Moura hat-trick leads Tottenham to stunning comeback against Ajax
Tottenham produced an incredible second half to turn the tie around from 3-0 down and go through on away goals. Lucas Moura bagged all three, with the last coming in the 96th minute.
Ajax 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur: match report
Spurs stunned Ajax on Wednesday night in what was the most astonishing comeback in the Champions League since Liverpool hit Barcelona for four 24 hours earlier. The story here is Spurs' refusal to lie down and their final meeting with Liverpool but it's also how both teams got there. In a day's worth of football, we saw two of the most astonishing comeback in the history of the competition.
Ajax took a 2-0 lead in the first half but Spurs fought back with Pochettino bringing on Fernando Llorente to switch things up having watched his side fail to make an impact in the penalty area in the opening 45.
Coming into the game a goal down, Spurs knew they would have to score at least one. That total doubled when De Ligt headed home from a corner when he lost Kieran Tripper after five minutes.
After coming into the game through Dele Alli's direct running and Son's slippery runs in the final third, Ajax hit them again. This time it was Ziyech with a clean strike beyond Lloris after Tadic fed him the ball from the left.
Pochettino acted at the break by bringing on his big Basque striker. And Spurs almost immediately improved. They had the first of the three they needed when Lucas Moura finished of a flowing move. Rose nutmegged De Ligt and played it forward to the eventual goalscorer, who tappied it onto Alli.
Alli played it back to Moura and suddenly there was hope. Not bundles of it but it was something to hold onto.
Moura had his and Spurs second after 59 minutes when Trippier sent a cross into the area low and hard. Llorente couldn't finish and when Onana went to grab it, Schöne got in his way. Moura capitalised and he wriggled free to drive home to compound the hope Spurs were feeling.
A valiant effort but a losing one, it felt like, as time ticked away for Spurs. Lloris went up for a corner late and Ziyech hit the post which would have ended Spurs' insurection.
And as the fifth minute of injury time arrived, it was Moura who recieved the ball again from Alli after Llorente had tipped it on. He drove the ball into the net and in the same move wheeled away before being mobbed by his teammates and subs and anyone else who found themselves in the vicinity with a Spurs bent.
Ajax, the darlings of the Champions League, were left sprawled on the ground, in tears and out of the Champions League. Pochettino was in tears too as he struggled to contain himself and believe what he had just seen.
Next stop for this Ajax team is unknown as they are likely to be picked apart by clubs with a lot more money than them in the coming weeks after capturing the hearts and mind of football fans all over the world this season with their unlikely run to the last four. Next stop for Spurs, however, is Madrid where they meet Liverpool in an all-Premier League final.
Ajax - Tottenham Hotspur live online: match updates
Ajax vs Tottenham Hotspur live online: preview
Ajax and Tottenham Hotspur square off to see who will join Liverpool in the Champions League final at the Wanda Metropolitano in June. Ajax carry a slender lead into the tie after winning 1-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last week but have reinforcements back in the shape of Heung-Min Son and Jan Vertonghen seems to have recovered from his head injury suffered in the first leg that forced Pochettino into an early substitution and rejigging of his tactical system.
Ajax will likely stick with the same eleven they went with in London. They had plenty of success during that game but did suffer a little bit in both halves once Spurs got to grips with them. That didn't stop David Neres from rattling one off the post that would have given their opponents a mountain to climb in the second leg. They had oodles of talent and play an attacking game, which has been the talk of Europe this season, so it should be open and exciting. Manager, Ten Hag, says they don't need any motivation tonight as they look to make their first European final since 1996.
Pochettino still doesn't have Harry Kane or Harry Winks and is without Davinson Sanchez also for the game. He does have Son back, however, who scored early against City and set the tone for the game. They lost to Bournemouth at the weekend but all eyes are on the Champions League. The Argentine admitted that he might have to consider his future if they were to win the competition and also admitted that saying no to Real Madrid was difficult when they came knocking. If he manages to get to the final against Liverpool and win it, he could have his pick of club.