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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 6 April, 2020


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Good evening everybody, you’re very welcome along to what we can only hope and pray is another night of Champions League action full of the type of drama, plot-twists and high energy which made Tuesday’s events at Anfield an occasion never to be forgotten.

Liverpool booked their place in this year’s final with the most incredible, odds-defying 4-0 victory you’re ever likely to see. Without Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino, three goals down against a star-studded Barcelona side seeking their third treble in a decade, Klopp’s boys did the impossible.

Tottenham will hope to take some glimmer of inspiration from yesterday’s events on Merseyside if we are to have an all-English Champions League final for the first time since Manchester United and Chelsea battled it out at a rain-sodden Moscow way back in 2008.

Like their Premier League counterparts, Spurs also come into their second leg with an uphill battle to overcome having meekly lost last week’s curtain-raiser in London 1-0 to Ajax, who will hope to see out the job tonight at the Johan Cruyff (Cruijff, if you please) ArenA.

Ajax v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League - Semi Final - Second Leg - Johan Cruijff ArenA Source: EMPICS Sport

While the Londonders were falling short against a Mark Travers-inspired Bournemouth over the weekend, the Eredivisie leaders took another big step towards their treble aspirations, seeing off Willem II 4-0 in the Dutch Cup final — as a result bouncing into tonight’s second leg full of confidence and hunger for even more silverware.

It’s all falling into place for Erik ten Hag’s side at the culmination of a historic campaign. Matthijs de Ligt, Donny van de Beek, Frenkie de Jong and so many others have become household names this year, with Ajax hoping tonight will see them into a European Cup final for the first time since 1996.

Last Tuesday night they dominated Spurs for large chunks of the opening half, with Tottenham struggling to get a foothold without all of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Harry Winks. Son is definitely back tonight, while Kane could possibly play a role off the bench.

Van de Beek’s composed finish after 15 minutes a week ago currently stands between the sides ahead of kick-off. That crucial away goal for Ajax means Mauricio Pochettino’s men must enact their own come-from-behind miracle to reach the final of Europe’s elite club competition for the very first time in their history.

Kick-off is coming up in just over an hour’s time at 8.00pm, with tonight’s game live on BT Sport 2 and Virgin Media Sport as well. For the love of God park yourself in front of the box and watch the magic unfold.

Let’s get started with tonight’s team news…

TEAM NEWS: Erik ten Hag has made one change from last week’s victory in London. Joel Veltman drops out of the starting XI, replaced by Morocco international Noussair Mazraoui at right back.

For Spurs, Mauricio Pochettino makes two changes from the first leg. Davinson Sanchez is out and replaced by the fit-again Moussa Sissoko, while up front Fernando Llornte makes way for Son Heung-min, who is back from suspension.

Unfortunately there is no place for Harry Kane on the bench for the visitors, with the skipper failing to recover from his injury setback in time for the second leg.

AJAX: Onana, de Ligt, van de Beek, Neres, Tadic, Mazraoui, Blind, Schone, de Jong, Ziyech, Tagliafico.

Substitutes: Varela, Veltman, Sinkgraven, Huntelaar, Magallan, Dolberg, de Wit.

TOTTENHAM: Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Wanyama, Sissoko, Eriksen, Dele, Lucas, Son.

Substitutes: Gazzaniga, Foyth, Davies, Dier, Skipp, Lamela, Llorente.

Tottenham trail by one tonight but have rallied past all of Barcelona, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City to get to this point. No mean feat by any stretch.

Is another performance when the chips are down and the odds stacked against them too much to ask, or will Pochettino’s men match Liverpool’s feat by coming from behind to book their place in Madrid’s decider at the start of June?

How do you see tonight’s game unfolding? Let us know below!

Poll Results:

Ajax go through (359)
Tottenham go through (334)

Will we be seeing similar scenes again tonight?

A late switch for Ajax, as David Neres is forced to pull out. Kasper Dolberg, who Ireland fans will be very familiar with in recent battles against Denmark, comes in to take his place up front.

Flag 1Mins

KICK-OFF: We’re underway for the first half!


There’s an incredible atmosphere inside the Johan Cruyff ArenA tonight. Spurs appear to be lining up in a 4-2-3-1 with Son up top and Victor Wanyama and Moussa Sissoko sitting deep to try and break up play.

Chance! There’s panic inside the Tottenham box early doors here. The ball bobbles and bounces around the area before it falls on a plate for Hakim Ziyech to strike from close range. Sissoko throws himself in the way to get the block in crucially.

