Harry Kane wants the Champions League to be his stage; to be his proving ground; to show he is world-class and he provided more compelling evidence that he is just that as Tottenham Hotspur defeated Borussia Dortmund to banish their Wembley woes and give themselves an outstanding opportunity, already, of progressing in Group H.
It may be only the first tie of six but with Real Madrid also in this group, and with Apoel Nicosia expected to be the whipping boys, then the head-to-heads against Dortmund were always going to be defining. Kane scored twice, and created Spurs’ first goal in a thrilling, open tie, although they were extremely fortunate when Dortmund had a goal wrongly ruled out which would have made it 2-2.
Spurs will believe they were due that luck – although they suffered a serious blow with Jan Vertonghen sent off in injury time for a second yellow card, after he was deemed to have elbowed Mario Goetze - having suffered at this stadium for so long.
This was only their second win in 12 matches at Wembley and also only their third victory in 10 Champions League games and it was also the scalp of one of the big European beasts.
Kane thrived. It is now 29 goals in 27 matches for him, in all competitions, for Spurs this calendar year and the third successive Champions League match in which he has scored. He is beginning to belong in that rarefied company of elite strikers, getting better and better, imposing himself for club and country. Europe is taking notice as he departed, substituted late on, to a standing ovation.
Spurs made a blistering start; a goal inside four minutes through the sharpest of attacks with Kane heading the ball down to Christian Eriksen who returned it for the striker to slide a clever pass through for Heung-Min Son. He surged down the left with Sokratis Papastathopoulos woefully slow to cover and Son then struck a left-foot shot, catching out goalkeeper Roman Burki who stuck out an arm but was easily beaten at his near post. Spurs were ahead and so much for the absence of Dele Alli. His replacement had made his mark.
Alli was suspended, the first game of a three-match ban imposed for his horrible challenge during Spurs’ last European night at this stadium when they lost to Gent in the first knock-out round and exited the Europa League having dropped into that competition because of their failures in the Champions League. They needed to banish those memories.
So an early goal was vital. Dortmund arrived apparently depleted with a slew of injuries including key midfielder Julian Wiegl and captain Marcel Schmelzer so appeared vulnerable although their threat soon became apparent. There was no Ousmane Dembele, either, sold to Barcelona of course for that extraordinary near £100million fee, with Andriy Yarmolenko bought as his replacement.
And it was the Ukrainian who also made his mark. Dortmund pushed forward with Yarmolenko cutting in from the right and playing the ball to Shinji Kagawa who then turned it back to his team-mate whose superb first-time shot arced high beyond Hugo Lloris and into the net for his first goal for his new club.
So Spurs' lead did not last long, Dortmund had imposed themselves and how would it affect home confidence? Dortmund are also, despite their changes, seasoned Champions League campaigners who routinely progress into the knock-out stages, and they began to dominate. It appeared ominous.
It was vital that Spurs responded – and they did so, through Kane. He held off two challenges down the left and forced his way towards goal before striking a left-foot shot which, again, squeezed just inside the near post. Once more the Dortmund goalkeeper, Burki, appeared at fault, having failed to close down the space. Despite the protestations of Dortmund coach Peter Bosz, who argued vehemently that Kane had fouled Papastathopoulos during his run, the goal stood.
But Dortmund again began to dominate – they had 70 per cent possession - with Nuri Sahin sending in a dangerous cross that Yarmolenko was set to head home only for Ben Davies to hook the ball away for a corner. The pressure grew. Dortmund broke down the left through Christian Pulisic who elected to cross, rather than shoot, only for Jan Vertonghen to toe the ball away as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang prepared to side-foot the equaliser.
The two Dortmund forwards combined soon after with Aubameyang crossing low for Pulisic who, at full stretch, could not steer the ball on target. Pulisic did have the ball in the net but was pulled up for offside and Spurs, frankly, were simply hanging on. Defensively they looked in trouble with Davinson Sanchez struggling.
The Colombian was caught out again as he attempted to intercept Pulisic’s through ball to Aubameyang with only the alertness of Lloris, who rushed from goal, preventing the striker running clear. At the other end and an opening fell to Kane inside the Dortmund area but he snatched at it before the striker was released by Eriksen with his low cross finding Son who cut back, steadied himself – only to sky his shot over.
