Tottenham
Tottenham were thrashed by Dortmund in the first-leg of their Europa League last 16 clash.Getty

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says he will accept criticism after fielding a weakened side that were thrashed by Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League.

With Spurs still firmly in contention for the Premier League crown, Pochettino made seven changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Arsenal in their last match with Harry Kane, Erik Lamela and Mousa Dembele all left out of the starting XI.

The Argentine paid the price for those sweeping changes as he watched his side dismantled by a rampant Dortmund who eased to a 3-0 win through goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and a brace from Marco Reus, leaving Tottenham's Europa League dreams in tatters.

"Bad day, we had a very bad day," Pochettino told BT Sport. "I think it's difficult to explain but it's a bad day and I'm disappointed with our performance. You can see, we did not play well this is why we lost the game."

But when asked if he stood by his decision to rest his key players, he responded: "No, I can never complain about that. Maybe if we had a better result you speak in a different way. But I accept all the opinion."

Both Spurs and Dortmund sit second in the Premier League and Bundesliga, five points adrift from respective leaders Leicester City and Bayern Munich, but the gulf in class was quickly exposed at the Westfalenstadion.

Tottenham were on the back foot from early on in the contest and it came as no surprise to see the home side open the scoring when Aubameyang rose above Ben Davies to plant Marcel Schmelzer's cross into the corner of the net with a precise header.

The home side started the second half relentlessly and were rewarded just after the hour mark when substitute Neven Subotic nodded Gonzalo Castro's cross over to Reus who lashed home from close range. Thomas Tuchel's sealed a dominant win in sublime fashion, with Reus capping a fine flowing move with a half volley past Hugo Lloris with 20 minutes of the match remaining.

Tottenham welcome Dortmund to White Hart Lane for the second leg on Thursday 17 March.