Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane made sure there was no comeback for Borussia Dortmund as Tottenham reached the Champions League quarterfinals with a 1-0 win on Tuesday. Kane’s 49th-minute strike after Lloris had made a series of outstanding saves ensured the visitors completed a 4-0 win on aggregate after securing a comfortable lead in the first leg of their last-16 meeting.
Moussa Sissoko played the ball into Kane’s path and the England striker, who missed the first leg with an ankle injury, picked his spot before dispatching an unstoppable effort past Roman Buerki in the Dortmund goal.
“Lloris was great. The mentality was good,” Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino said. “We conceded more chances than we expected, but that is football. When you beat them 3-0 in the first leg, it’s always difficult. There was nothing to lose for Borussia Dortmund, and they were taking a lot of risks.”
In Tuesday’s other game, Ajax knocked three-time defending champion Real Madrid out with a 4-1 away victory, progressing 5-3 on aggregate.
With Dortmund needing to overturn a three-goal deficit, the hosts duly dominated the game in terms of possession and chances, offering the visitors no respite.
“We created good chances. The only thing missing was the goal. Kane’s goal pulled the plug,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said.
Jan Vertonghen made a crucial interception to deny Marco Reus and Paco Alcacer went close before Lloris made a brilliant reflex save to thwart Reus’ deflected shot.
Son Heung-min, who sparked Tottenham’s win in the first leg, had the visitors’ first big chance after half an hour played, but spurned the opportunity with Marius Wolf tracking back to put him off.
Dortmund responded with even more pressure. Julian Weigl, Reus, and Mario Goetze all went agonizingly close _ the latter denied by a fingertip save from the outstanding Lloris.
It was the home side’s ninth attempt on goal. By the time the first half ended, Dortmund was up to 11 _ and still scoreless.
Reus flashed an effort across the face of goal as Dortmund started the second half in the same vein, but then Kane ended any remaining suspense.
It was the first goal Dortmund conceded at home in the competition this season.
United States international Christian Pulisic came on in the 62nd minute, his first appearance since injuring a thigh in the first leg on Feb. 13.
Dortmund, which has only one win from its last eight competitive games, has only the Bundesliga remaining. It still leads on goal difference from Bayern Munich, but only just after squandering what was once a nine-point lead.
“This should give us confidence for the championship,” Zorc said of his side’s remaining title ambitions.
Tottenham must improve in last eight, says Mauricio Pochettino
Tottenham Hotspur can be proud of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals after their 4-0 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund, but they must improve to take on the continent’s heavyweights, coach Mauricio Pochettino said on Tuesday.
Tottenham beat the Germans 1-0 in Dortmund, which combined with their 3-0 first-leg win in London meant they eased into the last eight – despite considerable pressure from Dortmund in a one-sided first half at the Westfalenstadion. “For me, to move to the next level or the last level, I think it is not only today to show a very professional performance,” Pochettino told reporters after the match.
“It is so important to be in the quarter-final, but you need to show more if you want to be at the next level.” “To build that possibility to be at the same level as the clubs that we are talking about, you need to start from the first step always. We are in the middle or 70 percent of moving forward.”
Spurs, however, looked efficient and clinical over the two legs, avoiding any of the mistakes that led to a bitter exit last year at the hands of Juventus at the same stage. “We fully deserved this. We scored four goals, did not concede and this was against a team that is top of the Bundesliga with great players.”
“Job done. I am happy for our players, for the fans, he said. “I think it was very important for us to win tonight. We suffered a bit in the first half but it is very important to be in the quarter-final.”
“We conceded more chances than we expected in the first half, but they had nothing to lose and were taking a lot of risks. It was a massive game for us, it was very tough, but I feel very proud.” Dortmund came agonisingly close to a goal late in the first half but keeper Hugo Lloris repeatedly denied Marco Reus, Mario Goetze and Julian Weigl. Harry Kane then scored the winner for Tottenham four minutes after the restart.
“It was difficult but we started fantastic in the second half. I think in the end it’s not too much to analyse, it’s just to enjoy that we are in the quarter-final. Along with the Premier League it is the most important competition, and we need to feel proud.”
“It is about enjoying and trying to recover because on Saturday against Southampton it is going to be a big battle.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines