What has unfolded in front of our eyes over the past two nights in the Champions League has been remarkable. We may never seen anything like it again. As Hakim Ziyech netted Ajax’s second of the night, people said it was over for Tottenham Hotspur. However, as Lucas Moura struck his 95th-minute winner, euphoria erupted for not just Spurs, but the majority of football lovers across the globe. It set up what is to be a captivating all-English Champions League final. Tottenham, Liverpool and the Champions League has shown what is brilliant about football.
Tottenham, Liverpool and The Champions League
Both comebacks were truly remarkable in their own right. While Tottenham had the better in-game comeback, Liverpool’s triumph over one of the world’s greatest sides and all-time great players in Lionel Messi will be remembered more.
Before Tuesday night, Liverpool fans only had a small glimmer of hope. Barcelona merely had to arrive at Anfield and score. However, they crumbled under the Liverpool high-press. As Divock Origi struck after seven minutes, that hope grew for Liverpool. The famous European nights’ atmosphere at Anfield grew louder and louder; they knew it wasn’t over.
Once Georginio Wijnaldum struck twice in quick succession, pandemonium struck The Kop and the atmosphere grew even louder. As a result of the Dutchman’s brace, it was 3-3 on aggregate and belief was reinstated. What followed was joy, followed by disbelief as Origi confirmed Liverpool’s place in the Champions League. Jurgen Klopp had masterminded slaying of the Catalan giants.
As Tottenham went down the tunnel of the Johan Cruyff Arena, everybody had written them off. 2-0 down on the night, 3-0 on aggregate, they were down and out on the canvas. However, the next 45 minutes of football entailed true football greatness. They fought back against the young guns of Ajax.
Another night, and another two goals in quick succession, this time for Tottenham. Lucas Moura netted his second of the night after a goalmouth scramble. They battled on for the crucial third goal, but they were having no luck. Ajax looked like they were going to hold out and continue their fairy tale campaign. Tottenham had different ideas, and Moura’s last-minute winner cued jubilant scenes for Tottenham as Ajax players sunk to the floor. Mauricio Pochettino had booked his players in the history books at Tottenham. It showed what is brilliant about Champions League football.
Topping Off a Brilliant Champions League
Whatever happens in the final on June 1, this has already been a brilliant year of Champions League football. The knockout stages have shown what is brilliant about the world’s greatest competition.
Throughout the tournament, there have been brilliant individual stories. From Ajax triumphing 4-1 at the Bernabeu, Manchester City’s last minute disallowed goal against Tottenham and Manchester United’s comeback in Paris. This Champions League season has had it all. Liverpool and Tottenham have put the cherry on top of the cake.
What happens in the final won’t matter to the neutral. The anticipation of what more could happen is already exciting enough.