2019 Champions League- Ajax vs Tottenham
The 2019 Champions League Final is just around the corner! My Reds (Liverpool) against their English counterpart Tottenham. The final is scheduled for June 1st, 2019 at 2:00pm in Madrid, Spain. It will be hosted at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, which is home to Atletico Madrid.
Semi Final Recap- Ajax vs Tottenham
For those of you who are new to the world of soccer, or those who are avid soccer fans and were living under a rock recently, let’s go over a quick recap of how Tottenham ended up making it to the Champions League Final.
The boys from the Netherlands got a dream result with a 1-0 away victory at Tottenham in the 1st leg. Danny Van de Beek slotted a shot past Hugo Lloris for the advantage in the 15th minute for lone goal of the match. Possession throughout the game was dead even, along with shots, corner kicks, and even fouls.It was fairly fast paced, and quite an unexpected result for the young Ajax squad.
The 2nd leg was one for the ages! Ajax took a quick lead in the 5th minute with a header by Matthijs de Ligt.Ajax then doubled their lead with a goal by Hakim Ziyech in the 35th minute, virtually cementing a spot in the finals with a 2-0 lead going into halftime and 3-0 on aggregate.
The boys from North London had other ideas as the 2nd half began. With the need to score 3 goals without conceding another, they faced a daunting task. Lucas Moura took the Spurs team on his back with one of the greatest Champions League performances I have ever seen. He got on the score sheet in the 55th minute, and then again in the 59th cutting the deficit to one goal to reach their dreams of the Champions League Final.
Ajax regained their nerves after the two quick goals, but sat back in hopes of holding on with a slim margin of victory. As we approached injury time, it seemed that all hope was lost for Tottenham as the 96th and final minute of injury time came to a close. A deep ball played into the attacking half was thwarted off by Ajax, only to fall to the feet of Tottenham’s Dele Alli. He played a through ball to a perfectly timed run by Lucas Moura who slotted home the tying goal for the match, which would eventually put the Spurs through to the finals!
Watch Lucas Moura’s hat trick here and other highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QxkhcNLPtk
Analysis of the Result
I have to tip my hat to Ajax. A squad with tons of young talent, who nobody expected to get past Real Madrid or Juventus. They play hard, attack well, and were hard to prepare for as no one could showcase a strong game plan to either attack more dangerously, or defend more consistently. They exposed the left flank time and time again, and were dangerous on corner kicks and set pieces. In the end, I believe a lack of experience in the 2nd leg was their downfall. They decided to pack back and hold a line much deeper than I would have been comfortable with. It was only a matter of time with no urge of attack that they were giving up a goal. When they did, the 2nd came just as swiftly. Looking back, I believe had they continued to put the pressure on Tottenham by attacking, they would be heading to the finals in Madrid to face the greatest team of all (in my opinion) Liverpool.
With that being said, Tottenham showed the resilience of your typical English Premier League team. They are tested and they battle every week for vital points to stay ahead in the table of the EPL. Mauricio Pochettino deserves credit for his halftime adjustments and in game strategy. He didn’t allow his team to sulk and he held no punches.It was a tale of two halves, and Tottenham did what they are known to do, score goals. They even did this without their leading scorer in Harry Kane, who is vital to their attack. They attacked a timid Ajax team in the 2nd half and made them pay for their lack of attack. Congratulations to Tottenham!
Join me next week as we analyze the Liverpool vs Barcelona Semi- Final, and look ahead to the Champions League Final match on June 1st.
Have a great weekend, and “GO ON YOU REDS!”