More chances came. And controversy also with Dortmund once more having a goal ruled out for offside when, clearly, Aubameyang was not as he ran onto a floated cross and struck a wonderful crisp half-volley around Lloris. The flag went up but the ‘goal’ should have stood and Spurs were living dangerously.
It proved a key moment with Spurs quickly constructing a fine attacking move involving Mousa Dembele who played the ball into Davies whose first time pass found Eriksen. He turned the ball wide to Kane, in space, who drove a low shot back across goal, clipping off Lukasz Piszczek, as he attempted to block, to beat Burki.
Dortmund continued to threaten with a corner flicked on and the ball again dropping to Aubameyang only for Lloris to make an outstanding, instinctive block to turn away his side-footed shot. The Germans had created so many chances but this was Kane’s night.
A win is a win
It wasn't exactly vintage Pochettino - that was really hard work for Tottenham tonight, with Dortmund enjoying long, long periods of possession and having two goals disallowed for offside, one of which was an awful decision.
That said, Spurs were clinical in a way they weren't against Chelsea or Burnley and took their chances. Despite Dortmund seeing plenty of the ball, you'd probably say Spurs were good value for the win. Just.
Time on ball (at full time)
Spurs have done it! They have won at Wembley Stadium! Is the hoodoo over? Who knows, but both the performance and result here will have been extremely pleasing to Mauricio Pochettinom and that is all that matters right now for Tottenham.
They start off their Champions League campaign with a hard-earned, and just about deserved, victory.
Average touch positions (full time)
90 mins +4
Sissoko races clean through on goal but spoons his scooped effort well off target.
Red card! Jan Vertonghen sent off for Spurs
Gianluca Rocchi shows Jan Vertonghen a second yellow card - he's off.
Red card! Jan Vertonghen is sent off!
Vertonghen put under pressure by Gotze and as he tries to regain control of the ball his arms catches Gotze in the face.
The referee has a long think about it before deciding it is a yellow card offence, and Vertonghen is off!
Spurs are very, very deep, right on the edge of their area, and Dembele does well to hold up play and win a free kick to relieve some pressure.
Four minutes added on.
Aurier crumples to the floor dramatically under Toljan's challenge, and the young Dortmund full-back earns himself a yellow card.
Dortmund work a move well, with Yarmolenko finding Sahin, but he drags his shot well wide. Llorente does now replace Kane.
Fernando Llorente is ready to come on but Kane tells his management team to delay the change - he obviously wants his hat-trick.
Pulisic dances left and right and left again to get into some space up against Aurier, but he overhits his cross and the chance goes. Really bright play but end product lets the 18-year-old down.
Spurs make their first substitution, with Sissoko replacing Son.
A really neat header from Eriksen flicks the ball into Kane's path, but his shot trickles wide - it looks like it took a nick but a goal kick is given.
Dortmund probing patiently, but when they eventually put a ball into the box it comes to nothing.
Zagadou replaces Toprak
Time on ball (60 - 75 min)
Eriksen blazing over this time after Kane breaks down the right and pulls it back for the Dane, who can't believe he hasn't won a corner.
An eighth Dortmund corner but again Spurs stand strong. Still 3-1.
This game has really opened up now, and when Spurs manage to get past the Dortmund press they are finding acres of space. Dier releases Kane on the right but his low ball into the box is cleared.
Spurs break at pace and Kane slides Son in on goal, but he runs out of legs and can only win a corner. Alderweireld then sends a free header over the bar.
Dortmund make a change in central midfield, bringing on some experience with Castro replacing Dahoud.
Sanchez charges out of position and concedes a throw in, which Aubameyang then throws over him for Gotze, who wins a corner off Davies.
His cross is flicked on at the near post for Aubameyang who is waiting at the back stick, but his low shot is saved brilliantly with his legs by Hugo Lloris.
