Ajax 2-3 Tottenham (agg: 3-3): Champions League semi-final, second leg – as it happened

Tottenham looked down and out, but Lucas Moura’s dramatic second-half hat-trick earned them a place in the final with Liverpool

Jonathan Wilson on what this week’s comebacks mean

Barney Ronay on the Spurs miracle

David Hytner's player ratings

Post-match press conferences: live!

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!

Tottenham celebrate making it to the final against Liverpool.
Tottenham celebrate making it to the final against Liverpool. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images


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 ...

Oh Geoff! How could you!

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.

An emotional Pochettino, not ready for the microphone just yet.
An emotional Pochettino, not ready for the microphone just yet. Photograph: Martin Meissner/AP


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!

Hat-trick hero Moura celebrates at full time as Spurs go through to the final.
Hat-trick hero Moura celebrates at full time as Spurs go through to the final. Photograph: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images


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!

Moura scores the third goal to complete his hat-trick.
Moura scores the third goal to complete his hat-trick. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
Let the celebrations begin.
Let the celebrations begin. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images


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!

Vertonghen hits the rebound, but it’s saved off the line.
Vertonghen hits the rebound, but it’s saved off the line. Photograph: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images


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?

Ziyech hits the post.
Ziyech hits the post. Photograph: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images


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.

Alderweireld heads just wide.
Alderweireld heads just wide. Photograph: Tottenham Hotspur FC/via Getty Images


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.

Alli and Ziyech face off.
Alli and Ziyech face off. Photograph: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images


67 min: Another defensive move by Ten Hag. Dolberg, who has done nothing of note tonight, is replaced by Sinkgraven.

66 min: Tripper zips down the right on the overlap, sent into space by Moura, and wins another corner. Nothing comes of that, but Spurs now look dangerous every time they pile forward!

64 min: And now Moura is one de Ligt block away from slamming home a ball dropping on the penalty spot! Good luck guessing which way this is going to go, because these teams have seemingly taken the decision to give up defending as a way of life.

63 min: Ajax are inches away from restoring their two-goal lead. Mazraoui slips a pass down the left for Tadic, who nears the byline and pulls one back for Ziyech. A first-time slapshot whistles inches wide of the right-hand post.

Ziyech reacts after going close.
Ziyech reacts after going close. Photograph: Soccrates Images/Getty Images


62 min: Llorente enjoys a rush of hot blood to the head and fires miles over the bar from 25 yards. It’s fair to say it’s all happening now!

61 min: Just the 24 hours since we’ve witnessed a sensational second-half comeback. Ajax are rocking. Schone is replaced by Veltman as Erik Ten Hag looks to shore things up. But has the horse already bolted?

GOAL! Ajax 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Moura 59); agg 3-2

This is sensational! Son slips the ball wide right to Trippier, who is in acres on the right. He enters the box and slams low and hard into the middle. Llorente flicks hard but is denied from close range by a sensational Dudek-esque point-blank strong arm from Onana. But Schone gets in the road as Onana looks to fall on the ball and smother. It breaks to Moura, who twinkle-toes his way around de Light, turns, and slams into the bottom left! This is on!

Moura does score another for Spurs to make it 2-2.
Moura does score another for Spurs to make it 2-2. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images


57 min: For the first time this evening, you can hear a rendition of Come On You Spurs. The home supporters respond with some noise of their own. But it’s a more nervous Johan Cruyff ArenA now. Another goal for Spurs and this tie suddenly takes a sharp left turn!

GOAL! Ajax 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur (Moura 55); agg 3-1

And here’s that goal! Rose beats de Ligt on the halfway line and feeds Alli, who drives down the middle. He passes towards Moura, on his left shoulder. Moura takes a touch into the box and fires low and hard into the bottom right! There’s the first goal, and here comes hope!

Moura gets one back for Spurs.
Moura gets one back for Spurs. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images
He’s keen to get on with scoring another.
He’s keen to get on with scoring another. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images


54 min: Spurs finally make Onana work! Eriksen floats a diagonal ball, left to right, towards Alli, cutting into the box from the right and free. The ball sits up awkwardly, and Alli is forced to twist his body unnaturally to slam a shot goalwards. He connects well, and the ball’s heading for the top right. Onana parries with a strong hand. A corner, which is headed over harmlessly by Llorente. But a goal now, and you never know.

52 min: Son buzzes around the front of the Ajax box. Eventually the ball’s worked in towards Llorente, and the ball’s flicked out for a corner. That’s better. But Eriksen’s set-piece delivery hasn’t improved, and again he fails to beat the first man. Very poor. Meanwhile here’s Dan Hamilton with some more bright-side patter: “Very charitable, Scott, to encourage hope for Spurs. Plainly, they are running on empty after the longest of seasons for most of their players. They’ve done massively well to come this far and barring a last-day catastrophe, will return to this tourney next season. And have you seen the size of their coj-err, coc-umm-uhh, co-efficient? Big as its ever been and enough to slide them into in pot two for the group draw.”

