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Dublin: 19 °C Friday 19 July, 2019


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Hello, and welcome to tonight’s liveblog.

Spurs face current Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund in what looks set to be an intriguing encounter.

Tonight’s first leg takes place at Wembley, before the return fixture at the Westfalenstadion on 5 March.

Plenty of the pre-match focus has been on England international Jadon Sancho, who has lit up the German league this season with eight goals and 10 assists.

The 18-year-old joined the club from Man City in 2017 and seemingly returns to English soil with a point to prove.

Spurs are currently missing two key players in Dele Alli and Harry Kane, but have still been in decent form without their star duo. In the Premier League, they have five wins from their last six matches.

The hosts also will go into this game in relatively confident mood, having beaten Dortmund twice in this competition in last season’s group stages.

Who do you think will progress to the quarter-finals?

Poll Results:

Tottenham (213)
Dortmund (209)

Tottenham Hotspur v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League - Round of 16 - First Leg - Wembley Stadium Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho before the UEFA Champions League round of 16, first leg match at Wembley Stadium. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

We’re under way…


Interestingly, Spurs have started this game with what looks like a 5-3-2 formation.

Jan Vertonghen, primarily a centre-back, has slotted in at left wing-back tonight.

Dortmund have started pretty confidently and are enjoying plenty of the ball in these opening stages.


Vertonghen’s cross is only half cleared. Sanchez heads it back into the area and it falls to Moura, who unleashes a powerful volley after taking a touch, with the ball flying just wide.

That would have been some goal!


Harry Winks steals the ball in midfield.

He then plays a quick through ball towards Son, but the pass is overhit and eludes the onrushing striker.

Tottenham are looking sharp and lively at the moment.


Aurier gets the first yellow card of the game, after cynically pulling back Pulisic and preventing him from sprinting away on the counter-attack.

Alderweireld and Son are the two Spurs players on a booking tonight and will miss the second leg if they are cautioned.


Foyth tries to take on his man on the edge of his own box and loses the ball.

Pulisic subsequently is through on goal, but his finish from a tight angle is straight at Lloris.

Spurs’ penchant for trying to play the ball out from the back is clearly something Dortmund have identified and their high pressing is causing the hosts problems early on.


Tottenham Hotspur v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League - Round of 16 - First Leg - Wembley Stadium Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur players line up to honour the late Emiliano Sala and Gordon Banks. Source: John Walton


Decent attempt from Witsel that Lloris gets down well to save after Winks concedes possession sloppily on the edge of his own area.

Spurs have contributed to their defensive problems early on.


This a good spell for Dortmund with Jadon Sancho increasingly influential in attack.

The visitors do not look overawed by their surroundings and appear a superior team to the one that lost here last season.


Son tries to turn away from his man but ends up running the ball out of play.

Spurs have been disappointing in the final third so far.


Foyth bursts forward and plays a nice one-two down the right with Aurier.

The youngster crosses for Eriksen, who can’t keep down his first-time shot.

Down the other end, Lloris gets down low to parry Delaney’s deflected effort from the edge of the area.

This game is finely poised right now.


Spurs have had 68% possession, but they have only had one shot on target to Dortmund’s two.

As I type, Sancho bursts forward and Sissoko appears to trip the English attacker as he approaches the area.

The referee waves play on, but replays illustrate that there clearly was contact between the pair.


Tottenham Hotspur v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League - Round of 16 - First Leg - Wembley Stadium Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic (left) and Tottenham Hotspur's Moussa Sissoko battle for the ball. Source: Adam Davy


Sancho’s cross finds the head of Zagadou. His header then deflects off the head of Foyth, before Lloris gets down well to make an excellent save.

That’s probably the closest Dortmund have come to a goal.


So half-time and it remains scoreless.

Dortmund have been the better side. They have controlled the play, with Pulisic and Sancho in particular looking dangerous with their pace and skill on the counter-attack.

Zagadou’s header on the brink of half-time was a good chance, while Pulisic also went close after Foyth sloppily conceded possession on the edge of his own area.

Spurs’ best effort came courtesy of a Moura volley from distance that went narrowly wide, but that moment aside, they have offered barely any attacking threat.