Another Eriksen assist
20 - Christian Eriksen has provided 20 assists in all comps in 2017; 7 more than any other player in the big 5 European leagues. Creator. pic.twitter.com/u3AzdOXB1p— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 13, 2017
A good night for the Premier League so far
5 English teams current combined score in 5 @ChampionsLeague games = 18-2.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) September 13, 2017
Meanwhile Ben Davies nearly makes it four, but for a great save by the outstretched arms of Burki.
Gotze replaces the almost anonymous Shinji Kagawa.
The Spurs fans in fine voice - they can sense a Wembley win might be on its way. But Dortmund are readying Mario Gotze and there is a long, long time left yet. This isn't over.
Four goals, all left-footed
And some truly awful right-footed shots, too.
Time on ball (45 - 60 min)
Spurs are 3-1 up and it's Kane again! What was that August drought about?
Dembele finds Davies who is well-advanced, he plays a neat lay-off for Eriksen, who then slides Kane in on the left. He takes one touch and then lashes left-footed into the far corner.
Vertonghen concedes a free kick and gets a yellow card for his troubles, but Aubemayang's effort flies well over the bar.
Another disallowed goal!
Dortmund have the ball in the Spurs net again, and the linesman's flag is up again. It's a terrible decision, though, as Sahin's cross finds Aubameyang (top of the picture below), who is definitely onside and finished on the half volley with a sensational finish past Lloris. A let off for Spurs.
Ben Davies makes a vital block as Dortmund come forward with men over on the right. Piszczek's cross is deflected out for a corner.
Spurs have already had as many shots in this half as they had in the whole first period.
And another! This time it's Son who wastes an even better chance after he is played in by Kane from the right. He fails to take the ball in his path and checks back onto his right, before hitting his shot over the bar. One of those chances should have gone in.
Huge, huge chance for Kane, who is played in by a clever ball from Eriksen, but he leans back and blazes his shot well over the bar. He has to do better there.
Yarmolenko gets into some space on the right and his through ball evades Sanchez and very nearly puts Aubameyang through, but Lloris is quick off his line to get out and clear.
Dortmund are doing a good job of forcing Lloris to go long, leaving Kane with a tough task trying to hold it up.
Toprak gets a ball in the face from Nuri Sahin's attempted volleyed back-pass, and the referee stops play as Spurs seek to take advantage. Ridiculous.
Dortmund kick off
No changes for either side, 45 minutes to go.
Here come the players
Can Spurs hold on and win a game at Wembley? Let's find out.
And Spurs go in 2-1 up when it could be a very, very different story. Spurs have had two shots to Dortmund's five and just 32 per cent possession. The visitors have been the better side but have been let down by their goalkeeper/hurt by Spurs's lethal finishing.
Time on ball (first half)
Average touch positions (half time)
Disallowed goal for Dortmund! The linesman's flag goes up and replays show Aubameyang was offside as Spurs fail to clear their lines with the ball pinballing around their area. It wasn't even Aubameyang who scored the goal, but he was behind the Spurs defence and did move towards the ball, which could have affected play. A lucky late escape for Spurs.
Serge Aurier is so, so confident, but it's bordering on overconfidence. He's not been caught out yet but he is playing some risky passes and just played a flick when in his own corner of the pitch to pass the ball to Eriksen. He gets away with another one, for now.
Dortmund win a corner off a Yarmolenko header and it very nearly results in a Spurs goal, as Kane's through ball is just too far ahead of Eriksen, who is charging forward from deep.
It's very stop-start at the moment, Spurs conceding a lot of free-kicks. Poch-ball in full flight.
Aubemeyang turns provider, breaking clear on the right after Sanchez loses the ball trying to dribble his way out of trouble. Pulisic throws himself at the ball but can only poke wide.
Eric Dier is booked for an overzealous lunge where he wins the ball first but also connects with Sokratis, whose cry may have done for Dier.
Spurs string together all of three passes before Dortmund suffocate their play and win the ball back. The home side struggling to take charge of the game here, even if they are 2-1 up.
Time on ball (15 - 30 min)
Dortmund looking the more comfortable of the teams, and Spurs can't really get near the ball. They come down the left, and when Aurier dives into a tackle he leaves a gaping hole behind him, which Pulisic goes charging into. He plays a low ball across the Tottenham box and Aubameyang is waiting to tap it home, only for Vertonghen to intervene with a brilliant challenge to poke it away for a corner, which comes to nothing.
