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Tottenham Hotspur qualified for the Champions League final after beating Ajax in the second leg

It seemed like it was going to be another season of almost there but not quite yet for Spurs as they found themselves 2-0 down at the half time and 3-0 down on aggregate against Ajax. Most people would’ve counted Spurs out and maybe even the most ardent fans did not see a way back but Lucas Moura had other ideas. The Brazilian scored a hat trick to send Spurs through to their maiden Champions League Semi-Final. Here are a few talking points from the game.

#1 A tale of two halves:

Ajax started the first half just like they did in the first leg, suffocating press and slick pinpoint passing and it bore fruits early on as captain De Ligt put the hosts up 1-0 inside 5 minutes of the game. Shortly after, in the 35th minute, Ajax dispossessed Trippier in midfield and found themselves 2-0 up after Ziyech converted on the counter. Tottenham came out in the second half all guns blazing and used Llorente as the focal point of their attack, Tottenham kept up the same intensity throughout the match, something that Ajax could not match. Tottenham dug deep and proved their mettle in the second half.

#2 Brazilian Magic:

Lucas Moura has had a Topsy Turvy season so far while he did start the season extremely well he dipped in form as the season went on, it’s all forgiven now. The Brazilian scored a monumental hat trick to send Spurs through to Madrid. He opened the scoring in the 55th minute when he used his pace to get onto the ball and slot it past Onana. He then scored his second goal 4 minutes later when he wriggled around a few Ajax players in the box and drew Spurs level. He put the final nail in the coffin when he scored just seconds from time to silence the Johan Cruyff arena. He finished the match with 5 shots on goal 3 on target, individual performances don’t get bigger than this

#3 Inspiring Substitution By Pochettino:

Pochettino had a wafer-thin squad, to begin with, and not many attacking options off the bench. He decided to take Wanyama off and get Llorente on in the second half which proved to be a masterstroke. Once Llorente came on, Spurs mainly crossed the ball towards him and more often than not, he would win the header with a few Spurs players around him to continue the attack after winning the second ball. This made all the difference as Spurs were able to move up the pitch quickly and exposed Ajax’s weakness in the air. Llorente finished the game winning 13 out of 17 aerial duels against Ajax, the most in a UCL knockout game this season and he managed this in 45 minutes of play.

#4 Disappointing end to the Fairy tale run:

Ajax have been nothing short of spectacular this season with a perfect mixture of raw young talent and older experienced players who helped them reach the Semi-Finals of the tournament. They did so by beating some of the tournament favourites in Real Madrid and Juventus. Over the two legs, they did play better football and had Spurs on the back foot for majority of the game, However, sometimes a side can be the most talent-stacked team but if they’re not willing to get their hands dirty and dig deeper than their opponent, they might end up on the losing side and that is exactly why we love this sport. Spurs never gave up, they played with the same intensity throughout the ninety minutes they dug deep and pushed their body to the absolute limits and Ajax had no answer. Spurs just wanted it more, plain and simple. Football can be complicated but sometimes it comes down to the basics like which side wants to win it more desperately.

#5 Tottenham set up an All English Finals vs Liverpool

Liverpool are here for the second time running and Spurs are here for the first time in their history, An all English final awaits us on June 1st at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium. Will it be Liverpool for the 6th time or will it be Tottenham for the first time? Don’t bother predicting anything because the exact opposite might happen. Such has been this season's results and we as football fans could not have asked for more. Congratulations to both teams, hopefully, we get another cracker of a match on 1st June.

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