Champions League

Kane ends Wembley woe, downs Dortmund

2017-09-14 05:30
Harry Kane.(Getty Images)

London - Harry Kane banished Tottenham Hotspur's Wembley curse as the England striker's double sealed a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League opener on Wednesday.

With White Hart Lane being redeveloped, Tottenham are playing their home matches at the English national stadium this season and that had been bad news for Mauricio Pochettino's side.

Already scarred by damaging Wembley defeats in the Champions League and FA Cup semi-finals last term, Tottenham had lost to Chelsea and drawn with Burnley this season, sparking alarmist talk that they were jinxed at the hallowed north London venue.

But, after losing eight of their previous 12 matches at Wembley, Kane's predatory finishing ensured Tottenham finally enjoyed a night to remember in their temporary lodgings.

Son Heung-Min's first goal of the season put Tottenham ahead early on and, although Andriy Yarmolenko conjured a sublime equaliser, it was the hosts who possessed the killer instinct thanks to Kane's latest heroics.

Kane, who scored twice in Saturday's win at Everton, restored Tottenham's advantage before the interval and wrapped up the victory with his second goal after half-time.

Pitted in a tricky group that also includes holders Real Madrid, Tottenham's commanding display secured only their third win in 13 Wembley appearances and gave them an early boost in the battle for a place in the knockout stages.

The only blemish for Tottenham was a late sending off for a second bookable offence for Jan Vertonghen, who swung his forearm into Mario Gotze's face.

"It was so important to win, we are so happy. We increased our level in the second half and were very clinical," Pochettino said.

"It is more than three points. The team is more mature now. Harry Kane was fantastic."

Dortmund boss Peter Bosz added: "It's clear we weren't properly organised at the back in decisive moments.

"We didn't cover spaces behind the back four and that was crucial."

Dortmund arrived in London unbeaten so far this season, but their squad had been ravaged by injuries, with Marco Reus, Raphael Guerreiro, Andre Schurrle and Marcel Schmelzer among the key players sidelined.

It took Tottenham just four minutes to expose the fault lines in Dortmund's under-strength line-up as Son scored a fine individual goal.

Set free down the left flank, Son drove into the penalty area unchecked by Dortmund's defence and, with goalkeeper Roman Burki failing to guard his near post, the South Korean smashed a powerful strike into the roof of the net.

If that seemed like the perfect way for Tottenham to banish their Wembley angst, the positives vibes lasted just seven minutes.

When Yarmolenko played a one-two with Shinji Kagawa out on the right wing, there appeared little danger, but the Ukrainian darted onto the return pass and hit a superb curling effort over Hugo Lloris and into the far corner.

Yarmolenko's bolt from the blue could have been a hammer blow for Tottenham, but they recovered their composure impressively and regained the lead in the 15th minute.

In a carbon copy of Tottenham's first goal, Kane sprinted onto a long ball down the left wing, muscled his way into the area and slammed a perfectly-placed shot past Burki, who once again left his near post fatally exposed.

Dortmund ended the half frustrated after Christian Pulisic's strike was disallowed for offside.

Pochettino's men should have wrapped up the points immediately after the break when Kane and then Son fired over with only Burki to beat from the edge of the area.

Those glaring misses almost came back to haunt Spurs when Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang volleyed home at the far post, only to see his strike controversially erased by another offside flag.

But Kane ensured Tottenham would finally taste the winning feeling at Wembley as the England forward struck again with a clinical finish in the 60th minute.

Christian Eriksen's pass found Kane unmarked 18 yards from goal and he punished Dortmund's sloppy marking by drilling a low strike that deflected past Burki's despairing dive.

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WRAP: Champions League

2017-09-26 08:52

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 26 September 2017
Sevilla v Maribor, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 20:45
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 20:45
APOEL v Tottenham Hotspur, Neo GSP 20:45
Spartak Moskva v Liverpool, Otkrytiye Arena 20:45
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 20:45
Monaco v Porto, Stade Louis II. 20:45
Napoli v Feyenoord, Stadio San Paolo 20:45
Besiktas v RB Leipzig, Vodafone Stadyumu 20:45
Wednesday, 27 September 2017
Qarabag v Roma, Bakı Olimpiya Stadionu 18:00
Juventus v Olympiakos Piraeus, Allianz Stadium 20:45
Sporting CP v Barcelona, Estadio Jose Alvalade 20:45
Atletico Madrid v Chelsea, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 20:45
PSG v Bayern Munchen, Parc des Princes 20:45
Basel v Benfica, St. Jakob-Park 20:45
Anderlecht v Celtic, Stade Constant Vanden Stock 20:45
CSKA Moskva v Manchester United, VEB Arena 20:45
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
Real Madrid v Tottenham Hotspur, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 20:45
Manchester City v Napoli, Etihad Stadium 20:45
Maribor v Liverpool, Ljudski vrt 20:45
APOEL v Borussia Dortmund, Neo GSP 20:45
Spartak Moskva v Sevilla, Otkrytiye Arena 20:45
RB Leipzig v Porto, Red Bull Arena 20:45
Monaco v Besiktas, Stade Louis II. 20:45
Feyenoord v Shakhtar Donetsk, Stadion Feijenoord 20:45
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Qarabag v Atletico Madrid, Bakı Olimpiya Stadionu 18:00
Juventus v Sporting CP, Allianz Stadium 20:45
Bayern Munchen v Celtic, Allianz-Arena 20:45
Barcelona v Olympiakos Piraeus, Camp Nou 20:45
Benfica v Manchester United, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 20:45
Anderlecht v PSG, Stade Constant Vanden Stock 20:45
Chelsea v Roma, Stamford Bridge 20:45
CSKA Moskva v Basel, VEB Arena 20:45
Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Celtic v Bayern Munchen, Celtic Park 21:45
Sporting CP v Juventus, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Atletico Madrid v Qarabag, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:45
Manchester United v Benfica, Old Trafford 21:45
PSG v Anderlecht, Parc des Princes 21:45
Basel v CSKA Moskva, St. Jakob-Park 21:45
Olympiakos Piraeus v Barcelona, Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki 21:45
Roma v Chelsea, Stadio Olimpico 21:45
Wednesday, 01 November 2017
Besiktas v Monaco, Vodafone Stadyumu 19:00
Liverpool v Maribor, Anfield 21:45
Porto v RB Leipzig, Estadio Do Dragao 21:45
Sevilla v Spartak Moskva, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v Feyenoord, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v APOEL, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:45
Napoli v Manchester City, Stadio San Paolo 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid, Wembley Stadium 21:45
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