It has been a UEFA Champions’ League season of drama and excitement as English Premiership side, Tottenham Hotspur followed the come-back pattern earlier established by Manchester United against PSG and that of Liverpool over FC Barcelona to dramatically down favourites, Ajax Amsterdam to pick final ticket for the final match slated for Madrid on June 1.
Trailing 1-0 home loss to Ajax from the first leg, Tottenham did the unthinkable even after going down 0-2 in the decisive second leg.
The hero of the night was Lucas Moura who scored a dramatic 96th-minute winner to cap an astonishing Tottenham fightback against Ajax and set up an all-English Champions League final against Liverpool.
It will be the second all-England final after that of 2008 that featured Chelsea against Manchester United. And so, there is a power shift from Spain’s La Liga to the English Premiership.
Twice in the past, there had been all-La Liga finals when Real Madrid faced Valencia in 2000 and Real Madrid versus Atletico Madrid in 2014. The only other derby in the competition was in 2003 when Serie A sides, Milan and Juventus clashed.
Tottenham Hotspurs made the worst possible start in Amsterdam when a towering fifth-minute header by 19-year-old Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt doubled the advantage for Erik ten Hag’s exciting young side.
Tottenham hit the post through Son Heung-min before Hakim Ziyech doubled Ajax’s lead on the night with a sweeping finish after an assist by former Southampton winger, Dusan Tadic.
That left Tottenham Hotspurs 3-0 behind on aggregate yet, in another pulsating semi-final, Mauricio Pochettino’s side scored twice within five minutes in the second half.
Moura reduced the deficit with a composed finish before the Brazilian’s shot on the turn levelled the scores on the night and left Spurs requiring one goal to reach the final in Madrid on 1 June.
In a frantic finish, Vertonghen headed against the bar before Moura completed his hat-trick from 16 yards deep into stoppage time on a famous night for Spurs.