Tottenham's Wembley Woes End as Kane Double Inspires Win
Tottenham Hotspur finally ended their Wembley Stadium hoodoo with a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night, thanks partly to another sensational performance from Harry Kane.
The 24-year-old played a huge role in all that was positive from Spurs throughout the evening, including picking out Son Heung-min in the opening exchanges to allow the South Korean to clinch his first Champions League goal of the season.
That was before the Englishman grabbed an expertly taken brace himself, following the visitor's Andriy Yarmolenko dispatching a wonder-strike to level things up after 10 minutes.
But even though it was a second stand out performance from the prolific talisman this week, and the fact Dortmund will certainly feel aggrieved after they were denied a second equaliser due to the linesman ruling out a perfectly legal goal, the biggest talking point of the evening has to be Tottenham's courageous victory at their troublesome temporary home - which leaves them level on points with Group F leaders Real Madrid.
The hosts settled into the game quickly and grabbed the perfect start, with Son finding the back of the net inside four minutes.
The 25-year-old was released into acres of space down the left-hand side thanks to a beautifully timed through ball from Kane, before beating the quickly-retreating defence with some impressive trickery and smashing home from an improbable angle, rocketing his effort past the poorly positioned Roman Burki at the near post.
However, after taking the lead Spurs were then pressed back into their own half for a sustained period, and the visitors quickly found themselves level thanks to a piece of individual brilliance.
Yarmolenko, who was making his first start for Dortmund since joining the German side from Dynamo Kiev earlier this summer, capitalised on a scrambled clearance from Tottenham’s defence before releasing an absolute thunderbolt from range, leaving Hugo Lloris with no chance.
But the Premier League side were not to be outdone, and just five minutes later Kane hammered the north Londeners back into the lead with an almost carbon copy of Son’s opener, after bulldozing his way through the visitor’s defence.
The 24-year-old frontman found space on the left-hand side after a long ball over the top of the Dortmund defence before driving into the area and again beating Burki at the near post, the second time the custodian’s positioning had let his side down in the opening quarter of an hour.
As the half went on Spurs found themselves on the back foot for the most part, with Mauricio Pochettino's side left grateful both Christian Pulisic's and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's final ball lacked precision.
Both pacy attackers combined on a number of occasions from either side of the Whites' area, but neither were able to find one another for the simplest of finishes when it counted.
After the break the visitors again started shaky, with Tottenham spurning two fantastic opportunities in the opening five minutes. The first fell to Kane, who was played through in on goal before skying his effort way over the bar, deciding to ignore the better positioned Son alongside him.
But just moments later it was the South Korea international's turn to waste a great chance by lifting his effort over the top of Burki's crossbar, after trying to bend his attempt around the 26-year-old Swiss goalkeeper.
As is often the case when a side waste a number of opportunities it comes back to haunt them, and that is what should have happened to the hosts, but for an incorrect decision from the linesman.
Aubameyang found himself unmarked at the back post and latched onto a well-delivered cross before turning his effort expertly past Lloris, only for the touchline official to somehow rule the 28-year-old's perfectly legal goal out, playing a huge part in maintaining Spurs' lead.
If that wasn't bad enough for the Bundesliga outfit they were then almost instantly punished by the star of the night, Kane, whose well-taken finish fashioned the breathing space the north Londeners had craved.
The England international was fed on the edge of the area before creating space for himself with a fine touch and dispatched his shot past the reach of the Dortmund custodian following a slight deflection from the attempted block of Lukasz Piszczek.
As the final 20 minutes ticked away Tottenham were able to exploit the tiring visitors by creating numerous clear cut chances, however, the hosts were unable to make any of their opportunities count.
But the tie finished on a slightly sour note for Spurs, after Jan Vertonghen was sent for a slightly earlier exit than his teammates after picking up a second yellow card after the 30-year-old's flailing arm seemed to catch substitute Mario Gotze in the face.
However, the North Londeners will have left Wembley satisfied after securing only their second victory under the national stadium's arch in 12 attempts, something they will hope they can continue.