UEFA Champions League - AFC Ajax vs Tottenham Hotspur Source: DPA/PA Images


And another! Ajax applying a serious amount of early pressure now. Ziyech with a long-range effort which forces Hugo Lloris into a fingertip save to push the ball out a corner.



We have a breakthough! Ajax have taken the lead with just five minutes on the clock. Their heroic young captain Matthijs de Ligt scored a crucial header against Juventus and he pops up with another tonight, directing the corner crossed into the box right past Lloris into the back of the net. What a start.


Off the post! Tottenham almost provide the perfect response straight away down the other end. Back in the side from suspension, Son sees his low effort smash the bottom of the post but there’s no man in green on hand to tap in the re-bound. A chaotic start to this game. 


A manic start to this second leg at both ends, as both sides try and take a quick breather to gather themselves amid all the action at both ends. Son will be kicking himself that chance didn’t fly in. Spurs have a mountain to climb after De Ligt’s early header and that strike down off the post would have given the Londonders a way back into the tie right away.


Another chance for Spurs. Dele Alli peels away from Mazraoui inside the box and curls a wicked effort just wide of the post. All his efforts are in vain though, as the linesman raises his flag for offside.

Ajax v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League - Semi Final - Second Leg - Johan Cruijff ArenA Source: EMPICS Sport


Some really intricate passing play between van de Beek and Kasper Dolberg almost sees the latter in for a free strike at goal. The pair exchange passes in-between rows of Tottenham bodies. Dolberg sets his sight on Lloris’ bottom corner, but former Ajax man Christian Eriksen provides a crucial interception and dribbles the ball away from danger.


Mauricio Pochettino’s men beginning to enjoy a decent spell of possession now. The home supporters are whistling and hollering trying to put the visitors off their game, but with Eriksen and Sissoko fizzing the ball back and forth, Spurs are starting to get a bit of a foothold.


Ajax are beginning to show their opponents how it’s done now though. De Jong and his midfield companions of Tadic and van de Beek spit the ball left and right, oozing it about with the tip of their toes with so much ease in the middle of the park. Great football.

Ajax v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League - Semi Final - Second Leg - Johan Cruijff ArenA Source: EMPICS Sport

Ajax swing a free-kick into the box from the left boot of Hakim Ziyech, but Jan Vertonghen is first to meet it, offering a meaty header to clear. That sends Spurs on a winding counter-attack down the left via Christian Eriksen, but the attack peters out as Nicolas Tagliafico intercepts after making the long trek back.


Tagliafico goes from attack to defence. The right back ventures forward towards the halfway line and threads a decent ball down the line towards Dusan Tadic, but it’s slightly overhit and Trippier manages to collect.


A really, really good chance for Tottenham to level. A brilliant through ball from Dele Alli puts the ball right in front of Son dashing into the box untracked. The South Korean striker latches onto the possession and toe-pokes on target, but Andre Onana keeps his composure and manages to save.


Spurs knock the ball around the back but Dolberg, Tadic and Ziyech are hunting them down in packs. The visitors are doing really well to hang onto the ball, but there’s no way forward as Ajax continue to apply an intense high press.

Ajax v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League - Semi Final - Second Leg - Johan Cruijff ArenA Source: Adam Davy


Dolberg looks like he might be in on goal after brilliantly chesting down a long ball hoofed up the pitch. The late introduction here tonight caresses the ball with his first touch and brings it back down to earth, but his mind slips away for a moment and it allows Toby Alderweireld the chance to nick the ball off his toe.


Close! Ajax bomb forward in search of a second on the night and a third on aggregate to potentially put this game to bed before half-time. Tadic latches onto the ball down the left wing and has the beating of Eric Dier with some dancing, quick feet. He lashes a left-footed effort aiming for Lloris’ bottom corner, but Tadic just misses the target.


Over half an hour on the clock now. Tottenham had been causing Ajax one or two issues over the last little while, but that Tadic chance just flashed wide was a case and point of the threat his side possess at any given moment. A lightning-quick counter out of nothing.



What a strike! Ajax double their lead and make it 3-0 on aggregate with less than ten minutes to go before the break. A tireless, driving run through midfield from van de Beek puts his side on the front foot. He offloads to Hakim Ziyech peeling away to his right and the talented young winger whacks an almighty effort right into the far corner.

The Johan Cruyff ArenA is absolutely hopping now. The home fans sense a first Champions League final in 23 long years is within touching distance now. Three goals to the good, two tonight, means Spurs require three unanswered goals to go through on away goals.


Spurs attack in search of a goal before half-time. They need something, some glimmer of hope to take into the dressing room with them, but just as Son began to pick up speed there, he let the ball go beyond him as Daley Blind races forward to dispossess.


