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Thu, 12 Dec 2019 08:37 GMT

Moura Hat-Trick Leads Spurs into Final Full Report


Ahmed Ahmed

Thu, 09 May 2019 08:40 GMT

A second-half hat-trick from Lucas Moura led Tottenham into their first-ever Champions League Final. Spurs lost the first leg 1-0 and were two goals down at half time but a valiant second half performance saw them through to their first-ever Champions League final.

Ajax started strongly as Dusan Tadic’s shot deflected off Kieran Trippier before forcing goalkeeper Hugo Lloris into a save, but, from the resulting corner, the Dutch side went ahead. Captain Matthijs de Ligt outjumped Dele Alli to thump a header into the back-of-the-net.

Spurs almost equalised straight from the restart as Son Heung-Min dribbled into the box and struck a shot off the post. The English side were starting to get back into the game as Alli curled an effort wide before Son and Christian Eriksen were both denied by goalkeeper Andre Onana, just before the half hour mark.

The hosts almost doubled their lead in the 30th minute. Victor Wanyama was disposed leading to a counter attack which saw Tadic dribble into the area and strike a shot wide of the post. The second goal eventually came in the 37th minute. Tadic again drove into the area before squaring the ball for Hakim Ziyech who fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner to put his side two up before half-time.

Early in the second-half, the away side almost pulled a goal back as Eriksen’s ball over the top found Alli, who saw his shot saved Onana. The north London side finally got their goal in the 55th minute as a counter-attack led to Alli’s pass finding Lucas Moura who slotted the ball into the net.

Just minutes later, Spurs were level. Onana produced a brilliant save to keep out substitute Fernando Llorente’s effort before Moura struck in the rebound. The London side now knew one more goal would be enough to send them through to the Champions League final on away goals.

But it was Ajax who nearly retook the lead soon after as Ziyech fired an effort wide of the goal just past the hour mark. The Moroccan international had another chance in the 78th minute but struck his shot against the base of the post. The visitors nearly scored a winner in the 86th minute as Jan Vertonghen headed against the crossbar following a corner.

Ziyech had an opportunity to win the tie for Ajax in stoppage time, but he saw his shot saved by Lloris, as Tadic failed to turn in the rebound. The winner came with what was the last kick off the game. Moura ran onto Alli’s flick on and struck a left effort into the net to spark wild celebrations among the away bench as Spurs reached their first-ever Champions League Final.

The BBC reported that an emotional Mauricio Pochettino said his players were “heroes”. "Still difficult to talk. The emotion is amazing, thank you to football. My players are heroes - in the last year I was telling everyone this group are heroes. The second half they were amazing. Thank you, football; this type of emotion without football is not possible. Thank you to everyone who has believed in us. To describe this in words is difficult.”

The AFP reported Tottenham full back Danny Rose said his side were inspired by Liverpool’s comeback against Barcelona the previous night. "We saw Liverpool last night. It just goes to show it's not over until it's over," Rose told BT Sport. "The gaffer mentioned it at the hotel before the match. He said that was the right way to play. He doesn't mind if we lose if we play like that.”