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Football - Europa League

Spurs stumble, United fall in Europa League pre-quarters

Marco Reus scores the third goal against Tottenham Hotspur in their Europa Cup match.
Marco Reus scores the third goal against Tottenham Hotspur in their Europa Cup match. Reuters / Wolfgang Rattay

Borussia Dortmund thumped Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 in the first leg of their match in the Europa League on Thursday night in Dortmund. A brace by Marco Reus and a header by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against a listless Tottenham meant that the German club is now the overwhelming favourite to reach the quarter-finals.  


Aubameyang put Borussia ahead in the first half with a clinical finish from a Marcel Schmelzer cross.

The Bundesliga side doubled its lead around the hour mark as Reus latched on to a pass from Neven Subotic and struck a volley at the back of the net. The home side took the tie beyond Spurs’ reach as Reus scored his second in the 70th minute.

Given the standings of both the clubs in their respective domestic leagues, the match was supposed to have been a close affair.

Both Tottenham and Borussia are second in the league standings, five points adrift of leaders Leicester City and Bayern Munich respectively. Tottenham weren’t helped by the decision of coach Mauricio Pochettino to rotate the squad for this crucial encounter.

Pochettino made seven changes to the team that drew 2-2 with Arsenal last weekend.

With a deficit of three goals, Spurs have a Herculean task on hand when they host Borussia next week for the second leg of the match.

In the other high profile clash of the evening, Liverpool cruised past Manchester United 2-0 at Anfield.

Goals by Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino on either side of the half enabled the home side take a commanding lead of their round-of-16 match.

The scoreline would have been worse for United had it not been for some brilliant saves by goalkeeper David De Gea. United will host Liverpool for the second tie next week.

Elsewhere, defending champions Sevilla drew 0-0 against Basel while Shakhtar Donetsk defeated Anderlecht 3-1 in Ukraine. Villareal beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 while Athletico Bilbao got the better of Valencia 1-0.

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