Son Heung-min sparked Tottenham’s second-half overwhelming of Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday, setting the London club on its way to a 3-0 victory in the last-16 first leg.
After being on the back foot throughout the first half, Tottenham took complete control once Son netted two minutes after the break to make it four goals in as many games. And Spurs then netted two late goals inside three minutes at Wembley Stadium to take a commanding lead to Germany for the return leg on March 5.
Having created Son’s opener with a cross, Jan Vertonghen found the net himself in the 83rd minute after combining with fellow wing back Serge Aurier. Vertonghen raced into the penalty area and arrived at the back post to volley in Aurier’s cross.
With Dortmund struggling, Fernando Llorente scored the third in the 86th when he got a slight touch with his head to turn in Christian Eriksen’s corner.
Both teams were without their top attacking threats as Dortmund captain Marco Reus and Tottenham’s top scorer Harry Kane are injured.
It was a night to forget for United States international Christian Pulisic, who will be playing in London for Chelsea next season, and Jadon Sancho, the former Manchester City attacker who faded in the second half.
While Dortmund has a five-point lead in the Bundesliga, Tottenham is five points off the pace in the Premier League in third. This is the first time the London team has made the knockout phase in Europe’s elite competition in successive seasons. Unlike Dortmund, Tottenham has never lifted the European Cup.
Substitute Asensio strikes late, Real Madrid beats Ajax 2-1
AMSTERDAM — Substitute Marco Asensio scored a late winner as defending champion Real Madrid beat Ajax 2-1 Wednesday in the first leg of their round-of-16 match in the Champions League.
Asensio was unmarked at the far post as he tapped in a cross from the right by Dani Carvajal in the 87th minute to put Madrid in a strong position going into the second leg on March 5.
Ajax looked on course for a draw at the Johan Cruyff Arena when Hakim Ziyech shot under Thibaut Courtois in the 75th minute to cancel out Karim Benzema’s opener 15 minutes earlier.
Ajax, a four-time European champion that last won the title in 1995, dominated the first half and looked to have taken the lead only to have the video assistant referee rule out Nicolas Tagliafico’s 37th minute header because Dusan Tadic was offside standing in front of Courtois. It was the first time VAR had been used to disallow a goal in the Champions League.
Kasper Dolberg came close to levelling again in stoppage time, but Courtois stuck out a hand to block his effort.
Benzema struck a powerful shot past André Onana on the hour after a strong run from the left by Vinicius Junior to put the 13-time European champion ahead.
Madrid’s lead lasted 15 minutes before David Neres crossed from the left and substitute Dolberg let the ball run to Ziyech, who shot low under Courtois.
Ajax, in the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time since 2006, had lost its past six matches against Madrid.