Spurs opinion: Forget about being bottlers, Mauricio Pochettino’s men are here for the big stage
The race for the top four in the Premier League was certainly interesting till the last weekend of games.
It seemed like no one wanted to finish in the Champions League spots. Tottenham dropped points against Bournemouth, Manchester United’s wheels came off, Chelsea were playing some dire football and well, Arsenal were being Arsenal away from home.
Spurs’ 1-0 shock defeat to Bournemouth saw us lose two players to red cards and opened the door for both Arsenal and Manchester United to put us under pressure.
However, the pair failed miserably and only a last day miracle can see Arsenal overtake us for a place in the top four.
Tottenham did have other business to attend to, namely, the Champions League semi-final against Ajax.
The Dutch side played us off the park in the first-half of the tie at the new Tottenham stadium but only ran out 1-0 winners.
Mauricio Pochettino has built a team without spending a dime in two transfer windows, and this was the perfect time to show how far we had come.
The stage was set for an incredible night with two teams playing great football, however, Ajax had other plans.
They raced into a two-goal lead on the night and Spurs were facing elimination. Football has seen many miracles and we were witness to one last night.
All hail St. Lucas Moura of north London
Social media is rife with supporters calling their rival clubs as “bottlers” (h/t Sun), and it seemed to be something similar for the top four spots.
Spurs seemed set to leave the Champions League without a whimper but Lucas Moura’s brace set up a tense finale.
Ajax had their chances, Spurs had their chances, the tension was palpable as the seconds ticked by.
The Dutch side surely had done enough to hold on as the clock showed 94 minutes and a few seconds remained.
However, Moura had one final say in the game as he slotted past Andre Onana which led to crazy scenes.
The Ajax players slumped to the ground, a Champions League final was in their hands, they just had to hold on for a few seconds.
They were crying, Pochettino was crying due to happiness, the Spurs players could not believe what had just happened.
But it did happen. Tottenham were in the Champions League final, their first under the new format.
A second half of character
It would have been easy to play out the second half as scoring three goals against Ajax would not have been easy.
The Dutch side were ready to break on the counter and had troubled us over two legs, but this Tottenham team does not know when to lie down.
Sure, there have been some performances which have been below par, but no one can accuse the players of not giving their 100%.
Even against Bournemouth, when we were down to nine-men, the players held on till the final seconds of the game.
A set-piece was our undoing then but we weren’t going to give up on the Madrid dream easily.
The Champions League has been a test of character for Spurs since the group stage. After three games it seemed like we would not make it to the Europa League too, but we picked up a crucial point at the Nou Camp to qualify.
We battered Borussia Dortmund over two legs and dumped out Manchester City, despite the Cityzens hammering us at the Etihad.
Ajax could have blown us away in the first leg, but we made some changes and kept the damage down.
A game can change in seconds, something that Moura proved at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
Liverpool might be better placed than us in the league table but that goes down the window in a final.
The best team on the night wins and we are more than capable of beating the Reds. Tottenham have come a long way under Pochettino, and it is time to forget about being labelled bottlers.
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Irrespective of what happens in the Champions League, this Spurs team knows how to play the big games and it is time to build upon this for the years to come.
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