Jan Vertoghen inspires Tottenham Hotspur victory over Borussia Dortmund in Champions League round of 16

An unlikely strong performance from Jan Vertonghen at left wing-back propelled Tottenham Hotspur to a 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie.

He provided the assist for Son Heung-Min just after half-time before getting one of his own in the last ten minutes, promptly followed by a goal for substitute Fernando Llorente.

The goals were something of a surprise, the first half being a very even affair between two injury-hit teams.

Team news: 

Both sides had a slew of absences to deal with. On Tottenham's side, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, and Ben Davies were all absent, although the return of Victor Wanyama to the bench is a positive sign for the coming weeks.

Dortmund were missing both of their topscorers in the league, Marco Reus and Paco Alcácer, as well as Julian Weigl and Ɓukasz Piszczek.

Tottenham were forced into more of a radical change in line-up than their opponents, playing Jan Vertonghen at left wing-back, but the playing field was a little more level than it might have been.


1-0 (47 mins) - A beautifully weighted cross by Jan Vertoghen floated just over the head of Dortmund defender Dan-Axel Zagadou and found Son, who finished on the volley from just eight yards out.

2-0 (83 mins) - Vertonghen went from provider to scorer, as fellow wing-back Serge Aurier put in a cross that the Belgian pounced on at the far post.

3-0 (86 mins) - A fairly simple goal. A well-delivered corner from Christian Eriksen was found by Llorente, who had only been substituted on two minutes earlier, nodding it past Roman Bürki in the Dortmund goal.

Key moment: 

It sounds silly to say it, but the goal was the key moment of the match. In the first half, Dortmund were most threatening on the counter-attack. Scoring allowed Spurs to sit deeper to help nullify this threat, and spring counter-attacks of their own.

Key player: Son Heung-Min and Jan Vertonghen

It might be cheating to give two players the award, but in the second half they struck up a tremendous partnership that continued long after the goal.

Son has turned into a phenomenal forward in the absence of Harry Kane, being involved in 16 goals in his last 12 games for Tottenham (11 goals and five assists).

And then it was turn for Vertonghen to get one of his own, showing a forward's nose for goal in the last ten minutes of the game to get on the end of Aurier's cross.

What it means: 

Tottenham will take a 3-0 lead into the second leg (March 5) and, crucially, haven't conceded an away goal. They are most definitely in pole position to progress to the quarter-finals.

Key stats:


Tottenham Hotspur (3-4-2-1): Lloris; Foyth, Sánchez, Alderweireld; Aurier, Sissoko (Wanyama 91), Winks, Vertonghen; Lucas Moura (Llorente 84), Eriksen; Son (Lamela 90).

Subs not used: Trippier, Rose, Gazzaniga, Skipp.

Borussia Dortmund (4-2-3-1): Bürki; Hakimi, Toprak, Zagadou (Schmelzer 77), Diallo; Witsel, Delaney; Sancho (Guerreiro 88), Dahoud, Pulisic (Bruun Larsen 88); Götze.

Subs not used: Balerdi, Philipp, Wolf, Hitz.

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