After Liverpool’s incredible semi-final comeback on Tuesday night, Tottenham produced their very own phoenix from the ash’s comeback on Wednesday night against Ajax at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
Spurs headed into the second leg of the semi-final 1-0 down from the first leg at the Tottenham Stadium. At half-time, Mauricio Pochettino’s team were 2-0 down and in need of three goals to reach the final.
However, a superb second-half hat-trick from Lucas Moura, including a winner deep into stoppage-time, saw the visitors through to the final on away goals. It was quite simply breath-taking.
Never stopped believing
Even at 2-0, the Spurs players never stopped going and kept fighting, despite the deficit seeming like an insurmountable one to overcome. To score three goals in 35 minutes away from home against a team like Ajax was a big achievement. It was even more impressive that they did it without the services of captain Harry Kane.
The team from north London always looked like they believed that they would level the game. After they scored the first goal, the momentum swung in the visitor’s favour, as the Dutch giants tried desperately to hold on, including making defensive substitutions.
The fact the goal came in the 95th victory showed that Pochettino’s side always believed they would find the key to unlocking the Ajax defence.
No signings, no problem
Tottenham were infamously the only Premier League club not to make any signings last summer. In truth, it looked like Spurs needed to add extra quality and even quantity to their squad to mount a proper title challenge this season.
The north London team have not had the best luck with injuries this season. They failed to really mount a realistic title challenge against the indisputably best teams in the Premier League in Manchester City and Liverpool.
Tottenham have secured a place in the Champions League for next season, barring a crazy eight-goal swing in Arsenal’s favour on Sunday anyway. The fact that they have made the Champions League final is a next level achievement, though.
Spurs boss Pochettino deserves immense credit for Tottenham’s fantastic campaign. I doubt many Tottenham fans believed that they would make their first European final in 35 years and their first ever European Cup final appearance at the start of the campaign.
The fact they have achieved what they have this season is a testament to Pochettino’s managerial skills. The Argentinian showed great loyalty to the north London club, despite links to the Real Madrid and Manchester United jobs.
There is now speculation that the former Espanyol boss could leave his role if Tottenham wins the Champions League final, which would be crazy.
Underdogs to overcome the odds in the final
Tottenham are up against it on June 1st to win the Champions League in Madrid. Spurs are odds of 13/5 to beat Premier League rivals Liverpool in the final.
The team from north London have suffered two narrow 2-1 defeats against the Merseysider’s this season in the Premier League. However, they are one of the few teams in recent months in the top-flight that have given the Reds a decent challenge. They certainly owe Jurgen Klopp’s side one for those defeats earlier in the campaign.
However, Spurs are facing one of the best teams in the European game. Pochettino’s side have already proven they like a challenge. As the last few nights football have also proven, football is a funny old game and anything could happen in Madrid.
If Tottenham wins the Champions League this season after a complete lack of investment in the summer it will quite incredible. It will be even more incredible that it is against Liverpool, who have seemed destined to win a trophy this season.
Can Tottenham defy the odds again and win the Champions League final?
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