Last-gasp Moura strike seals unbelievable comeback for Spurs
Champions League semi-final second leg, Johann Cruijff Arena – Ajax 2 (De Ligt 5’, Ziyech 35’) Tottenham Hotspur 3 (Moura 55’, 59’, 90+6’) 3-3 on aggregate, Spurs progress on away goals
Lucas Moura scored a sensational second half hat-trick as Tottenham came from 2-0 down to beat Ajax 3-2 and book their place in the Champions League final on away goals in an astonishing evening in Amsterdam.
Erik ten Hag’s side looked composed and played with their trademark youth exuberance in the first half. And they made the perfect start when skipper Matthias De Ligt powered in a header from a corner.
The home side continued to enjoy themselves in Amsterdam and doubled their lead through Hakim Ziyech’s brilliant first-time strike from around 15 yards that flew past Hugo Lloris for his 21st goal of the season.
Hakim Ziyech of Ajax scores his team's second goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Ajax and Tottenham Hotspur at the Johan Cruyff Arena on May 08, 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.Getty Images
Ajax were guilty of sitting back too much – similar to Barcelona against Liverpool the previous night – and were made to pay as Moura reduced the deficit by finishing off a swift counter attack.
Lucas Moura of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Ajax and Tottenham Hotspur at the Johan Cruyff Arena on May 08, 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.Getty Images
And it was Moura at the double as he scored his second to punish some woeful defending after Andre Onana made a fine stop to parry Llorente’s effort.
The former PSG man completed a memorable hat-trick in injury time, finishing off Dele Alli's pass to send Spurs into dreamland and a final against Liverpool on June 1 in Madrid.
How on Earth did Spurs complete their miracle comeback?
They were outplayed in the first half, particularly in midfield. But the spirit they showed to beat Manchester City in the last round was evident again, they just never gave up. The introduction of Fernando Llorente also gave Spurs more of a focal point as they punished some overconfidence from a young Ajax side.
Lucas Moura of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates at full time with Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Ajax and Tottenham Hotspur at the Johan Cruyff Arena on May 8, 2019 in Amsterdam, NetGetty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH
Lucas Moura (Tottenham): The Brazilian showed his ruthless streak which Spurs were missing for most of this tie. He combined well with the inspired Alli for the opener from a counter attack, punished some inept defending for the second and completed his hat-trick in the dying seconds with another composed finish.
Lucas Moura of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Ajax and Tottenham Hotspur at the Johan Cruyff Arena on May 08, 2019 in Amsterdam, NetherlandsGetty Images
AJAX: Onana 8, Mazrouai 6, De Ligt 8, Blind 6, Tagliafico 5, Schone 6, De Jong 8, Ziyech 8, Van Der Beek 6, Dolberg 4, Tadic...Subs: Veltman 5, Sinkgraven 5, Magallan n/a.
5’ - GOAL FOR AJAX! From Schone’s corner, De Ligt powers a header into the corner. VAR confirms it’s a goal, dream start for the hosts.
6’ - WOODWORK! Son's low effort from a tight angle hits the post, it looked to be a cross. Spurs now need two goals.
35’ - GOAL FOR AJAX! Ziyech smashes it into the corner first time from around 15 yards out from Tadic's pass. What a strike!
55’ - GOAL FOR SPURS! Nice counter attack started by Rose, Alli threads it through to Moura who tucks it into the bottom corner.
Lucas Moura of Tottenham Hotspur celebrate his goal during the UEFA Champions League semi final match Ajax Amsterdam and Tottenham Hotspur FC at the Johan Cruijff Arena on May 08, 2019 in Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGetty Images
59’ - GOAL FOR SPURS! Onana makes a brilliant save to keep out Llorente's effort, but Moura is there to put in the rebound after Ajax fail to clear.
79’ - POST! Der Beek's shot is blocked, it falls to Ziyech whose low drive from the edge of the box hits the post.
87’ - WOODWORK! Spurs 8th corner after Son's shot is blocked. Eriksen's corner is a good one and Vertonghen's header hits the bar!
90'+5 - GOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLL FOR SPURS! Moura scores with the last kick of the game from close range.
Moura in on the scoresheet for the first time since his hat-trick against Bournemouth on April 13th.