50 min: Dolberg is booked for a late clank on Rose. No complaints.

49 min: Rose embarks on another strong run down the middle of the park, having breezed past Ziyech. He’s earned the right to shoot from the edge of the box, but opts to find Alli inside him instead. The pass is awful and Ajax clear without fuss. A chance to work Onana spurned there.

47 min: Not as far as Spurs are concerned. Eriksen’s corner fails to beat the first man. A clearance pure and true.

46 min: Ajax’s fans start the half by belting out a version of Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. Don’t worry about a thing ... but a long pass into the Ajax box causes de Ligt to panic and toe the ball out for a cheap corner for Spurs. Is every little thing going to be alright?

We’re off again! Ajax keep Spurs waiting, taking their sweet time to leave the tunnel. They get the second half underway, 45 minutes from a Saturday 1 June final with Liverpool. Spurs need three goals, and so they throw on Fernando Llorente in place of Victor Wanyama.

Half-time bright-side patter. “I guess Pochettino won’t be moving on after winning the Champions League,” writes Peter Littley. “Maybe Trippier and Alli will.”

“Tadic kicked Trippier in the face in the lead-up to the second goal,” opines Evan Crocker. “That’s something I think I could technically be mad about, since there’s a big difference between 1-0 and 2-0. But either scenario requires Spurs to score more than one goal and that is proving to be wishful thinking. It’s like Tadic kicked me in the face as well, and for that I thank him.”

And finally, because somebody had to go there, here’s Matt Dony: “Can Spurs bring Wijnaldum on at half-time? Or, at least, Didi Hamann?”

HALF TIME: Ajax 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur (agg: 3-0)

Spurs require three second-half goals if they’re to make it to Madrid. It’s a hell of an ask. But as Liverpool proved last night, a quickfire one-two can change everything. No point in giving up hope now.

45 min: Spurs clear it easily enough. There will be two added minutes.

44 min: Ziyech floats the set piece into the box, forcing Spurs into conceding a corner. From which ...

43 min: Wanyama lands on Schone’s foot in a 50-50 challenge. Once again he’s a little fortunate not to see yellow. Next time perhaps. Anyway, this will be a free kick, 35 yards out, just to the left of centre.

42 min: Rose romps into an awful lot of space down the middle. He’s got options, and flicks a ball towards Alli on the left. Alli miscontrols and Ajax, momentarily light at the back, breathe a sigh of relief.

Alli battles with Tadic.
Alli battles with Tadic. Photograph: Soccrates Images/Getty Images


40 min: Space for Moura on the left. He crosses, but there’s nobody in the box. Spurs will have to start taking chances at some point, but the handbrake hasn’t been released yet.

39 min: Spurs gamely push Ajax back into their final third, just as they did after the opening goal. But they can’t find the final ball. Spurs now need three goals, and Ajax look accordingly comfortable.

37 min: The noise in the ArenA is pretty much at the level you’d expect. Ajax’s first final since 1996 is within touching distance for the Amsterdam giants and four-time winners. Number five could be on its way soon. What response do Spurs have this time?

GOAL! Ajax 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur (Ziyech 35); agg 3-0

Tadic beats Trippier to a ball in the midfield, wafting a leg near his face. No foul. Van de Beek glides down the inside left, then slips the ball wide to Tadic, who cuts back for Ziyech, just to the left of the D. Ziyech sends a rising screamer across Lloris and into the top right. A sensational strike, and Spurs are in all sorts of trouble now.

Ziyech shoots.
Ziyech shoots. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images
Lloris watches as the ball flies by.
Lloris watches as the ball flies by. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
Ziyech looks to the sky as he celebrates scoring the second for Ajax.
Ziyech looks to the sky as he celebrates scoring the second for Ajax. Photograph: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images


34 min: De Jong, the young man tasked with the job of fixing Barcelona next season, bowls up the middle of the park. A wonderful run, and he’s crudely checked by Wanyama, who is lucky to escape a caution.

33 min: The home fans have found their voice again. It’s a gloriously old-school European noise. Ziyech, to the right of the centre circle nearly finds Tadic on the left with a wonderful diagonal rake, but Trippier is back to intercept. A great read, and it looks as though he’s moving fine again.

31 min: Wanyama had stayed down after being barged off the ball by van de Beek. But he’s up and about again now, after a quick pat down with the magic sponge.

30 min: Wanyama is robbed in the centre circle by van de Beek. De Jong then sprays a ball wide left to Tadic, who bombs towards the box and shoots low and hard towards the bottom right. Lloris is beaten, but the ball fizzes inches wide of the post.

Tadic shoots just wide.
Tadic shoots just wide. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images


29 min: Incidentally, Trippier has been holding the top of his right thigh and glancing over to the bench quite a lot. In the technical area, Pochettino responds by looking thoughtful in the 1940s movie-star style.

28 min: More Spurs passing, but this time further up the field. They work the ball this way and that, and eventually Rose earns a corner out on the left. Rose’s corner doesn’t beat the first man. The clearing header drops to Moura, who slices wildly wide from 25 yards.

