Tottenham 3-0 Borussia Dortmund: Son, Vertonghen and Llorente score

Son Heung-min loves playing Borussia Dortmund, the record books show that. He has scored more goals against them than any other club: five in five games during his time with Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen in Germany, and now four in five games for Tottenham in Europe. It is an amazing run.
Yet credit where it is due. Son's winner on Wednesday night was not fated or inevitable. His form against Dortmund, the certainty of him scoring, is not written in the stars. This was the work of a striker absolutely at the top of his game. It wasn't just that he found a way around the yellow wall again; right now, Son could find a way through just about any defensive line. 
With Tottenham beset by injuries he is keeping the momentum going in this corner of north (west, temporarily) London. If Harry Kane and Dele Alli return to a team that is still in Champions League and title contention, they will know who to thank. Son has scored 11 goals in his last 12 games, and more importantly, in 10 of the last 12, too. He is getting a lot of singles, which is keeping Tottenham hot; his goals are often a vital breakthrough, and the odd winner. 
Nice, too, that so many of his countrymen – and women – are making the journey to see the best Asian player in Premier League history. 
The streets around Wembley before kick-off were noticeably peopled by either visitors from Asia or members of the ex-pat Korean community in Britain. There have been good Korean players here before, but none quite like this.
Ji Sung-Park had an excellent spell at Manchester United, but he was invariably part of the fine supporting cast, rather than a marquee name. Son is Tottenham's star right now – surely their player of the season – and a genuine contender for Footballer of the Year. 
MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS AND MATCH ZONE
TOTTENHAM (3-4-1-2):
 Hugo Lloris 8 , Juan Foyth 7, Davinson Sanchez 7, Toby Alderweireld 7, Serge Aurier 7, Harry Winks 7.5, Moussa Sissoko 7, Jan Vertonghen 8.5, Christian Eriksen 8, Son Heung-min 8, Lucas Moura 7.
Subs:
 Llorente (Moura 84min), Lamela (Son 89), Wanyama (Sissoko 90).
Not used:
Gazzaniga, Trippier, Rose, Skipp.
MANAGER:
Mauricio Pochettino 7.5 
BORUSSIA DORTMUND (4-3-3):
 Roman Burki 6, Achraf Hakimi 5.5, Omer Toprak 5.5 ,Abdou Diallo 5.5, Dan-Axel Zagadou 5.5, Mahmoud Dahoud 6, Axel Witsel 6, Thomas Delaney 6, Jadon Sancho 7, Mario Gotze 5,Christian Pulisic 5. 
Subs:
 Schmelzer (Zagadou 77), Bruun Larsen (Pulisic 87), Guerreiro (Sancho 88).
Not used:
Hitz, Balerdi, Philipp, Wolf.
MANAGER:
Lucien Favre 5.5 
REFEREE:
 Antonio Mateu Lahoz 6
Attendance:
71,214 
 
He led the line on Wednesday night, broke the deadlock and inspired a victory against a team that currently stands five points clear in the Bundesliga. Tottenham were superb, particularly in the second half, and have close to ended the tie in 90 minutes. It would take a catastrophe for them not to progress now.
A word too, for Jan Vertonghen. He says he hates playing full back, let alone wing back, but took to the role like Roberto Carlos after half-time. He made Son's goal and scored the second. The third, a Fernando Llorente header from Christian Eriksen's corner, came at a time when Dortmund were quite simply in despair.
Son did that to them, with a finish that undid so much good first-half work from the visitors. Tottenham's high press boxed them in and possession was won on the left flank. Vertonghen's cross passed over the head of defender Dan-Axel Zagadou, who was poorly positioned, and Son took it on the volley, perfectly placed.
The second took a similar route to goal. This time the cross came from Serge Aurier and Vertonghen's run took him beyond his man at the far post, another volley defeating goalkeeper Roman Burki. 
The last time Dortmund visited Wembley it was they who had the injury problems, and Tottenham blew them away.
No-one was imagining a repeat on this occasion, shorn of Kane and Alli, and sure enough the first half was about hard graft and staying in the game. Tottenham pressed high and buzzed around in midfield, without testing Dortmund greatly, bar one shot from Son, which goalkeeper Burki kept out with his legs.
That aside, their only goal attempt of significance came after seven minutes when Davinson Sanchez won a mighty header in midfield which fell to Lucas Moura. He chested the ball down, then hit it on the volley just wide of the far upright. It was chess after that, Borussia Dortmund occasionally breaking out down the flanks through new Chelsea signing Christian Pulisic, and Jadon Sancho, aka the one that got away.
What a boon he would have been for Manchester City, had his club been more interested in giving the best of their youth team opportunity. Sancho certainly made the right call, when deciding he had more to offer than City were willing to place on show. He was at the heart of all that was good about Dortmund here, not least one move that he began by taking two Tottenham men out of the game, laying the ball off, before joining in again farther down field and whipping in a cross that unfortunately came to grief when it clipped one of his team-mates on its way into the area.
It hardly made it easier that Aurier, too often the weak link for all his European experience, went into the book of referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz after just 12 minutes. The Spanish official had little choice when Pulisic eased past him and Aurier clipped his heels. Tottenham were probably fortunate that he did not spot a similar offence by Moussa Sissoko later in the match, or one by Vertonghen on Achraf Hakimi. All were worthy yellow cards given the punishment meted out to Aurier.
Still, for all Dortmund's pressure – and this was an improved team on 2017, injuries notwithstanding – actual chances were limited. In the 15th minute, Tottenham got into a terrible tangle when the desire to play out from the back becomes a cheque they cannot cash. Toby Alderweireld was placed under pressure and clipped one in a panic to Juan Foyth, who received the ball with all the pleasure he might a parking ticket. Pulisic pounced but the angle was tight and Lloris saved at the near post.
The game then passed with possession but not huge pressure from Dortmund, until Thomas Delaney forced a save from Lloris after 35 minutes. The ball came out to Sanchez, who made a terrible hash of the clearance before danger passed. The best chance of the half, though, was Dortmund's last. 
There were seconds remaining when Sancho crossed from the right, the ball finding defender Dan-Axel Zagadou at the far post. The pace was taken out of his header by Foyth, allowing Lloris to claw it back when it seemed certain Dortmund were going to claim a vital away goal. Not quite Gordon Banks in Guadalajara, but on the night Wembley fell briefly silent in memory of the greatest goalkeeper, he would have surely appreciated the athleticism of a fellow World Cup winner. 
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