LONDON, March 17 -Tottenham Hotspur bowed out of the Europa League at the last-16 stage after losing 5-1 on aggregate to Borussia Dortmund.
As in the first leg in Germany, which Spurs lost 3-0, Mauricio Pochettino rested several key players with one eye on the Premier League title race.
The tie was soon put beyond them too as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired in a brilliant shot from distance after 24 minutes.
Aubameyang scored a second in the 70th minute to increase Dortmund’s lead and even though Son Heung-Min replied shortly afterwards, Spurs could not avoid defeat on the night.
They will now turn all their attentions to the Premier League as they look to overhaul Leicester’s five-point lead with eight games of the season remaining.
Pochettino opted to leave leading scorer Harry Kane on bench against Dortmund and omit Christian Eriksen and Mousa Dembele from the squad, but started with Dele Alli, Erik Lamela and Eric Dier.
The hosts were forced into an early change after Hugo Lloris collided with Ben Davies and the full-back had to be replaced by Danny Rose.
That was the most notable incident before Dortmund took the lead after 24 minutes, Aubameyang collecting the ball 25 yards out and rifling a shot into the far corner, past the diving Lloris.
The goal left Spurs needing to score at least five to progress but they rarely threatened.
Toby Alderweireld made a brilliant last-ditch tackle to deny Aubameyang and then rushed back to block Mkhitaryan’s shot late in the half.
With the tie drifting to an inevitable conclusion and chances proving tough to come by, Pochettino opted to take off Alli midway inside the second half.
Aubameyang scored a second soon afterwards, firing past Lloris from close range, before Neven Subotic’s underhit back pass allowed Son to reply for Spurs.
But it was nothing more than a consolation as Dortmund joined Liverpool in the last eight.