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Tottenham launch new home and away kits

The Toe Poke

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Football Whispers
 By Ben Pearce

Son Heung-min and Harry Kane strike as several Spurs get high marks

Given Tottenham failed to qualify from a seemingly easier Champions League group last season, they looked to be up against it after being placed alongside Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund this time.

Yet they have made remarkably light work of that challenge, not only reaching the knockout stages but securing the top spot with a game to spare.

Spurs needed to match Madrid's result on Tuesday to claim first place, and they faced an uphill challenge at half-time, trailing 1-0 to Dortmund in Germany while Real were cruising to a 6-0 victory over Apoel Nicosia.

But Harry Kane levelled after the break and Son Heung-min then struck, too, ensuring the North Londoners also claimed three points and cannot be caught.

Borussia DortmundBorussia Dortmund
Tottenham HotspurTottenham Hotspur
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Tottenham's creativity was much-improved following their disappointing 2-0 defeat at Arsenal, with Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen all playing key roles and Son making another important contribution.

The questions Spurs faced after the derby regarding their offensive threat and their character in tough away games have been promptly answered and the mood has immediately changed.

Full-backs Serge Aurier and Danny Rose also delivered strong performances and are starting to give coach Mauricio Pochettino welcome selection problems.


Spurs looked suspect defensively at times in the first half and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got in behind twice, missing his first chance before giving his side a 31st-minute lead. But they tightened up and Dortmund only finished with three shots on target.

Manager rating out of 10

9 -- A lot of Spurs fans, perhaps the majority, would have recommended to Pochettino that he rest Kane and Alli, given their subdued displays against Arsenal. But the Argentine recognised that this was an opportunity for them to develop some confidence, and it will indeed have done them the world of good. His decision to pick Son in addition to Alli paid off, too.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Hugo Lloris, 6 -- May just have done enough to put Aubameyang off when the striker got through for the first time, before being beaten on the second occasion. Could he have been more imposing then too?

DF Serge Aurier, 7 -- Played Aubameyang onside, along with Rose, early on, but otherwise defended well and posed a threat going forward, putting a few low crosses in from good positions near the byline. He could maybe deliver the ball slightly earlier.

DF Eric Dier, 8 -- Operating on the right side of the back three, he defended excellently and nearly scored with a fine header. The only negative was that some of his long-range passes were well off target.

DF Davinson Sanchez, 8 -- Played Aubameyang onside for Dortmund's goal but was otherwise very composed at the centre of the rearguard.

DF Jan Vertonghen, 8 -- Got caught on the wrong side of Aubameyang for the opener but his forward passing was excellent. The Belgian repeatedly cut through Dortmund's midfield and created a chance for Son with a fine delivery that the South Korean was unable to turn goalwards from eight-yards out.

DF Danny Rose, 7 -- Started slowly and gave the ball away a few times but grew into the game and set up two good chances for Eriksen, finding him with an accurate low delivery through a crowded box and then teeing him up for a free header.

MF Harry Winks, 8 -- A model of consistency, the 21-year-old never looked likely to give the ball away, which allowed Alli and Eriksen to become more adventurous. He was typically diligent in helping out the defence as well.

MF Christian Eriksen, 7 -- Took half an hour to assert himself but began to get on the ball more, pulling the strings and posing a goal threat,  too. A first-half effort was saved and a second-half header went wide.

Son Heung-min celebrates with Harry Kane after putting Tottenham ahead of Dortmund on Tuesday.

MF Dele Alli, 8 -- Had a similarly slow start but his movement improved and he set up both of Spurs' goals, beating two men on the touchline to tee up Son for the winner. He also made an important header inside his six-yard box at the other end.

FW Son Heung-min, 7 -- Lively with his runs in behind Dortmund's defence. The South Korean was caught offside a few times but, like against Crystal Palace in his previous start, he produced a clinical winner and has now scored eight times in 10 matches against Dortmund.

FW Harry Kane, 7 -- Fairly quiet apart from the goal, but it was well-taken and a key moment in the match. Tottenham supporters will hope it kick-starts another scoring spree.


MF Mousa Dembele, NR -- Gave Alli a breather for the final 10 minutes.

MF Moussa Sissoko, NR -- Offered Spurs some extra energy and power as they sought to see out the game.

FW Fernando Llorente, NR -- Had a big chance to score his first goal for the club after getting a clear run on goal, only to take a horribly heavy touch.

Ben is ESPN FC's Tottenham blogger. Follow on Twitter: @BenPearceSpurs.


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