Tottenham Hotspur faced their toughest challenge in Europe to date, as they faced an away trip to favourites Borussia Dortmund. Mauricio Pochettino made a highly questionable decision to field a ‘weakened’ side than usual, and it proved to cost the Londoners as they were abolished 3-0 by the Germans, in what can only be described as a pathetic performance.
Goalkeeper and Defence:
Hugo Lloris: Lloris was one of the few starting eleven players that play week in and week out. Going into the game, Lloris knew he was going to face an uphill battle tonight as most anticipated Dortmund coming out all guns blazing. Unfortunately, Lloris was unable to aid Spurs in keeping the tie close as he saw the side concede three goals.
Was lucky that it wasn’t four, as he was left stranded after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang chipped one over him and grazed the post. He was able to make an outstanding save in the game, however, getting a great acrobatic hand to a marvellous shot from Henrikh Mkhitaryan. 5
Kieran Trippier: Wasn’t allowed to get into the Dortmund half at all, and also struggled to cope with Marco Reus. Trippier found himself in an unusual game, where his main occurrence was inside his own half, not the opponents. The former Burlney man found it hard to adjust to the fast pace of Dortmund, with Reus, Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan up front. 5
Toby Alderweireld: Alderweireld has been Tottenham’s most promising player, even in the dull periods. Although he and Kevin Wimmer had a tough task ahead, he was able to play at a decent level, however not at his best. The majority of the side struggled today and wasn’t helped by the team selection from Mauricio Pochettino. Alderweireld wasn’t allowed time on the ball and able to play it out from the back like he is accustomed to, but found himself deep inside his own box with hardly any touches of the ball. Although, he was able to make a key tackle as he stopped Eric Durm from cutting inside in the box during the first half. 6
Kevin Wimmer: Wimmer was fairly familiar with the side he was going to face, after just coming off several seasons in the Bundesliga you would have bet on him to have a solid game. That was not to be as he was unable to keep pace with the ever dangerous Aubameyang and found himself out of position regularly, seeming to have cost his side some goals, if not it could have. Wimmer has been excellent since filling the void spot of Jan Vertonghen, but this will be a game he wouldn’t want to remember since returning to Germany. 5
Ben Davies: Davies has seemed to be lacking in recent weeks. He was not able to get forward, like Trippier, and this seemed him to be thrown off of his game. The Welshman was unable to keep Mkhitaryan quiet and the Armenian looked dangerous all game. Davies wasn’t helped by the lack of tracking back from Heung-Min Son and that worsened the left back's night, inviting Durm to get forward as well. He also should have done better to follow Aubameyang for the first goal of the night as well. 4
Midfielders and Attack
Tom Carroll: Abysmal. Pochettino got his decision to start Carroll all wrong, the game wasn’t suited for him and he was so inexperienced in the role. Pochettino’s decision to start the Englishman in a game like this against arguably one of the best German sides around can be questioned for weeks, but Carroll’s performance was able to back that up 100%. As a defensive midfielder, knowing you will be defending the majority of the game, Carroll was far too aggressive.
He ventured forward and gave no protection to the back four, not to mention a mirrored performance by Ryan Mason. The young midfielder was possibly lucky to have stayed on the pitch after an extremely high boot. 3
Ryan Mason: Just as bad as Carroll in all honesty. Mason was very aggressive for the role that needed doing in this game and just added to the problems that Tottenham. Of course, he wasn’t able to get a hold of the ball as he likes doing, but he wasn’t able to do his defensive duties either. He would have been more effective if played next to an out and out defensive midfielder, like Eric Dier who was hugely missed today. 4
Joshua Onomah: Pochettino has shown great faith in the youngster and relied on his pace and fire to get forward to play a counter-attacking style tonight. Such a young player, with little experience, making his second European start against Dortmund, who were runners-up in the Champions League a few years back it is safe to say the youngster gained a bunch of experience from this game, but he also showed positive signs tonight.
Although he wasn’t allowed much of the ball, he was unlucky not to capitalise on the times he possessed the ball at his feet. The youngster was unlucky not to have a free kick, which at the time was challenged to have been a penalty. Positive signs for the future despite a quiet game. 5
Christian Eriksen: Nothing but a mediocre performance from the Danish international tonight. Eriksen could do nothing to make an impact, especially with the side having almost nothing of the ball. Hopefully, we can expect to see more magic from the playmaker at the Lane in the second leg next week. 4
Heung-Min Son: Promising statistics going into this game for the Korean. He had scored five goals in his last five games against Dortmund and all Spurs fans’ hope lied on his shoulders, with Harry Kane not starting . Son started on the left but moved up top in the second half, and could have earned his side a penalty but was denied by the referee. Besides from that, it was a quiet night from the former Bayer Leverkusen forward. 4
Nacer Chadli: Just did not seem comfortable in the central striking position. Refused to put himself about and close down, especially compared to Harry Kane. Got no sniff on goal the entire game and was replaced by Mousa Dembélé early on in the second half. 3
Mousa Dembélé: Every single fan would have loved to see him start, he simply cannot be tackled. With seemingly Pochettino having the league as his highest priority, it saw Dembélé start on the bench and make an introduction early on in the second half, replacing an embarrassing Nacer Chadli. Spurs’ substitutes were far from effective, mainly the fact they came on to a depressed and lacklustre side. 5
Erik Lamela: Lamela always works hard, even though he had come on to a defeated Tottenham side. He ran and ran and ran, non-stop, and although he hardly had any of the ball, it didn’t stop the Argentine. His attitude should have risen the squad morale, and on a different day, it would have, unfortunately, it was too late to fight back and Spurs looked reluctant to spur a comeback. 5
Harry Kane: Kane came on with around ten minutes left, hardly enough time to make a noticeable impact. He will not be receiving a rating, but was questionable not to have started this game with bottom side Villa on the weekend. After coming on, the English talisman had a chance, where he seemed to stop running for a split second to get on the end of a through ball, which he was unsuccessful at. N/A.