Borussia Dortmund looked by far the stronger side in their 3-0 home victory against Tottenham Hotspur in the 1st leg of their Round of 16 Europa League tie.
Thomas Tuchel’s Dortmund handed Spurs a thrashing at Signal Iduna Park, courtesy of a first-half goal by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and two goals in the second half by Marco Reus.
Tottenham Hotspur had a good start to the game, but gave in to the mounting pressure of Dortmund’s attacks — particularly in the second half. The Bundesliga outfit pierced through their midfield to set up Reus’ second goal of the game, as the visitors felt the absence of Mousa Dembele and Eric Dier, who were being rested for the fixture.
The Dortmund manager was impressed by his team’s display, both defensively and in attack. According to the club website, Thomas Tuchel said after the game, “We looked very fresh, very effective, very determined with our tackling and compactness. At the start, Tottenham were very strong. It was a very high-tempo match.
“We created a number of chances to score. In the second period, we were completely dominant; we pressed Tottenham back into their own half and kept them at a distance from our goal.”
Dortmund boss spoke highly of Marco Reus and Erik Durm
Delighted by Marco Reus’ performance in the second-half, Tuchel said, “He sets himself high standards and is striving towards a level of fitness that allows him to tackle and counter-press with absolute sharpness every three days. We are working on this. These two goals will help him get there.
“Nothing helps quite like goals. That’ll give him a boost. I’m absolutely delighted for Marco.”
With Erik Durm stepping up and doing justice to his responsibilities in the first-team game, the manager is keen on exploring his potential in the Dortmund side.
Talking about the left-back’s form, Tuchel said, “He’s doing very well. It’s astonishing, in the middle of our winter preparations he wasn’t even on our radar. He is very versatile, very good on the ball, making the right decisions, training well. It’s fun.”
Pochettino laments team’s performance
Tottenham Hotspur will need a magical performance in order to proceed to the quarter-final stage of the Europa League, but that doesn’t seem to be at the top of his to-do list.
According to the club website, the Argentine said, “I’m disappointed with our performance. We did not play well. That is why we lost the game. We need to fight in the return leg next week. Three-nil is not a good result for us but we still need to keep working hard.
“This was our first time losing 3-0 this season. We need to be calm and be sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Pochettino’s team selection for the fixture might be an indication that the Premier League title holds more value to Tottenham Hotspur, who are currently five points behind league leaders Leicester City. The last time Spurs won the top-tier English football title was in 1961.
Coincidentally, Borussia Dortmund too are five points behind league leaders Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. This is a huge improvement under new boss Thomas Tuchel, given that the team failed to qualify for Champions League football last season.