Competition
  • Serie A
  • Vuelta a España

How wonderful the Champions League is

If there was a thunderclap the night before at Anfield, then there was more rumbling again last night at the Johan Cruyff Arena, where Tottenham turned around Ajax' 2-0 lead, which had added to their first leg 0-1 win. In what was an exercise of faith, perseverance and football, the Tottenham of our old friend Pochettino clinched a 2-3 victory at the death, taking them through to the final. Three goals by Lucas Moura, three from the left boot of a right-footed player. Complete disillusionment for the Ajax fans, who had already seen themselves in the final, a just reward for their model, that football-development that contrasts so starkly with the football-buying that has taken over everything. A beautiful, romantic saga that deserved a better ending.

Tottenham players celebrate their win over Ajax in Amsterdam.

Tottenham players celebrate their win over Ajax in Amsterdam.

An unrelenting Tottenham

But there is also such merit in Tottenham reaching the final. Their effort yesterday was tremendous. We started the game with an impressive Ajax, dominating and taking the lead with two goals. It seemed like that was that. But Spurs, with that same British stubbornness that we saw from Liverpool against Barça the day before, were willing to play their hand until the very end. Their game was like a repeating tide, one which flooded the Ajax area. Perhaps the Dutch, much like Barça in Anfield, were over-confident with their lead, allowing themselves to drop too deep, counting on time to play to their advantage. But Tottenham kept going and nicked the winning goal on the stroke of the 95th minute.

Gracing the Champìons League final

Ajax played well initially, Tottenham then took over. Much of the game was filled with elaborate passing, then they mixed things up with their long game targeting the head of Llorente, who came on in the second half, with a more patient game, spreading play to the wings. It was a tremendous match, not a minute being wasted, with Ajax on the counter that always threatened to conclude the duel, while Spurs continued to press, their incredible efforts eventually bringing them three goals. The Wanda Metropolitano will witness an English final, Liverpool-Tottenham. Both sides arrive with maximum merit, honouring the Champions League, the greatest of all.