Lads, that was Tottenham. The 2019 version, that is. Seconds away from being knocked out, Dele Alli played a cute pass to Lucas Moura, who completed a three-goal second-half comeback – and a hat-trick! – with pretty much the last kick of the match. A quite brilliant performance by Mauricio Pochettino’s side, seeing off this magnificent young Ajax team with their passion, drive and no little talent. The hosts crumpled to the floor as one, hearts broken, their dreams snatched away, while Spurs move on to Madrid and a final with fellow escapologists Liverpool. It promises to be one heck of a game. You’ll join us for that one, right? If it ends 0-0 we’ll all be livid. In the meantime, congratulations to Spurs, commiserations to Ajax, and thanks to all of you for reading this MBM. Nothing more to see here, so may I direct you to Daniel Taylor’s match report? Nighty night!
Mauricio Pochettino, smiling broadly now, talks! “It is still difficult to talk. I am a bit emotional. Thank you football, thank you my players, they are heroes. In the last year I am telling everyone that I have a groups of players who are heroes. The second half was amazing. Thank you football! I am so emotional now. I thank our fans and the people who believe. When you work and feel the love, it’s not a stress, it’s a pleasure. We showed passion against Manchester City and against today. It was tough, but this is a magic competition. I am so grateful to be a coach! All of my players are heroes, but Lucas Moura is a super-hero! [momentarily breaks down again] I want to remember my family, this is for them too.” What a job this man has done. The emotion pouring from him. Lovely to see the pure joy. Pochettino versus Klopp … the final’s going to be quite an intense ride, isn’t it.
Here’s an uncharacteristically serious post from MBM regular Phil Sawyer. “Can I highlight one thing that has irked me about both last night and tonight? Greedy bloody TV. Last night it was Jordan Henderson. Tonight, Christian Eriksen. Interviewing players when they want to be celebrating. I know TV needs those interviews, but surely better to watch the celebratory scenes first then get the interviews afterwards? I really felt for Jordan last night, having to do an interview while the chorus in front of the Kop went on. And again for Eriksen tonight. Come on, BT, i know you live to sell content but show some heart.” Fair point well made. Baby steps, but at least we’ve come a long way since this broadcasting outrage …
The 2019 Champions League final: Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool. Saturday 1 June. Who’d have thought this could happen at 9pm last night, never mind 9pm tonight?! But here we are!
BT Sport want to talk to Mauricio Pochettino, but he’s still in floods of tears. A maelstrom of emotion. No, that interview’s not going to happen. The Spurs manager’s off down the tunnel to compose himself. Maybe in a bit.
And now Danny Rose, who was excellent this evening. “Well, we saw Liverpool last night, and it goes to show it’s not over until it’s over. We were still disappointed from the first leg. There were a few words said at half-time. The gaffer doesn’t mind losing, but we have to lose in the right way. Even if we hadn’t have won tonight, he’d have been very proud of how we finished the game. And now we are in the final!”
Christian Eriksen, calm and frank as ever, talks to BT Sport. “It was a ridiculous game. We were far down and fought back, and we were just lucky. I feel sorry for Ajax, because they played better football than us over two games. But we created more chances. We were lucky and we scored. It’s a relief, and it’s great to be in the Champions League final. We wouldn’t have been able to look ourselves in the mirror afterwards if we’d lost four or five-nil. The ball fell in the right direction. It was tactics-free! Heart plus Lucas Moura. I hope he gets a statue in England after this. An English final will be fun!”
Spurs cavort in delight! They can’t believe what’s just happened. What a performance by Spurs, and in particular Lucas Moura! They thought it was all over when Fernando Llorente flashed his header over the bar … but something kept Tottenham going, and they’re going to Madrid to face Liverpool in the final! Mauricio Pochettino is in floods of tears. So are several of the Ajax players, but theirs are of the bitter variety.
FULL TIME: Ajax 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur (agg: 3-3, Spurs win on away goals)
Glory, glory Tottenham Hotspur! And you thought last night at Anfield was dramatic!
90 min +7: This game’s taken a long time to restart. Time for one last Ajax attack?
GOAL! Ajax 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur (Moura 90+5)
They’ve done it! Moura has just guided a shot into the bottom right from just inside the box. Llorente headed a long ball on. Alli slipped the ball towards Moura, who turned and whipped his shot past Onana and in!
90 min +4.30: Onana is booked for taking his sweet time over the goal kick.