26 min: Some sterile Spurs possession in the middle of the park. It frustrates the home fans, who strike up a cacophony of whistles. Music to Tottenham’s ears.

24 min: Now Moura sashays his way into the box down the inside left and sends a fierce shot straight at Onana. Spurs will be a little frustrated with their finishing so far, but otherwise happy: they’re making chances.

23 min: Ah this is much better! Eriksen heel-flicks down the Spurs left, dispatching the ball from a tight spot and allowing Rose to make down the wing. He’s fouled, but the ball breaks to Alli, who shuttles it inside for Son, just inside the box. He’s just got Onana to beat, but shoots weakly for the bottom right and Onana claims.

Son shoots.
Son shoots. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA


22 min: This is being played at 100mph. Plenty of pressing, not so much successful passing.

21 min: Ziyech swings the set piece into the box. Moura clears with ease. Eriksen attempts to release Son down the right on the counter, but Tagliafico mops up.

20 min: One thing Sissoko can’t afford to do is snooze 30 yards from his own goal. He does that here, is stripped of possession, and is forced to foul Tagliafico. A free kick out on the left.

18 min: It’s all become a little bit scrappy. Understandably so. Two tense teams tussling for the big prize.

16 min: Sissoko goes in a little strongly on Tagliafico as the pair challenge for a loose ball down the Tottenham right. It’s a yellow card, and the combative midfielder is now walking along the old disciplinary tightrope. Not great news, but an early yellow didn’t stop Fabinho putting himself about last night for Liverpool, repeatedly getting on Luis Suarez’s nerves to boot. Proof that this needn’t be the end of the world.

Sissoko fouls Tagliafico and receives a yellow card.
Sissoko fouls Tagliafico and receives a yellow card. Photograph: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images


14 min: Eriksen is seeing plenty of ball in these early exchanges. He flicks a pass down the left in the hope of releasing Moura into the area. Not quite, and the ball bounces through to Onana. Spurs will be extremely pleased with their response to the goal; the home fans have quietened a little as a result.

12 min: That early goal means there’ll be no extra time or penalties tonight. One way or another, this will be decided in the regulation 90 minutes. Plus stoppages of course. So who will face Barcelona Liverpool in the final?

10 min: Spurs might be losing, but they’ve been the better side on balance so far. That’s football. First Alli bursts down the middle, and is only stopped by an excellent tackle from Schone. Then Eriksen flicks a pass down the left channel for Alli, who shanks a shot wide right from just inside the box. The flag was up for offside anyway, but this is promising for Spurs.

8 min: Spurs have responded well to the early concession, pushing Ajax back into their final third. Blind is lucky not to be booked for bundling Sissoko to the ground. The free kick, out on the right, is wafted into the mixer by Trippier. Ajax don’t deal with it immediately, but eventually clear their lines with Moura and Son hovering.

6 min: A terrible start nearly turns into a fantastic one, as Son works his way down the left and tries to beat Onana at his near post with a low shot. He does beat the keeper, but the ball clanks off the base of the post and away from danger, just outside of Eriksen’s reach. What a start to this game!

GOAL! Ajax 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur (de Ligt 5); agg 2-0

The 19-year-old Ajax captain rises above Alli on the penalty spot and plants a header to Lloris’s right and in! Easy as that! A brief check with VAR, as Vertonghen might have been wrestled to the ground by van de Beek, but it’s correctly deemed fair. A terrible start for Spurs.

De Ligt scores the opener for Ajax.
De Ligt scores the opener for Ajax. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images
And celebrates.
And celebrates. Photograph: Soccrates Images/Getty Images


4 min: Ajax come straight back at Spurs. Tadic finds himself in a lot of space down the inside-left channel. He pearls a diagonal shot towards the bottom right. Lloris tips round the post magnificently for a corner. And from the set piece ...

3 min: Tadic would have been playing through the middle had Neres not injured himself. But now he’s out on the left, torturing Trippier. The ball is worked into the Spurs box. A little bit of pinball. Then van de Beek has a whack from distance. Wanyama blocks.

2 min: Now Spurs get a go to knock it around the back. Vertonghen is wearing his protective mask, by the way. Sensible Jan.

1 min: Spurs give up possession quickly enough, allowing Ajax to stroke it around the back a while. A chance for a few members of this young team to get a feel of the ball.

And we’re off! Spurs get the party started amid one hell of a racket. One big boost for Spurs before kick-off: Ajax lost the talented young Brazilian David Neres in the warm-up, so Kasper Dolberg takes his place.

The teams are out! There’s a blistering noise being made in the Johan Cruyff ArenA. The home fans giving it plenty: flags, a brass band, the lot. What an atmosphere! Tottenham’s to-do list: listen to Uefa anthem, clasp hands, win coin toss, swap pennants, kick off, silence crowd as soon as possible. A reminder, not that you need it, that Spurs are 0-1 down after the first leg. An early away goal would change everything, and really put the cat among the pigeons. As Liverpool proved last n