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Ajax 2-3 Tottenham: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Heroic Lucas Treble Earns Spurs CL Final Spot

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Ajax 2-3 Tottenham: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Heroic Lucas Treble Earns Spurs CL Final Spot by : 12:18 am On May 9, 2019

Tottenham Hotspur are through to the 2019 Champions League final and will face Liverpool thanks to Lucas Moura’s hat trick after an extraordinary second half fightback in Amsterdam on Wednesday evening.

The hosts took an early lead when captain Matthijs De Ligt rose highest from a Lasse Schone corner to powerfully head home, putting the Dutch side in a commanding position after just five minutes.

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Ajax doubled their advantage in the 36th minute when Dusan Tadic laid off Hakim Ziyech who smashed a thunderous strike across Hugo Lloris to put the Eredivisie leaders seemingly out of sight.

Lucas Moura pulled one back for Spurs ten minutes into the second half thanks to superb work from Dele Alli, before the Brazilian forward equalised on the night after dancing around the Ajax defence in the area following Fernando Llorente’s point-blank miss.

Both sides had chances to score the priceless fifth goal, with Jan Vertonghen heading onto the bar, while Ziyech put a great opportunity wide for Ajax before hitting the post.

Mauricio Pochettino,Hugo Lloris

However, Lucas smashed home a 95th minute winner on the edge of the Ajax area to seal his hat trick and help his side earn the greatest and most dramatic victory in their recent history to set up a final against Liverpool in Madrid on June 1.

There. Is Nothing. Like. Football.

— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 8, 2019

AJAX

Key Talking Point

De Godenzonen have had an extraordinary season, and were aiming to become the first side from outside of Europe’s top five leagues to reach the final of Europe’s elite competition since Jose Mourinho’s Porto in 2004.

With Ajax three up in the tie at half-time, the Johan Cruyff Arena was in unison singing Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds’ during the interval.

Well, Spurs gave them plenty to worry about when they grabbed two quick-fire goals in the second half after the hosts came out looking a totally different side, sitting back and defending their lead rather than going for the kill.

That decision, intentional or not, came back to haunt them, as they threw away probably the greatest chance they will have for many years to reach the Champions League final.

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As great as they’ve been this season, and as harsh as it may sound, they blew it.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Onana (7); Mazraoui (6), De Ligt (8*), Blind (6), Tagliafico (6); Schone (6), De Jong (6); Ziyech (6), Van De Beek (7), Neres (6); Tadic (7).

Substitutes: Veltman (5), Sinkgraven (5), Magallan (6)

STAR MAN – Matthijs De Ligt is one of the most wanted players in world football, and it’s not difficult to see why.

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The captain remained calm at a time when his teammates around him appeared to be losing their heads, and put in a number of crucial challenges and blocks to stop Spurs scoring that all important third goal.

His early goal was vital to give an already electric crowd the buzz and the breathing room they so desperately craved, but his distribution was also exceptional.

He was extremely unfortunate to be one of those Ajax players on the losing side tonight.

TOTTENHAM

Key Talking Point

May 8 2019 will forever be remembered as one of Tottenham’s greatest nights.

Their game plan was clear: let Ajax have the ball and hit them on the counter-attack when possible, which is easier said than done against this special young side.

In the first half, that didn’t work, and Pochettino would have been furious at the way Spurs conceded the goal in the first five minutes, particularly as it appeared Kieran Trippier was left to mark De Ligt it what looked a clear mismatch.


But their second half effort was nothing short of remarkable, and they achieved the impossible in the most dramatic way possible.

Pochettino’s decision to bring Llorente on at half-time proved to be a master stroke, as his side were on the front foot for the entire second half, and it would be difficult to feel anything but joy towards this wonderful Spurs side, who never know when they’re beaten.


Whatever the result in Madrid, Spurs fans can be extremely proud of their side, and Pochettino will surely have to go down as one the club’s greatest ever managers.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Lloris (8); Trippier (7), Alderweireld (7), Vertonghen (7), Rose (6); Wanyama (5), Sissoko (7), Alli (8), Eriksen (7); Lucas (9), Son (7).

Substitutes: Llorente (8), Lamela (6), Davies (6).

STAR MAN – Lucas Moura ignited a second miracle performed by an English side in the space of two nights.

FBL-EUR-C1-AJAX-TOTTENHAM

His team looked dead on their feet after the first half, but his powerful and aggressive runs got him in the right position to bury the three chances that came his way.

Dele Alli and Moussa Sissoko were exceptional in midfield, but Lucas will forever be a Spurs icon due to what he did on the night in the Johan Cruyff Arena. An unforgettable game for the forward.

Looking Ahead

Ajax will look to maintain their lead at the top of the Eredivisie when they host Utrecht on Sunday afternoon, before finishing their league campaign at De Graafschap next Wednesday.

Tottenham are aiming to finish above Chelsea in third as they finish their Premier League campaign at home to Everton on Sunday. They will face Liverpool in the Champions League final in June.

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