Hugo keeping it odds even. It was only in the last 10 minutes or so of the opening 45 where we started to find our feet a bit, passing it around a bit more confidently, after weathering the opening storm. We went into half time with a clean sheet, and looked poised to head into the next round.
Second half, it was all about continuing to defend well when needed, and maybe nick a goal when we get our chance. We were never going to get many chances in this game, but we definitely took it when it came. With Kane slotting past Burki shortly after the second half began. That goal all but sealed it. Killing almost any opening momentum from our opponents at the start of the second 45, and meaning we now had to concede 5 to exit. The rest of the game was merely controlling the ball, and if possible, keeping our clean sheet, and we did just that. 1-0, job done, quarter finals for the Tottenham boys.
Hugo Lloris was definitely man of the match. Fantastic saves all throughout the first half, and a big part in us keeping a clean sheet, along with all our defenders. Honourable mentions for everyone though. As for the first time in a few weeks, everyone put inn a good performance.
Now I just want to go through our possible opponents for the quarters. Ajax also went through, and ironically enough with a performance like that, I don’t really fancy drawing them. Although I think on our day we could maybe beat them over two legs. PSG are most likely going to make it past Man United, and I definitely wouldn’t want to face them. Arguably favourites to win it. Either Porto or Roma I think is another we can beat on our day, so would love to see that draw. I don’t want to face Juventus, Atletico, Man City, Barcelona. I don’t really like our chances against any of those teams. Liverpool is a no go for me, but if it were Bayern that made it through, I think that would be an excellent tie. But, whilst I’d love an easier team to stand a better chance of making it through, being in the champions league is about facing the biggest clubs in Europe. So in that respect, I’d love to face a PSG, Barcelona or Juventus again. Do I think we will make it through the quarters, probably not. But nevertheless, from almost being out in the groups to being in the quarter finals of the competition is a great feat, and I look forward to the next round. Bring on whoever we may face.
As always thanks for reading.