I’m going to preface this article with a few ones: firstly, I am sorry I haven’t written for the last few weeks but I have been in the grips of exams. Second, I am sure this is going to upset a few of you, but I genuinely believe our run in the Europa League is a waste of time at this point, and an unnecessary distraction from our title challenge. At this point, we have near assured Champions League placing so the only thing this tournament has to offer is a potential trophy. I would love to win a trophy, but I would much rather win THE trophy…the league! We’re in a 0-3 hole against a very strong team that featured in the Champions League final a few years back and I think it is time we pack our bags from the EL…In fact, I hope we never play in it again.
Early on in the clash Hugo and Davies had a little clattering of limbs and it seemed we might lose a man to injury in the first 10 minutes. Luckily, everyone was alright but unluckily it seemed that Dortmund was going to try and hammer home the result within the first half. We had trouble stringing together passes, and much of the first while was spent with them peppering around the edge of our box. Unfortunately, Davies was taken off injured several minutes later and replaced by Danny Rose (not a shock), though it is worth noting Davies was walking on his own and the change was likely precautionary. At around the twentieth minute mark we were able to establish a bit of momentum and set an offensive presence in the Dortmund end. While we largely utilized the flanks to attack, we had trouble finding bodies in the box to cross to or play in. After a poor turnover from Trippier, the ball falls to Aubameyang who was left unchallenged and curled a beautiful goal in from distance to make it 0-4 on aggregate and putting the nail in our coffin. We should buy that kid after we win the league. Oh wait….I remember he swore to never ever sign for us ever because Daniel Levy pissed him off once. A few minutes later Aubameyang found himself in through on goal until he was brilliantly closed down by the best defender in England, Toby Alderweireld, who then juked out 3 other Dortmund players – including a beautiful spin move thing I don’t know the name for it – to clear the ball safely. Very worried a team, say Barca for example, will try and scoop him up in the summer. Our issue going forward seems to be a lack of cohesion. We work the ball into a solid position on the flanks, then can’t find a man open in the middle. Whether we need to be more active in our off-the-ball movement, or more creative in our passing, there is no chance we can score even a single goal if we can’t bring the ball into the box. Mason and Alli virtually absent throughout the first half, while I don’t think Son had a single touch of the ball inside the box. Our passes weren’t quick enough, and the Dortmund defenders were consistently able to cut them out. Perhaps our best chance of the half saw Son run the ball into the edge of the box and shoot wide of the net, on a pretty close chance. Once again, Trippier makes a large mistake and allows Mkhitaryan in alone and again Toby makes a great defensive play to stop a 2-0 (5-0) Dortmund lead. Halftime is brought to you by this message from the Dortmund fans at White Hart Lane:
The second half is underway with no changes from either side, and my stream went down…so I missed a good portion of it. Cost of being a Canadian Spurs fan. I managed to get my stream back up for the 52nd minute, just in time to see a gorgeous ball over the top fall onto Son’s foot, but was too much for him to handle and was collected by the keeper (who is their keeper these days?). This half was played with much more urgency and speed, with both sides hitting back at each other in quick succession. Dier’s performance in the first half was fantastic, as he was very composed on the ball and spread it efficiently, but this half we were going for speed & goals. Reus comes off in the 60th and17-year-old US starlet Christian Pulisic comes on as his replacement. I really just want one goal against Dortmund, and then I am more than happy to focus 100% on the league. So this begs the question: WHERE IS KANE!? Alli comes off for Carroll in an aggressively offensive move, and right after I typed both of those sentences Aubameyang scores a second to make it an embarrassing 0-5 aggregate. How would out present look if we had signed him directly from St. Etienne a few years back? How would Liverpool look with the very impressive Mkhitaryan if their move for him paid off? At least we have Harry Kane. AND WE DID IT!!! Subotic makes a weak pass back to the Dortmund keeper and Son picks it out and rounds the keeper confidently to make his record against Dortmund at 6 goals in 6 games and salvage us a tiny amount of respect. 1-5 aggregate lmao. Onomah replaced Lamela and I end this because like..cmon. Son has been pretty consistent tonight, the main issue is a lack of service in dangerous positions. Though he could be faulted for missing a pretty solid chance in the first half, he has continually made good runs off the Dortmund shoulders and fallen deep to collect and help our midfielders. Ultimately, the half remained uneventful with Dortmund maintaining the more threatening chances. Full time whistle blows and….
Sorry, I just starting working on some typography and got a little carried away. Anyway, not much to say about that entire draw. Dortmund are very good and while we didn’t play the strongest teams, I expected more from us. Thankfully, I am of the persuasion that we should not participate in the Europa League (normally I like it, but we’re too close to the title for that right now) and I am pretty pleased that we’re out…though disappointed in the result and performances. Wish we could have put up more of a fight. Now all our focus comes to the league…will we prevail? COYS!