Ajax pushing on and pushing on looking for their third tonight. Ziyech whips a free towards the back post, but it’s headed clear for a corner. The corner is taken short and the ball pumped into the box again, but Vertonghen is first to meet it with another headed clearance. Spurs under siege a little at the moment.

Imago 20190508 Source: Imago/PA Images


There will be two minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half.


Well there are, halfway there. Ajax take a two goal lead into the break and are now three goals to the good on aggregate. It’s fair to say they’ve got one big foot in the final against Liverpool, barring a heroic comeback from Spurs here.

Look, last night showed us that miracles are definitely possible, but it will take one hell of a turnaround from Mauricio Pochettino’s men if they are to book their flights to Madrid by the end of the night.

Matthijs de Ligt has been a heroic young leader for Ajax all year and the 19-year-old got the party going with a pinpoint header with just five minutes on the clock. To their credit, Spurs did frustrate the Dutch league leaders in large patches.

Son Heung-min hit the post when it looked like he might make it 1-1 and there have been other close opportunities for Dele Alli and Son again to almost snatch one back and get Tottenham back in the side.

An absolutely superb finish from Hakim Ziyech made it 2-0 shortly before the break and Ajax only look like going from strength to strength as we prepare for the second half.

More action to come shortly!

Flag 46Mins

SECOND HALF: We’re back underway for another 45 minutes!


There’s one change for Tottenham at half-time. Victor Wanyama makes way as Spurs require more fire power up front. Fernando Llorente scored the decisive goal in the quarter-finals against Manchester City and he comes on hoping to make a difference here. It’s now or never.


Chance for Tottenham right from the off. Dele Alli pings a dangerous ball into the box where Fernando Llorente was making some dangerous movement angling for a header. De Ligt manages to track back, though, and heads clear for a corner kick.

Jeez, both sides are really going on it out there. The ball is zipping from one end to the other in an unpredictable manner, gaps opening up in both defences as both teams opt for an all-out attack approach. 

Ajax v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League - Semi Final - Second Leg - Johan Cruijff ArenA Source: Adam Davy


Spurs press on. Son tries to cut in from the left, but Lasse Schoene forces him back out to recycle possession. Trippier tries to cross a second time around, but it’s blocked away. Very cagey out there.


Save! Dele Alli with a powerful strike which seemed destined for the top corner from point blank range after Christian Eriksen’s curled cross into the box, but Andre Onana produces a superb save to claw the ball away. Incredible goalkeeping.



What a goal! Tottenham may have found a way back into the tie with a superb team goal capped off thanks to a perfect low finish from Lucas Moura. It all started when Danny Rose beat Matthijs de Ligt with an outrageous dummy.

He found Dele Alli, who powered through midfield before cutting inside onto his left foot. His touch didn’t seem like a pass, but Moura picked up possession regardless before slipping a low finish into the bottom corner.


That really was a well worked team goal for Spurs, give them their full credit. It means they have hope, needing two more goals to go through on away goals. A massive half an hour to come in Amsterdam.


He’s only gone and got another! Lucas Moura grabs this game by the scruff of the neck and gives Spurs a massive injection of hope and confidence and belief that they can turn this tie around. An initial save by Onana sees the ball fall inside the box to the Brazilian, he dribbles past a host of challenges with his back to goal, before spinning onto his left boot and slamming a brilliant effort right into the back of the net. Incredible.


This game has been utterly turned on its head. Two goals in less than five minutes sees Spurs level on the night and needing just one more goal to go through to the Champions League final. Lucas Moura has shown himself to be the man for the moment.


Close! Two massive chances for Ajax in as many minutes as Erik ten Hag’s men battle back having been pegged back themselves twice in quick succession. Firstly Hugo Lloris produces a superb save to tip over the bar, before another opportunity comes the way of Hakim Ziyech, but he fails to hit the target with the goal at his mercy.

Good Lord this game has been absolutely brilliant. Inject the 2018/19 Champions League directly into my veins, it’s been so so good.

Ajax v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League - Semi Final - Second Leg - Johan Cruijff ArenA Source: EMPICS Sport


A second switch after the break for Ajax as they try and curb this tide of constant Spurs attacks time after time. Joel Veltman had previously come on Lasse Schoene, while now Kasper Dolberg makes way to be replaced by Daley Sinkgraven.

Pochettino’s men have been completely reinvigorated since the interval. Ajax look an absolute shade of themselves out there, looking more and more nervous as Moura, Son and Llorente scramble to attack time after time. Another Spurs goal seems so likely with all this momentum.

