Going into the game, Thomas Tuchel only made one change compared to the clash against Bayern Munich, whereas Mauricio Pochettino opted to rest some of his best players for the Premier League.
Ilkay Gündogan picked up a knock on his foot during the final training and wasn’t able to participate. Gonzalo Castro slotted back into the team for him. Tuchel wasn’t shy to praise Spurs’ pressing and their Bundesliga-like playing style before the game, which made the loss of Borussia’s most pressing-resistant player, Gündogan, even worse.
Dortmund lined up in a similar shape to the game against Bayern, but Eirk Durm and (sometimes) Lukasz Piszczek pushed higher up the pitch in possession.
The game started off as every (neutral) football fan hoped it would: It had a great pace, good pressing and a showcase of great individual quality. The first few minutes Spurs got off to the better start and forced some Borussia turnovers in their own third, but the only resulting chance was a shot from distance by Eriksen.
But from the sixth minute on, Dortmund got better into the game and created chance after chance. The first in line was a shot from Castro. Unfortunately he lost his footing during the shot and couldn’t get in on goal.
Only one minute later Aubameyang found Durm, who had made a nice run inside the box, with a through ball. He followed the example of Castro, however: He slipped and missed.
The next goalscoring opportunity came in the 11th minute, resulting from the best attack to that point: Aubameyang found Schmelzer on the wing with a lovely outside-of-the-boot pass. Schmelzer then returned the favor with a cross back to the striker, who just missed the goal with a demanding volley.
In the 14th minute the Dortmund fans saw the ball inside the net for the first time, but unfortunately Aubameyang was offside as he slotted away a rebound from a great Mkhitaryan shot. At that point Spurs were lucky they hadn’t fallen behind.
Until the 30th minute the chances dried out a bit, but Dortmund came back with a bang; a banging header from Aubameyang to be precise.
Borussia displayed some nice combination play on the left wing which ultimately resulted in a great cross from Schmelzer. The Gabonese didn’t do any worse and his header beat Hugo Lloris for the long coming 1-0 lead.
The first rather ugly incident took place in the 36th minute. Tom Caroll had his foot high up during the fight for a loose ball and hit Schmelzer directly in the face. Caroll was lucky the referee only showed him a yellow card. The following free-kick from Reus just missed the goal (I don’t think I remember how a directly scored free-kick looks like).
Dortmund then took the foot off the gas a bit but stayed in total control. They even had two more chances but shots from Mkhitaryan and Durm were blocked.
Overall a very convincing half from Dortmund but the result of just 1-0 flattered the Spurs.
Both managers decided not to bring on any new players at the half and the game also continued with a dominant Borussia while Spurs sat a bit deeper than before.
The 51st minute brought a huge chance for Dortmund to double their lead: After some great passing from Weigl and Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang got the ball inside the box but his chip over the keeper only found Castro who then hit the post from a very tough angle.
Only a few seconds afterwards, Bender was lucky not to give away a penalty against Son after dragging the former Hamburg man to the ground.
Bender then had to leave the pitch a few minutes later because of an injury and Subotic came on for him. Spurs subbed out Nacer Chadli for Moussa Dembele at the same time.
Then the 62nd minute came and Marco Reus scored a very Marco Reus goal. After a nice set piece design from a Mkhitaryan corner, Subotic’s header found Reus at the far post who smashed it home emphatically from an almost impossible angle.
Eight minutes later. Weigl to Aubameyang to Castro to Reus. It sounds so simple but was so beautiful. A nice trough ball from Weigl to Aubameyang sliced open the entire Spurs midfield. Aubameyang then dribbled past a few opponents and found Castro, who played a lovely chip pass to Reus. The Germany international made no mistake and added another emphatic finish to his day of work.
Afterwards the game slowly faded away, although Spurs brought on some of their star players in Lamela (65.) and Kane (76.) for Eriksen and Son. Dortmund had another good scoring opportunity courtesy of Mkhitaryan, but the Armenian couldn’t connect with a powerful shot from close range.
The two goal-scorers Aubameyang and Reus left the pitch for Ramos and the “comeback“ of Kagawa (82.) and saw the game out from the bench.
Dortmund convincingly beat (up) a weakened Spurs side without conceding any real scoring opportunities. With this 3-0 win, the tie seems all but over barring a miracle at White Hart Lane.