Here’s a look at that Lloris save at the end of the first half…


The second half has begun…


Dortmund lose the ball in the left-back position.

Eriksen plays it to Vertonghen, who produces an exquisite cross that Son converts with a volley as the ball flies just over the shoulder of Zagadou.

That’s Son’s 16th goal of the season, 11th in 12 matches and the fourth game in a row he’s scored at Wembley.

The South Korean international is certainly stepping up and really shining in the absence of Kane and Alli, while starting Vertonghen in the wing-back position has surely been justified by that moment of magic alone.



Tottenham are playing with a real sense of confidence now.

They break forward and Son does a Cruyff turn on the edge of the area before being cynically tripped by Delaney, who is booked as a result.


Eriksen’s free kick is disappointingly straight into the wall.

The Danish playmaker has been relatively quiet tonight. He has not had one of his better games, but then again, he is capable of conjuring something out of nothing at any given time and may well have a big say in this game.


Vertonghen bursts forward. He then shoots well off target when he would have been better off playing in Aurier.

Moments later, Eriksen’s weak shot from distance is easily saved by Bürki.


A big chance for Spurs.

Alderweireld picks out Eriksen with a long ball, who is in acres of space and looks suspiciously offside.

The Dane’s cross from the left wing is not quite strong enough, as Zagadou gets a head to it to deny the lurking Son.


Vertonghen crosses after a strong run by Sissoko.

Son is well positioned but his attempt is deflected out for a corner, which is subsequently cleared comfortably after an innocuous Foyth header falls straight into the path of the defender.

Tottenham have really picked it up in this second half, having looked the inferior team in the first.


Aurier’s cross is cut out by a over-stretched Toprak with Moura waiting in the middle.

Dortmund are hanging on here.


Sancho’s shot is saved by Lloris.

Better from Dortmund, who have not offered the same attacking threat as they did in the first half.


Tottenham break but Moura sprints through by himself and loses the ball when he would have been better off trying to pick out Son, who was free to his right.

This game is getting increasingly open as Dortmund push for an equaliser, and it would not be a surprise to see a goal at either end before the final whistle.


An Eriksen corner goes through a number of bodies before falling to Moura, whose powerful strike deflects over the bar off Delaney.

A second corner then falls to Moura, who takes a wild swing and his attempt goes well over.

Meanwhile, Dortmund make a change, with Schmelzer replacing Zagadou.


The referee took a quick look at VAR to see if it was a deliberate handball from that Moura effort from Eriksen’s corner.

He ultimately decided it was accidental and did not award the penalty. It was a refreshingly speedy decision that ultimately did not really disrupt the flow of the game at all.




If it wasn’t vindicated before, the decision to play Vertonghen as a wing-back is looking like a masterstroke now.

In addition to keeping Sancho relatively quiet, he now has a goal and an assist.

Aurier’s inch-perfect cross is converted on the volley by the Belgian defender to double Spurs’ advantage.


Wow! Llorente has only just coming on in place of Moura.

One of his first acts is to get on the end of Eriksen’s well-judged corner to head the ball past Bürki.

Dortmund respond by making a change, with Sancho replaced by Guerreiro.

Spurs also make a substitution, with Lamela on in place of the goalscorer Son.


Guerreiro also makes an instant impact, curling a shot from distance just wide.

There will be two minutes of added time.

Tottenham make a final change, as Wanyama comes on in place of Sissoko.

So that’s that.

Spurs have put themselves in an excellent position ahead of next month’s second leg in Germany with a comprehensive victory.

Vertonghen and Son in particular were superb.

It was an incredible turnaround after Dortmund looked the better side for much of the first half.

Son’s 11th goal in 12 games just after the break instilled the hosts with a sense of confidence they had previously lacked, and the North Londoners ultimately won the game well in the end.

The Bundesliga leaders, having begun so impressively, wilted as the match wore on.

The visitors’ slide was epitomised by the decreasing influence of Sancho — the young Englishman was arguably the best player on the pitch in the opening 45 minutes, but was fairly anonymous in the second period and ultimately was substituted near the end.

Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

You can read our match report here.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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