Spurs have had two touches of the ball anywhere near the Dortmund box. Two goals.
Talk of potential foul by Kane in the build up to his goal. Not for me.
This crazy game has almost, ALMOST settled down into something resembling a pattern here - and that's Dortmund controlling possession and Spurs in a well-drilled back five and midfield four. Kane all on his own running willingly up front.
Borussia Dortmund can't make their domination of the ball count
The visitors have had the majority of the ball - but Spurs have the lead.
The corner comes to nothing, and Kane is fouled as he tries to clear the second ball.
Pulisic cuts in from the left and his shot is deflected over by Alderweireld.
Time on ball (0 - 15 min)
Ooooh wow this is incredible! Spurs are ahead with an almost identical goal, this time from Harry Kane.
He does really well to beat off two challenges to bring a ball down from out of the sky, and then he is away, accelerating away from the Dortmund defence on the left. He looks up and sees Eriksen in support but decides against using him, cutting out onto his left foot and, just like Son earlier, beating Burki at his near post. It looks like a goalkeeping error at first but the replays show that it an astonishingly accurate finish from the Spurs striker.
That was classic Yarmolenko
I was sure I remembered him doing something similar for Ukraine. Google told me I was right.
1-1: Andriy Yarmolenko scores a sensational leveller for Borussia Dortmund.
It's all Dortmund now and Spurs have caved in early on. The ball is worked out wide on the right, and cut back to Yarmolenko on the top-right corner of the area. He shifts the ball onto his left foot and curls a wonderful effort into the far corner of the net, with Lloris left helpless.
Borussia Dortmund have their first sight of goal
Borussia Dortmund respond to the earlier Spurs effort with their first shot of the game.
Yarmolenko beats his man on the right flank and drills a low cross in towards Aubameyang at the near post, but Alderweireld does exceptionally to slide in and clear.
The Spurs fans who were waiting to get into the ground at kick off seem to have made it in now, and the goal has sparked them into life. Wembley is very loud right now.
Davinson Sanchez wins the ball as Dortmund look to pass their way into the Spurs box, and his lofted clearance is nodded down into Kane's path in midfield. He sends a beautifully weighted through ball for Son to chase down the left, and he's clear through.
He checks back as support arrives but then goes onto his left foot out wide, the chance looks like it might have gone for a split second but then Son unleashes a powerful effort past Burki. Spurs are ahead! What a start!
An unconvincing start... the ball has spent an awful lot of the game so far up in the air, and then when Dortmund try to pass it out from the back Eric Dier snaps into a challenge high up the pitch - but is penalised for it.
Spurs get things started
We're up and running in Tottenham;'s 2017/18 Champions League campaign.
Here we go then
We're all set at Wembley. What can Spurs produce this time around?
Dortmund fans got in there early, though
Here we go. Dortmund fans jumping pic.twitter.com/lhIXTlytV2— Tom Collomosse (@TomCStandard) September 13, 2017
Problems getting into the stadium
@SpursOfficial thousands of fans outside will miss kick off because of slow entry! Need more staff.— Daniel Wegrzyn (@danwegz) September 13, 2017
You may notice some empty seats around the ground.
"It's exciting to play here at Wembley in the best competition in the world. It's exciting for everyone.
"It's important to rotate the squad, we have a strong squad, For Serge [Aurier's] first game, it's important to get used to those around him. He's a great player, an experienced player, he's played a lot of games in the Champions League.
"Dortmund have fantastic players, they might have problems now [with injuries] but they have a strong squad."
Kane versus Aubameyang
A goal machine at either end of the pitch tonight, Spurs and Dortmun have very different strikers but each is equally capable of scoring tonight. Both have scored consistently for years, but doing it consistently in the Champions League is the next step for two players who will want to move into football's elite group. Both could well be on the scoresheet tonight.
The whole Wembley thing
A hell of a lot has been made of Tottenham's woes at the national stadium, and last season's botched Champions League campaign was a case in point.
