LONDON – Borussia Dortmund underlined their status as Europa League favorites with a masterclass show against a largely second-string Tottenham Hotspur, winning their last-16 first leg clash 3-0 on Thursday.
Marco Reus scored twice in the second half, after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had given Dortmund a 30th-minute lead, to hand the German side an emphatic advantage ahead of next week’s return leg in London.
Shakhtar Donetsk will also take a good lead into the second leg with Anderlecht after a 3-1 home victory.
Sevilla’s Steven N’Zonzi was sent off with three minutes to go as the holders, bidding for a third straight trophy, drew 0-0 at Basel while Fenerbahce beat Portugal’s Braga 1-0 in Turkey.
The match in Dortmund promised to be an exciting fixture featuring the second-place sides in the Bundesliga and the Premier League.
Some of the gloss was taken off the clash, however, when Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino chose to make seven changes to the side that had played in the Premier League on Saturday, clearly with one eye on their domestic title challenge.
The game also promised to pit two of Europe’s leading marksmen against each other, a spectacle that was denied for the majority of the tie as Spurs left leading scorer Harry Kane on the bench until late in the second half.
That left Dortmund’s Aubameyang as the leading attraction and the Gabon striker, who has scored 22 times in the Bundesliga this season, lived up to his billing.
He had a goal disallowed for offside before breaking the deadlock by heading a Marcel Schmelzer cross accurately past keeper Hugo Lloris and into the bottom corner.
It was largely one-way traffic but Spurs stayed resolute at the back until Reus scored twice in nine minutes after the break.
His first came from a corner when he lashed the ball into the net on the volley at the far post while the second was a sidefooted finish from close range after a perfectly-weighted pass from Gonzalo Castro.
Borussia Dortmund refused to believe that the tie was over:
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) March 10, 2016
In the Ukraine, goals from Brazilian Taison and Oleksandr Kucher gave Shakhtar a 2-0 lead before Anderlecht hit back through Frank Acheampong.
Former Arsenal striker Eduardo then headed home from a corner in the 79th minute to make it 3-1.
Fenerbahce’s tie against Braga looked destined to end goalless until Mehmet Topal curled in a superb effort from the edge of the area with eight minutes remaining.
BY TOBY DAVIS