Dortmund 0 Spurs 1 (0-4 agg.). Champions League.
Wow, what can one say about this match or even the day?
We are now through to the Quarter-Finals because of our 4-0 aggregate victory. The first half of the second-leg saw good goalkeeping and defending to keep us in it, but then the second half was much better for us.
My journey started the day before the Tuesday. I got up early on Monday to go to the gym for a 3-hour session, then some work, took my dog to my daughters and then to London (to stay overnight at Hanna’s house).
Tuesday morning I got up at 3.30 am and then made my way to Martin’s house, near the airport. Got there at 4.30 am and waited for a taxi to pick me up at 5.30 (Martin had gone a separately, as he had stayed at his dad’s house). I arrived at Stanstead at 5.50 am. Met up with Martin, his dad, Terry and the other Martin (which we shall call Martin T). Checked in, then got breakfast in one of the clubs at the airport (Martin is a member); breakfast/ food and drinks were free. Made our way to the departure lounge (we went with SportsOptions), where the plane left at 8.30 am. Arrived in Germany Múnster airport at 10.30 (their time), an hour later. Took a coach (part of Sportsoptions package) to Dortmund stadium. Got there at about 12.50pm.
The five of us made our way into Dortmund town (10 minutes away) and then to the Pfefferkorn restaurant (Martin had already booked it), about 10 minutes from the Metro.
When we got there, there were mixed supporters in the restaurant already, but over time Spurs supporters outnumbered the Dortmund ones. The staff and the service were very amiable.
Had a fabulous three-course meal, plenty of drinks (beer, wine & Bailey’s). After a couple of hours, we then made our way to the main Square where all the other Spurs supporters were. There was rowdiness, drinks, balls being kicked to each other (by Dortmund & Spurs fans), laughs, all with plenty of gun totting Police officers watching the events before them.
We stayed at the Square for a couple of hours and then went to back to the stadium (Terry stayed and chatted to friends). Got to the stadium about 6ish and then looked to see if they did programmes (no).
By the time we got to the stadium, it was heaving with both sets of supporters’. We made our way to the Away end and talked to the Spurs Stewards, who I’ve got to know over the years. Bags over a certain size weren’t allowed in, so had to be kept in a kiosk-locker for bags (€1)
Martin’s dad’s ticket was for another part of the stadium (mixed area). The rest of us were together in the Away end. Last season I was also in Dortmund, as they were our opponents then. We won that match 2-1 in the Champions League, but then I was in the mixed area. At least you can sit there, as opposed to standing in the away area.
Went in at 6.30ish and then made our way to the Away-supporters seated area. Most people sat where they wanted, so we looked for suitable seating for us. Took in the atmosphere and singing.
Their stadium is bigger than our new stadium (it is just over 81,000 seater).
One thing surprised me; people openly smoked, even though there were signs that said you weren’t allowed to smoke. That is in both the away and home ends. Apparently, the stadium regulators only paid lip service to the law. As for the Stewards; nothing. Probably kept out of it as they didn’t want retaliation.
The players came out to loud cheers, and eight o’clock on the dot the whistle went for the start of play.
We eased past Borussia Dortmund to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2011 as Harry Kane became the club’s top scorer in European competition. Leading 3-0 from the first leg, we were forced to survive a first-half barrage from the Bundesliga leaders in the crackling atmosphere of the Westfalenstadion. But Kane’s intervention just after half-time ensured a comfortable second period in which the hosts failed to register a shot on target.
Latching on to Moussa Sissoko’s pass, our England captain clinically lifted the ball past home goalkeeper Roman Burki into the right corner. It was Kane’s first effort on goal and confirmed a 4-0 aggregate win for our side that defended resolutely throughout.
They had most of the possession and most shots on goal, but we were clinical and did what we needed to do to go through to the next round.
Kane’s 24th European goal moves him one clear of the club record he previously shared with Jermain Defoe.
After the match, we made our way to the bag-kiosk to collect our bags and waited for George. Once he arrived, we made our way to our coach (about a 10-minute walk to the coach park). Once one coach was full, it left (there were three coaches for SportsOptions). I slept most of the time, and then we arrived, most were tired and knackered, as I was, at Múster Airport. Went through the security; I was picked for a drug clothes swab (nothing, naturally) and then got something to eat and drink and then passport checks and to the plane. I slept throughout the journey.
Just one slight thing; while we were making our way to the boarding area to catch our plane, who should pass me, but none other than Daniel Levy. He and his family were being escorted to the private lounge (and probably to his private jet). As he passed us, he tried not to make eye-contact. Probably thought that if he made eye contact, he would be swamped with adulation and kissed to death (nothing more than I would expect if I was in his shoes… that is if I could afford his shoes ☺)
Anyway, we arrived at Stansted airport, quick checks and out. George, Terry and Martin T took a separate taxi to their destination, while Martin and myself got another cab to his house. We parted, and I got home at 5 am. Slept until 11.45 am. Totally and utterly knackered. Over Twenty-four hours with no sleep, but well worth it.
Once I woke I spent the rest of the day writing and resting then back to the usual dregs of life.
This Saturday will be another Spurs trip, this time to Southampton. Luckily Southampton is only just down the road from where I live (about an hours drive).
The draw for the quarter-finals takes place on Friday, 15 March. Let us hope we get a good draw.
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