One win from three - that coming after they had been eliminated from the competition - at Wembley was an extremely disappointing return, and dropping into the Europa League was an utter disaster.
The recent draw with Burnley was an awful result but the performance against Chelsea (even though they lost) really did give reason for optimism.
Spurs have one win in their last 11 at Wembley, and they really do need to stop that becoming 'a thing'. Tonight would be a good place to start.
1 - Tottenham have won just one of their last 11 games at Wembley (D3 L7), failing to win any of the last four. Hoodoo. pic.twitter.com/hmDF2fuepl— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 13, 2017
Looking at the benches
Mario Gotze is the standout name, and he will have an impact at some point tonight, you'd expect.
Gotze was at Wembley for the 2013 Champions League final against Bayern Munich, but he missed that match through injury, so he won't have very happy memories of the ground.
Shinji Kagawa starts for Dortmund
It's a strong Dortmund lineup, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leading the line, flanked by Andriy Yarmolenko (who has been linked with Spurs a fair few times over the years) and young Christian Pulisic.
Also in the team is Jeremy Toljan, who makes his debut at left-back, having signed for Dortmund in the summer, when Spurs had also been linked with a move.
Serge Aurier starts for Spurs
Davinson Sanchez continues at the heart of a back three, while Heung-min Son comes in for the suspended Dele Alli.
New signing 19-year-old Juan Foyth is on the bench. As is Fernando Llorente.
Team news is imminent
Tottenham begin another Champions League campaign at Wembley tonight, and we will have team news for you shortly. No Dele Alli for Spurs due to suspension, so it will be interesting to see what Mauricio Pochettino does.
Everything you need to know
What is it?
When is it?
It is on Wednesday September 13 - ie tonight.
What time is kick-off?
It's a 7.45pm BST start at Wembley.
What TV channel is it on?
You can watch this one on BT Sport 3. Alternatively, we will be bringing you all the very latest from the match right here throughout the night.
What is the team news?
Dele Alli will miss Tottenham's Champions League opener against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday through suspension.
Alli serves the first of a three-match ban for his red card picked up against Gent in February, with Son Heung-min likely to take his place at Wembley behind Harry Kane.
Danny Rose and Victor Wanyama (both knee) are out, along with Erik Lamela and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, who are still recovering from hip and foot problems respectively.
Provisional squad: Lloris, Vorm, Gazzaniga, Davies, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Foyth, Trippier, Aurier, Walker-Peters, Dembele, Dier, Winks, Eriksen, Sissoko, Son, Llorente, Kane.
Borussia Dortmund are facing an injury crisis ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash against Tottenham as up to nine players look set to miss out.
Dortmund and Spurs go head to head in what could prove a pivotal clash in the race for qualification, with Real Madrid and Cypriot side APOEL expected to top and tail Group H.
But a raft of fitness problems have derailed Dortmund's preparations as Neven Subotic became the latest concern on Tuesday after the defender fell ill and was unable to arrive for training.
Meanwhile captain Marcel Schmelzer was stretchered off against Freiburg on Saturday with ruptured ankle ligaments, not long after Marc Bartra had departed with a groin problem. Neither have travelled to London.
Also likely to miss out are Julian Weigl (ankle), Andre Schurrle (thigh), Sebastian Rode (knock) and Erik Durm (hip), while Raphael Guerreiro and Marco Reus are recovering from foot and knee operations respectively.
What are they saying?
"I have said before I want to break into that world-class bracket. To do that you have to play well in the Champions League," Kane said.
"The Champions League is a big stage, all the best players in Europe, if not the world, are here.
"And to be the best you have to produce your best against the best. I have six group games to prove that by hopefully scoring as many goals as possible and performing well."
"Our long-term injuries are well-known and we have some short-term ones as well," Dortmund manager Peter Bosz said.
"Subotic is sick. Maybe he will come (on Wednesday) but he is not with the group (on Tuesday)."
What are the odds?
- Tottenham win - 6/5
- Borussia Dortmund win - 11/5
- Draw - 5/2
What's our prediction?
Too tight to call - we're going for a goal-scoring draw. 2-2.