90 min +4: Eriksen combines with Moura down the right and earns a corner. This is surely it for Spurs. Lloris comes up for the set piece. Llorente rises highest … and sends the ball miles over the bar from 12 yards. Oh dear. That could be it for brave Tottenham Hotspur. They’ve really given this a go.
90 min +3: Lloris makes a save that keeps Spurs in it. Space for Ziyech just inside the Spurs box on the left. He hammers a shot straight at the keeper. The Ajax fans are making plenty of noise, trying to get their heroes over the line. Can Spurs deny them at the death?
90 min +2: Ajax try to waste time by keeping the ball near the corner flag. They don’t waste much of it. Lloris can launch the ball up the other end. But Alderweireld flays a dismal pass out of play on the left. Time marches on.
90 min +1: Tadic romps down the right. He slips a ball down the channel for de Jong, who attempts to hook goalwards from a tight angle, but is denied by Alderweireld. It’s a corner, though.
90 min: The first-leg match-winner Donny van de Beek is replaced by Lisandro Magallan. There will be five added minutes. Five! Spurs still have time.
89 min: A free kick for Spurs on the halfway line. Davies loops it in, but de Ligt whacks clear. Eriksen, just inside his own half, plays a loose pass out for a throw in his own half. No real danger comes from this chain of events, but the clock ticks on.
87 min: … Eriksen curls it in. Llorente rises. The ball breaks off his shoulder to Vertonghen, who heads goalwards, unopposed, from six yards! But his header comes off the bar. Vertonghen gets to the rebound and stabs goalwards from close range, but Veltman hacks off the line! Oh my goodness. Spurs inches away from the final!
86 min: Sissoko nearly loses control out on the right, but somehow the ball breaks to Son, just inside the box. Son turns and shoots, his effort deflected over the bar. Corner out on the right. And from the set piece …
84 min: Moura works his way down the right and cuts the ball back for Llorente, who is just inside the box. The big striker can’t sort his feet out to shoot, and he’s soon swarmed by red-and-white shirts. Ajax clear. But they’re hanging on here. Spurs were totally out of this at half-time! And now look. Just one last push and their first Champions League final could become a reality.
83 min: Pochettino plays his last card. Rose, already booked and on a rolling boil for a while, makes way for Davies.
82 min: Ajax are sitting deep. Too deep? Llorente nearly works space to shoot inside the area. Not quite. Then Eriksen curls in from the right, but Blind volleys away.
81 min: But time’s running out for Spurs, and they need that third goal to win this tie on away goals. And so Trippier is sacrificed in favour of Lamela. It’s all-out attack for Spurs now!
79 min: Van de Beek is given all the time in the world to shoot from the edge of the box. His effort is blocked. Van de Beek thinks about another go, but feeds Ziyech to his right instead. Ziyech creams a wonderful effort towards the bottom right. It’s beaten Lloris, but springs off the base of the post and away! Another sign that this could be Tottenham’s night?
77 min: Ziyech is booked for a late lunge on Rose. Tempers are fraying as the tension rises to almost unbearable levels.
76 min: Rose blatantly handles the ball in the midfield. It’s nothing more than a free kick, but upon hearing the whistle he picks up the ball and spikes it into the ground with an angry fist. A totally pointless booking is the inevitable result.
74 min: Trippier’s corner is met by Alderweireld, who sends a header towards the top left … but just wide. A former Ajax player nearly breaks his old club’s heart.
73 min: This is a wild end-to-end affair now. Trippier finds more space down the right and earns yet another Spurs corner. From which …
71 min: Ziyech floats a ball into the box for Sinkgraven, in space to the left of the six-yard box. A corner’s earned. From the set piece, the ball is worked to de Ligt on the right flank. He drops a shoulder to move into space inside the box, and hammers a low ball along the corridor of uncertainty. Lloris parries, and he’s very fortunate not to tee up the lurking Tagliafico. The ball went through his legs; he’d have been presented with a tap-in otherwise! Spurs clear, and breathe again. The sort of break that suggests this could be your night?
69 min: Ajax try to slow things down, stroking it around just inside the Tottenham half. Eventually Ziyech runs it out of play along the right. They’ve not managed to calm themselves down, though, and Ziyech wags his finger in Alli’s face after being clipped on the heel. Alli responds with a poker face.
67 min: Another defensive move by Ten Hag. Dolberg, who has done nothing of note tonight, is replaced by Sinkgraven.