The Associated PressLONDON (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,” Spurs 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.
Ronaldo returns to spark Real
In the other Group H game, Cristiano Ronaldo made the difference in his return, scoring twice as Real Madrid began its quest for a third straight title by beating Cypriot club APOEL 3-0 in Madrid.
Ronaldo scored in each half in his first match since being suspended for shoving a referee in the Spanish Super Cup final last month.
He’s still suspended for one more match of his five-game suspension, but is cleared to play in European competitions.
In Rotterdam, defender John Stones scored twice as Manchester City put on a display of swift-passing, attacking soccer to thrash Feyenoord 4-0 in Group F.