Tottenham 3 - Borussia Dortmund 1: Harry Kane lifted Tottenham’s Wembley curse by scoring twice and firing his side to an opening Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund.
Son Heung-min’s early strike was quickly cancelled out by a stunning effort from Dortmund’s Andriy Yarmolenko but from there this match belonged to the unstoppable Kane.
He restored Spurs’ lead by capping a barnstorming run with an emphatic near-post finish before a cute shot in the second half secured a 3-1 victory and what could prove a vital result for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
The only blemish saw Jan Vertonghen sent off in added time for throwing an arm into the face of Mario Gotze. It looked a harsh decision but Vertonghen could now face a suspension.
Nothing, however, could spoil an impressive Tottenham win that should boost not only their hopes of making the knock-out stages but also their form at Wembley, where they had previously won only twice in 12 fixtures.
Kane was the driving force, his two goals the deserved reward for a complete performance that had Dortmund’s defence gasping for breath. Four goals now in four Champions League matches points to a striker among the very best in Europe.
Dortmund next take on Real Madrid, who thrashed APOEL, and if Spurs can see off the Cypriot side later this month they may find themselves in a commanding position in Group H.
Three goals in the first 15 minutes began with Kane setting free the sprinting Son down the left and while the South Korean looked to have made his angle too acute by driving to the byline, a rasping shot surprised Roman Burki, who was beaten at his near post.
Dortmund, however, responded brilliantly and within seven minutes they were level. Yarmolenko played a neat one-two with Shinji Kagawa before bending a left-footed shot past Hugo Lloris and into the top corner.
If that was the finesse, four minutes later Kane brought the brute force by shrugging off two Dortmund defenders, then nipping past a third and slamming the ball home, again past Burki’s near post.
Spurs were back in front but Dortmund continued to dictate for the rest of the first half. Ben Davies and Jan Vertonghen both had to make last-ditch interventions while Davinson Sanchez showed his inexperience by conceding possession to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose cross was just beyond Christian Pulisic at the back post.
Pulisic even had the ball in the net on the stroke of half-time but it was chalked off for offside after Aubameyang had needlessly involved himself in the build-up. The overriding feeling was one of relief among the home fans when a breathless opening period came to an end but Spurs enjoyed two glorious chances to make it three after the restart.
First, Kane blazed over after Christian Eriksen had slid him clear and then Son planted his finish into the stands after Kane had turned provider.
Dortmund should have made them pay and would have done had Aubameyang’s clinical half-volleyed finish not been ruled out for offside. Replays showed the striker was onside by a yard.
Any injustice felt by the visitors was quickly compounded by Kane, who collected another piercing Eriksen pass and dragged the ball inside the far post with his left foot. Lloris denied Aubameyang from close range and Kane should have had a hat-trick, skewing wide under pressure from Dan-Axel Zagadou, before making way for Fernando Llorente to join Serge Aurier in making his debut. It was almost the perfect night for Tottenham but even Vertonghen’s late dismissal could not quieten the cheers at the full-time whistle.
Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Son (Sissoko 83), Dembele, Dier, Eriksen, Kane (Llorente 87).
Subs Not Used:
Vorm, Trippier, Winks, Foyth, Walker-Peters.
Burki, Piszczek,Papastathopoulos, Toprak (Zagadou 80), Toljan, Dahoud (Castro 72), Sahin, Kagawa (Gotze 66), Yarmolenko, Aubameyang, Pulisic.
Subs Not Used:
Weidenfeller, Subotic, Isak, Philipp.
Gianluca Rocchi (Italy).
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