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UCL last 16: Tottenham cruise past Dortmund, Real beat Ajax

  • 14 Feb 2019

Tottenham Hotspur thump Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium to give them the clear edge following the first leg of their last 16 Champions League tie, while defending champions Real Madrid overcame a spirited Ajax, with little help from VAR.

Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen scores his teams second goal during their UEFA Champions League round of 16 match against Borrusia Dortmund at Wembley on February 13, 2019. ( Reuters )

Defender Jan Vertonghen scored once and set up another goal for Son Heung-min as Tottenham Hotspur thumped Borussia Dortmund 3-0 at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday to give them the clear edge following the first leg of their last 16 Champions League tie.

Tottenham looked unfazed by the absence of injured captain Harry Kane and Dele Alli, scoring all three goals in a strong second half to take control of the tie and leave the Germans on the brink of a European exit.

Belgian Vertonghen notched his first goal in the Champions League with a well-timed volley in the 83rd minute after he had set up forward Son for a 47th minute lead. Substitute Fernando Llorente grabbed their third in the 86th, two minutes after coming on.

That was Son's ninth goal against Dortmund in 11 matches, with the South Korean, who played in the Bundesliga from 2010-15, having also scored twice in the competition's group stage last season.

"It was a fantastic second half," Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino told reporters. "The first half was difficult. It was a difficult game from the beginning.

"In the first half we played a little - not nervously - but not with the confidence. The second half was very, very good.

"There is still work to do."

Asensio strikes late as Real Madrid beat Ajax 2-1

With a little help from the video assistant referee, defending champions Real Madrid overcame a spirited Ajax to win the first leg of its Champions League round-of-16 match 2-1.

Substitute Marco Asensio scored a late winner to put Madrid in a strong position going into the second leg on March 5.

Real Madrid's Marco Asensio celebrates scoring their second goal at the Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands on February 13, 2019.(Reuters)

Real, winner of the last three Champions Leagues, recovered in the second half after being outplayed by underdog Ajax before the break at a packed Johan Cruyff Arena, when the hosts had a goal disallowed by VAR - the first time the video referee had overturned a Champions League goal.

Asensio, a 73rd-minute substitute, was unmarked at the far post as he tapped in a cross from the right by Dani Cavajal with just three minutes of regulation time to go.

"He's shown his development as a player," Madrid coach Santiago Solari said. "He did everything he had to do from the moment he came into the pitch. Not only the goal, which of course was very important for us."

Ajax had looked on course for a draw when Hakim Ziyech shot under Thibaut Courtois in the 75th minute to cancel out Karim B enzema's opener 15 minutes earlier.

The Amsterdam team went into Wednesday's match in something of a form crisis since the Dutch league's winter break. 

Their previously solid defense crumbled late last month in a 6-2 defeat to archrival Feyenoord and Erik ten Hag's team slumped to a 1-0 defeat on Saturday to Heracles Almelo.

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