Aubameyang double helps Borussia Dortmund seal deal against Spurs
Mauricio Pochettino again leaves out key men for second leg
Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores the first of his goals during the Europa League second leg against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart lane. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters/Livepic
Tottenham Hotspur 1 Borussia Dortmund 2 (Dortmund win 5-1 on aggregate)
Only time will tell if this sacrifice was one worth taking for Mauricio Pochettino. His rotation in Germany meant Tottenham Hotspur had but the slimmest of chances before a ball had even been kicked in this second leg and, thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s double, any hopes of an unlikely European comeback never got off the ground.
Spurs have prioritised the Premier League, where they sit five points behind the leaders Leicester City, and Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Mousa Dembélé played no part here. Dortmund, though, are also five points off the summit in the Bundesliga and opted for a far stronger selection across two legs that they dominated.
They were already three goals up before Aubameyang’s superb strike in the first half. The Gabonese forward added a second with 20 minutes remaining and, while Son scored a late consolation, Pochettino will hope his side produce a better performance against Bournemouth this weekend.
The lack of edge to this fixture was keenly felt from the start. Thankfully the Dortmund fans made noise enough for two sets of supporters. The corner of yellow never stopped singing and raised a banner before kick-off that read “Uefa Super League? Shut the f**k up!” in response to talk of a pan-European elite division being established by the governing body.
Tottenham barely had a sniff in a first half that started badly with Ben Davies colliding with Hugo Lloris following Marco Reus’s ball in from the left. Davies was replaced by Danny Rose but Spurs’ usually tight defence was ponderous early on.
Reus should have done better in the 14th minute but dragged Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s back-flick wide from inside the area, before Eric Dier headed an Érik Lamela corner narrowly wide. The build-up to that Dier chance saw Kieran Trippier’s cross headed behind and Pochettino was visibly vexed that no white shirt made a move to the near post.
Soon Dortmund had an away goal and Aubameyang’s strike was sublime. Again Spurs were slow in defence and when the ball fell to the Gabon forward 25 yards from goal on the left he needed little invitation, making room before hitting a sweet shot that sailed past Lloris into the left corner of the goalkeeper’s net.
Were it not for Toby Alderweireld things could have been even worse, the Belgian denying Aubameyang and then Mkhitaryan with fine challenges.
Dortmund began the second half in complete control and, as the match wore on, their quality shone through. Changes or not, they comprehensively outplayed Tottenham over two legs and, on this evidence, have the ability to go all the way in this competition.
Aubameyang was slipped through in the 57th minute but shanked his left-footed effort high and wide before the Dortmund coach, Thomas Tuchel, brought off Reus, the captain, in the knowledge that the tie had long been over.
Aubameyang extended the woe with 20 minutes remaining. Mkhitaryan picked the ball up on the halfway line and drove forward, feeding Aubameyang into the area down the right and, while Lloris got a palm on the resulting shot, he could not prevent it going in.