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Ajax 2-3 Tottenham (3-3) – Champions League Semi Final Game 2 Review

WOW. JUST WOW. I AM UTTERLY SPEECHLESS. WE ARE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINALISTS. UEFA. CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. FINALISTS. WE ARE GOING TO MADRID. WHAT A NIGHT IT WAS FOR TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR FC.

I mean… What else can you say. I have never been more proud of this football club. The players. The fans. And the manager. They all deserve this so much. And here I am… To review this night again. So sit back, relax, and enjoy.

As we all knew going into this, we were not in the best of form, were 1-0 down from the first leg, and had it all to do in Amsterdam. Players were back, fans were fired up, and it was a massive night ahead. Everything was still to play for in the tie.

Pochettino started our strongest possible team last night, playing a four-back formation which thrived second half back in the first leg. Hugo Lloris captained the side in net, Rose, Trippier, Toby and Jan were our defensive line. Sissoko returned for a full 90 minutes of champions league football, next to Wanyama. Lucas Moura, Christian Eriksen, Dele were just behind Son, who was back in the side following suspension in the first leg. Ajax were full strength, besides Neres dropping out just before kick off. And their crowd were alive and pumping, ready to be the ever-important 12th man.

The game got off to the worst possible start, 19-year-old and Ajax captain Matthijs De Ligt scored a thumping header from an Ajax corner, in only the fifth minute. However, looking on the bright side, we still only needed to score two, in which we had to do anyway at the start of the game. However, things were only made worse when Hakim Ziyech hammering the ball home from the left, in what was an exquisite finish. It all looked over, the only bit of hope coming from Liverpool’s stunning comeback the night before. There was hope, but it was slim, and we needed to up our game hugely.

Rumour has it Kane came in at half time, and fired the boys up with a team talk I would’ve loved to hear. However, only time would tell if it worked. A halftime substitution was made as well, with Fernando Llorente coming on for Victor Wanyama. We immediately looked better, and got a deserved goal in the 55th minute, when Lucas latched onto Dele’s loose ball, ran through and slotted past Onana. We couldn’t… could we…?

Following this, we had another merely four minutes later! Lucas again, with some quick and tricky feet in the box, after a spillage and mix-up from their goalkeeper and defenders. It was a fantastic finish, and now, it was game on. We needed one goal with about half an hour to go! It was so possible now, and it was up to us, who was going to step up and make themselves a legend, etching their name into club history.

The game evened out, with the hosts hitting the post, Ziyech almost ending it there and then, causing one to think, maybe it was just destiny for us to get through… Vertonghen then hit the bar, with his rebound cleared off the line! I thought honestly that was it. I thought that was our best chance, and our chance to go through to the final was gone… And as time slowly went down, and injury time came, I was gutted. I felt proud of the lads for fighting back, but gutted because had we turned up for two halves of two legs of football, against a side that we had the beating of on our day.. Little did we know, our day was then…

10 seconds remained of the added five minutes…

94:53… Sissoko hoofs the ball up.

94:57… Llorente wins the ball…

95 minutes exactly… Lucas takes the ball of Dele’s pass..

AND LUCAS MOURA SCORES. SLOTS THE BALL PAST ONANA. 3-2. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR ARE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINALISTS. SCENES & LIMBS EVERYWHERE.

And that was that. We had beaten Ajax 3-2. Coming back from a three goal deficit in 45 minutes, to secure our place in the Champions League Final… We… Were off to Madrid. Now, I don’t normally do this but I just want to run through some excellent players from last night.

Moussa Sissoko. What a turnaround this guy has had, completely turned his fortunes in a Spurs shirt, now becoming arguably our most important midfielder, and a huge cog in the machine. And he was excellent last night. Absolutely ran the midfield second half, and was actually the one to smash the ball up in one of the last kicks of the game.

Fernando Llorente. Wow. What this man did when he came on changed our fortunes in this game. A fantastic sub from Poch, and literally won every single ball that came to him. Allowed the play to flow, got knock down after knock down setting up so much, and should not be forgotten in this fantastic comeback.

Lucas Moura. Of course, this was a given really. To score a hat trick in any game is a feat, but to do so to send your club to the final of Europe’s biggest competition, after being 3-0 down, is an even greater one. Played out of his skin yesterday, scored three brilliant goals all on his weaker foot as well. Etched his name into Spurs history, and will be remembered forever. Especially if we lift the trophy on June 1st.

And other than those three, a few honourable mentions go to Danny Rose, who was superb on the Left-Back role again. Trippier, who most will not give credit to but was excellent in the second half, after being poor during the first. Alderweireld, for some great defending all night, and Lloris for some huge saves. And finally Dele. Linked up some excellent passes tonight, some great driving runs forward, and two assists to his name. I’m not going to name everyone although the all deserve a mention, but credit to all of them for digging deep, and completing a historic comeback.

Now… The big question… Can we win it?

Of course we can. We are possibly 90 minutes away from winning one of the biggest trophies in European football. However are against one of the best teams in the world right now. They’ve been fantastic all season, with every player scaring me. The likes of Mane, Salah, Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, Robertson, Alexander-Arnold are all big game players. But, it’s not a neutral ground, and it has even support, so who knows. It will be a tough match, but we haven’t done it the easy way at anytime in this competition… We go in as underdogs, but that has been the case in every game in the knockout stages. But whatever happens, I am so proud of this club. So bring on June 1st. Bring on Madrid. Bring on Liverpool. COYS.

As always thanks for reading.

Macaully

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