LONDON (AP) - For only the third time in 13 matches across a decade, Tottenham has won at Wembley Stadium.
Good job, too, since the national stadium is the north London club’s temporary home for the season.
Opening Group H in the Champions League by beating Borussia Dortmund 3-1 on Wednesday was the kind of signature win Tottenham had been longing for.
It came against a team which reached the quarterfinals last year, had been on a 12-match winning streak stretching back to last season and kept clean sheets in its opening four matches in the Bundesliga and German Cup.
“I hope it stops the talk about a hoodoo,” Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said of his club’s run at Wembley. “To build that confidence and trust at Wembley I think is so important … and the perception in future.”
Those perceptions will resurface, though, unless Tottenham wins a Premier League game at Wembley - where it plays Swansea on Saturday - after picking up only one point from its opening two home fixtures.
Now that Harry Kane has emerged from his customary August scoring slumber, the signs seem good. Two goals against Everton on Saturday were followed by another pair against Dortmund.
“We said we want to prove ourselves against the best in Europe and have definitely done that tonight,” Kane said. “We were clinical when we needed to be.”
The only setback for Tottenham was finishing with 10 men after Jan Vertonghen was dismissed for catching Mario Goetze in the face with a swinging arm.
But Kane’s double after the striker set up Son Heung-min’s opening goal will give Tottenham hope it can progress this season from one of the toughest groups. Real Madrid beat Cypriot champion APOEL 3-0 in the other game.
Tottenham only won once here last season in the group stage - against CSKA Moscow - when its hopes of advancing were already over. The only win before that was way back in 2008 against Manchester United in the League Cup final.
To start rectifying a wretched record at Wembley required something special. For Son, that was scoring Tottenham’s quickest goal in a Champions League game four minutes into the team’s third-ever campaign.
Kane released Son to attack down the left flank and the South Korean international, filling in for the suspended Dele Alli, weaved past captain Sokratis Papastathopoulos before beating goalkeeper Roman Buerki at his near post.
The lead only lasted seven minutes.
Andriy Yarmolenko played a one-two with Shinji Kagawa before curling in the equalizer on his full debut after being signed to replace Ousmane Dembele, who went to Barcelona last month.
Tottenham restored its lead in the 15th, when once again Dortmund was carved apart down the left flank. Once again Buerki was beaten at his near post.
Kane picked up possession around the halfway line and headed the ball over Omer Toprak before scoring.
“It’s clear tonight we weren’t properly organized at the back in decisive moments in the game,” Dortmund coach Peter Bosz said.
It took Vertonghen’s intervention to cut out Christian Pulisic’s cross to prevent Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalizing.
Without a third it was always going to be nervy. Son swept over a shot at the start of the second half after being teed up by Kane. But it was left to Kane, last season’s top scorer in the Premier League, to secure that two-goal cushion on the hour.
Christian Eriksen and Ben Davies played a one-two on the edge of the area before releasing Kane to strike through the legs of Lukasz Piszczek and into the bottom corner of the net.
“We were clever in the way we pressed,” Kane said. “We have to learn we can’t press 100 percent against the good teams because they will find spaces. So we dropped off when we needed to and caught them on the counterattack.”
On a quiet night for Hugo Lloris, the goalkeeper’s save with his feet to deny Aubameyang ensured a less anxious final 20 minutes for the hosts.
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