Kane strikes amid defensive brilliance in Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Spurs (agg 0-4)
Tue 05 March 2019, 22:07|Tottenham Hotspur
Harry Kane crashed home a fine winner to become our all-time top goalscorer in Europe and cap a fantastic away performance against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night, confirming our place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the second time ever.
After a remarkable display of resilience to soak up the German side's first-half pressure as they tried in vain to overturn our 3-0 advantage from the first leg at Wembley last month, we found an away goal four minutes into the second half to go 1-0 up on the night and 4-0 in front on aggregate.
That left Dortmund needing five - but we wouldn't even allow them one as the superb Hugo Lloris, who had pulled off a string of great saves in the first period, maintained his clean sheet with the aid of two disciplined banks of players in front of him. It really was the ideal all-round away performance in Europe and is sure to provide a huge lift after a tough run of games on the domestic scene as we look forward to next Friday's draw for the last eight.
The first half was a story of admirable resilience in the face of a determined Dortmund side amid the deafening cauldron of Signal Iduna Park. The Bundesliga leaders, who made six changes to the side that lost at Wembley, hammered on the door at times, had 11 attempts at goal in that period - and that tally would have been more had it not been for some heroic defending inside the first 13 minutes as first Jan Vertonghen made a last-ditch tackle on returning skipper Marco Reus in the box before Davinson Sanchez vitally intervened at the near post to deny Paco Alcacer.
Reus was at the heart of most of Dortmund's attacking endeavours, his deflected shot dealt with by Lloris, while Christian Eriksen got back to block Mario Gotze's drive as the home side kept the pressure on. We had one big chance in the first period and it fell to Dortmund's nemesis. Heung-Min Son has a fantastic scoring record against the hosts but on this occasion, after being slipped through on goal by Eriksen, he fired wide of the near post under pressure.
Then, just after the half-hour mark, came a sustained push from Dortmund but we stood up, took everything they had and came out the other side. Alcacer's deflected shot flew wide, Dortmund kept the pressure on from the resulting corner, Reus picked out Julian Weigl in the box who was denied by Lloris and then an excellent near-post block from Ben Davies, Reus' shot was deflected over from the next corner and finally Lloris made a magnificent stop to turn away Gotze's shot from the left angle inside the box. With our wing-backs sitting deep, Son and Eriksen had dropped back to make a four-man midfield in an ultimately successful bid to stem the tide, although Jadon Sancho and Alcacer did managed to coax further saves from Lloris before the half was out.
We'd started to find a way to keep the ball in the last few moments before half-time and our attacking initiative carried on early into the second period as we grabbed that golden away goal on 49 minutes. Moussa Sissoko found Kane in a pocket of space with a ball straight through the middle, the striker took it under his spell and hammered a shot past Roman Burki from just inside the box. That was his 24th European goal for us, taking him clear of Jermain Defoe as our outright top European goalscorer of all time. As our travelling fans sung aloud, it might have got even better for Kane just afterwards when he spotted Burki off his line and had a go from distance but his effort sailed just over.
The goal really took the sting out of Dortmund's attack and the chances began to dry up from there. Substitute Christian Pulisic craned a header just over while Sissoko ran into bodies in the area as we went for a second before one last big chance for the hosts to get off the mark - Jacob Bruun Larsen played Alcacer through and in behind the defence but Lloris saved with his legs. The game was bookended by that save and Vertonghen's early tackle - symbolic of our excellent defensive display all night. Erik Lamela almost converted Serge Aurier's cross at the back post for a second in stoppage-time, but the job had already been done.
It was said before the game that Dortmund would come out firing in search of early goals - and to say they did that would be an understatement.
We had to withstand plenty of first-half pressure, but the moment that defined our defensive efforts came in the 33rd minute as the hosts really turned the screw. They had no less than five attempts at goal in those 60 seconds - Alcacer's shot deflected behind, then that incredible double-stop from Lloris and Davies to deny Weigl, followed swiftly by another strike deflected off-target, this time from Reus, before Lloris made one more terrific stop to claw away Gotze's right-footed effort from the left angle. Our goal was under siege but we held on, with Kane left to do the business at the other end in the second half to secure a hugely satisfying victory.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino reflected: "I'm so proud, so happy for the players and for our fans, for everyone. I think it's a very proud day. The effort was fantastic, of course it was a tough game but I think it's a fantastic result to be in the quarter-finals - that was our objective.
"We knew (they would attack) and of course, there was nothing to lose for Dortmund. When you have in your hands the possibility to be there (in the next round), you want to defend and be strong.
"The first 30 minutes of the game were tough for us but then we started to go forward and when we scored early in the second half, I think the game was over and we started to see the reality that we would be in the quarter-finals."
Goalscorer Kane added: "It's massive. It was a big team effort today. It was a tough game, in the first half they put a lot of pressure on and we needed to stay strong, Hugo made some big saves with some big blocks from the defence as well.
"At half-time we said to pick up the energy a bit more and if we get a chance to take it and thankfully we did that.
"We knew one goal would kind of kill the game off but they were going to keep attacking and pushing players forward. I stayed a bit higher in the second half, I didn't want to drop too deep, waited for that counter-attack and thankfully it worked."
Reaction on Spurs TV
Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Spurs (agg 0-4)
Borussia Dortmund (4-3-3): Burki, Wolf (Bruun Larsen 62), Akanji, Weigl, Diallo, Reus (c, Delaney 74), Witsel, Gotze, Sancho, Alcacer, Guerreiro (Pulisic 62). Substitutes (not used): Hitz, Zagadou, Hakimi, Schmelzer.
Spurs (3-4-1-2): Lloris (c), Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Aurier, Winks (Dier 55), Sissoko, Davies, Eriksen (Rose 83), Son (Lamela 70), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Wanyama, Lucas, Llorente.
Goal: Spurs - Kane 49.
Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED).
Venue: Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund.
Weather: Partly cloud, light winds, five degrees.