What a stop! Hugo Lloris keeps Tottenham in this with a heroic stop off his line. Ajax still pose a significant threat attacking down both wings. This time Matthijs de Ligt delivers a cross into the box, but Lloris scrambles forward as the cross somehow twisted on target. Luckily for the French goalkeeper, nobody in red and white was alert to poke home into an empty net there.

Ajax Amsterdam - Tottenham Hotspur Source: DPA/PA Images

Another attack for Tottenham, as space continues to open up down that lefthand defensive side where Nicolas Tagliafico has been really struggling. Lucas Moura dribbles forward into the box, but instead of shooting he crosses back into the box, where Blind is on hand to hoof clear. A crucial bit of defending.


There’s a yellow card for Ziyech. The winger built up quite a few fouls throughout the game — this time he bundles into Danny Rose and goes into German referee Felix Brych’s book as a result.


Off the post! Moments after going in the referee’s book, Hakim Ziyech crashes the ball against Hugo Lloris’ post with a chance that almost put the game to bed. He peeled away unnoticed on the edge of the box after a meandering run by van de Beek. The winger curled a low effort destined for the bottom corner, but it hits the woodwork and flies away.

Netherlands Soccer Champions League Source: Martin Meissner


A second substitution of the night by Mauricio Pochettino. Erik Lamela is sent on for the final ten minutes, taking the place of Eric Dier. Spurs are going for this and with that Ziyech chance hitting the post instead of going in… luck might just be on their side tonight.


A third and final switch by Pochettino here now. Ben Davies is on, taking the place of Danny Rose. It’s all Spurs right now, dominating possession, but they are finding nothing but a brick wall when venturing forward to attack. Young de Ligt is patrolling his defence diligently.

Five minutes left on the clock. It’s a constant pattern out there; Spurs throwing everyone forward, sifting possession to the left wing and then back over to the right. Eriksen, Ali and Sissoko are trying their best to find some hole or pocket of space to exploit, but it’s not forthcoming.

Ajax Amsterdam - Tottenham Hotspur Source: DPA/PA Images


Off the crossbar! Jan Vertonghen comes within inches of grabbing Spurs’ third and scoring the goal to put his side into the final on away goals. An initial header by Fernando Llorente fell on a plate for the Belgium international to have a free go at goal, but Vertonghen could only smash his header off the bar. So, so close.


Another close chance for Tottenham. Son dribbles dangerously down inside the box, taking the ball onto his left boot, but his rifled effort which looked like it might rip the net had it hit the target just flies over the crossbar again.

A final change of the night for Ajax, as goalscorer from the first leg Donny van de Beek makes way for what’s left to come in stoppage time. He is replaced by Lisandro Magallan.

Netherlands: Ajax v Tottenham - UEFA Champions League Semi-Final Source: SIPA USA/PA Images


There will be five minutes of stoppage time at the end of the second half.


A crucial block. Ajax take advantage of the oceans of space down the other end as Tottenham commit men forward. Dusan Tadic drifts forward and picks out the run of Frenkie de Jong, who was making a lung-busting run into the box. The Barcelona-bound midfielder slides a shot on goal, but Jan Vertonghen gets back in time to block away.


A huge save from Hugo Lloris down one end, but Tottenham fly down the other end and earn a corner kick deep into stoppage time. The goalkeeper goes forward dramatically for the corner… but Fernando Llorente heads over the crossbar in agonising fashion. Was that the last chance?


IT’S THERE!! Lucas Moura has scored in the last minute of stoppage time to surely send Tottenham through to the Champions League final for the first time in the club’s history. A Fernando Llorente header puts the ball down on the ground invitingly, Dele Alli shuffled the ball onto Moura — and the Brazilian whacks a thunderous effort into the bottom corner to complete his hat-trick. Can you believe it?


It’s all over! Tottenham come back from the dead to book their place in the final of the Champions League for the first time in their history, clawing through in remarkable fashion on away goals thanks to Lucas Moura’s 96th-minute winner.

First-half goals from Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech saw Ajax race into a 3-0 aggregate lead at half-time, however an incredible hat-trick from Moura after the interval saw the game turned on it’s head.

Two remarkable comebacks from English sides one day after the other. Tottenham will now meet Liverpool in Madrid on 1 June in what promises to be an epic encounter if both semi-finals are anything to go by.

Thanks a million for joining us for the ride tonight — you can read our full match report here and you can also check out Gavin Cooney’s player ratings from tonight’s game by clicking here too. Cya soon!

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About the author:

Aaron Gallagher


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