The reality of miracles
Now where do I start? Having now got my voice back after a thrilling week of European club football it gives me great pleasure in the knowledge that there will be an all English representation at both European cup finals (Champions League and Europa League).
I am sure everyone watched and appreciated some amazing games of football this week and witnessed history being made (average players became heroes). First up were Liverpool who were trailing the mighty Barcelona 3-0 on aggregate and without their influential midfielder Salah.
Prior to the game the entire world had written off Liverpool after the first leg in which Messi put in a one man display of share brilliance. We all watched in amazement as the little Argentinian magician dazzled (I really believed it was over for the Reds). The return leg at Anfield would need to be extra special to overcome a mountain of a task.
The anfield faithful sang their hearts out full of believe and hope for their team who always manage to find that spirit on the big occasions. This match saw Klopp make some changes. I certainly raised my eyebrow (and am sure many across the world did too, be honest hehe!!) when I saw Divock Origi in the starting line up. I thought right, he’s gonna mess up big time ( well………I used a different phrase at the time).
Origi to my surprise opened the scoring in the 7th minute sending the Liverpool supporters into jubilation. They could sense something special was about to happen. They pressured Barcelona for much of the first half and continued in the same vain in the 2nd half. Wijnaldum added a brace in quick succession on the 54th and 56th minute respectively leveling the tie at 3-3 on aggregate.
Barcelona at this point looked worried and disheveled and a far cry from their more disciplined and organised displays. At this stage the atmosphere in anfield was electric, the fans believed. Step up that man Origi who found the winner in the 79th minute after a clever corner from Alexander-Arnold. The boys from Liverpool had done it and defeated the mighty Barcelona and Messi 4-0 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate.
Now the question people were asking was could lightening strike twice? Can Tottenham repeat the heroics of their English counterparts? Were they mentally strong enough and tough enough to challenge and defeat a young vibrant, athletic and clinical Ajax side?
The answer to those questions, YES, YES, YES, YES!! Yes they can and yes they did. we were treated to another jaw dropping, heart racing and dramatic encounter between two warriors. Spurs were already down by a goal to nil on aggregate having lost at home the previous week and needed to go to the Johan Cruyff Stadium to perform miracles of their own.
Ajax are a very very good side and carried their impressive form from the first leg into the match and were ahead on the night after their brilliant young captain de Ligt headed in. The home supporters went bananers, especially when Ziyech put them 2 goals ahead in the 35th minute. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and thought Tottenham had blown their opportunity once again.
Moura was nowhere to be seen in the first half likewise Son who was billed as the player that would make all the difference in the 2nd Leg. However, I am not quite sure what Pochetinno said to his team at half time but a different Spurs came out of that changing room.
The players now started to work for each other and the confidence and believe started to grow. Moura pulled one back for Spurs in the 55th minute before shortly adding a brilliant second goal (he’s foot work was poetry in motion). Ajax now seemed lethargic and although they hit the post, the night belonged to the boys from North London.
Moura was able to find the back of the net in the 96th (and complete his hat trick)after a clever flick from Dele Alli put the Brazilian through on goal. It was a great comeback for Spurs and once that final whistle went Pochetinno was overcome with emotions and who could blame him. His team had been written off long ago but here they are as Liverpool’s competitors to be crowned the best in Europe. June 1st is the date and Madrid is the place, so I’ll see you there for what promises to be an epic encounter between two footballing giants (yes Spurs are footballing giants!!!!).
Champions League Final
Liverpool V Tottenham
Europa League Final
Chelsea V Arsenal
He who dares, wins!!!