The amount of times have Spurs been out of the Champions League should we really have expected anything else than them to leave it until the dying seconds to reach the final.
What we did probably expect was the inept start to the game. Much like the first leg of the tie, Spurs came out of the black as if they didn’t want to get to the final. It’s what has been happening a lot recently, this season in total has seen a number of poor starts that’s require a formation shift or something else to get things going.
Apparently this took an intervention from Harry Kane, at half-time, to give them the kick up the arse required to put in a performance. Harry wants to be in that final, looking at the way he ran across the pitch to celebrate being in it, he could well be…
Wonder if the medical team were happy at that.
So as in the first game, Spurs were having rings run around them. Ajax were again looking a class act. They didn’t need any help but this being Spurs, there was some. Hugo made an excellent save from Tadic, the ball falling to Rose, who was all alone, under no pressure, but he just boots the ball out for a corner. From that corner for some reason Trippier is on de Ligt. Not on him for long mind, as their captain opened the scoring.
As with the City game, Spurs could have an almost immediate reply, through the same player, Son. His cheeky shot had the keeper at sixes and sevens but it couldn’t beat the post.
Then just after the half-hour Tadic showed he wanted the ball more than Trippier, a little more lovely football later and Tadic cuts the ball back to Ziyech, whose sweet shot flies in past Hugo.
And there’s your game over.
Andros Townsend’s dad tweeted about Spur having three goals in ’em… yes, I could see ’em conceding another three.
step forward Harry and his half-time talk. Whatever he said, it had the desired effect. The players listened and took it on. Shouldn’t he be the captain?
Wanyama came off at the break for Llorente. The big Kenyan was having a bad game. The Spanish striker just stood on Daly Blind and kept him occupied. Not long into the half and Eriksen actually managed to miss all the defenders with a ball… I know, it was shocking… finding Dele at the back post with a glorious ball. Why can’t he play more of those balls, these days. Perfect for Dele, who admittedly hit it at the keeper.
But not long after and there was that hope. Rose nutmegging de Ligt, then playing a lovely cross field ball – where have they been lately – to Moura, his touch onto the charging Dele, he cut inside and Moura picked the ball and fired home.
Fast, one touch, no dithering, no looking back. Why don’t they do this more often? It’s them at their best.
Not four minutes later and the scores on the night were level. That man again. Moura. Roses’s cross was eventually played to the right by Son. From there Trippier actually put in a dangerous cross, across the goal. Llorente must score! No… but the ball was lose and picked up by Moura. Some lovely feet as he knocked it from right to left while turning almost a full circle to get space and facing the right direction before finishing it off. A stunning goal from Lucas.
The heads of those in red and white dropped in that moment. One team was on the up. They had just over half an hour of normal time to get that winner on the night, for an away goal aggregate win.
There was that hope again.
And of course it require Spurs not to concede another one. Something that was tested, with Ziyech hitting the post with Hugo well beat.
Then with four minutes to go the moment for the game. A corner, Jan, all alone with his mask, at the back post, six yards out, a free header but no. He hits the woodwork. There’s your moment. There’s your game. There’s hope laughing in your face.
Into the five minutes of added time and Hugo has one last save to make to keep things alive. Then with just 10 seconds left of those five minutes Son plays the ball back from the halfway line to Sissoko, who launches it up-field. Llorente making a nuisance of himself knocks it down to Dele. Dele plays a sumptuous ball into the area for Moura to latch onto and fire in his hat-trick goal for the winner.
Cue bedlam. Ajax players flat out on the ground, while Spurs players go mental. The clock said one second over the five minutes when the goal was scored. Now that is last gasp.
The ref found some new minutes from somewhere but it wasn’t enough for the home side. The whistle went and more bedlam. Poch crying. Harry running. Players leaping.
In the group stage, needing to beat PSV they score two late, to beat Inter, score one late. Need something at Barca they score one late for the draw. Llorente’s late goal in the second game against City. The ruled out goal by VAR in that game and now this. Lucas taking the shot as the clock ticked off the fifth minute of the five minutes added.