Ajax defender Daley Blind has admitted that the Champions League defeat to Tottenham Hotspur still sticks in his mind and those of his team-mates that were involved in the fixture.
Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham headed to the Johan Cruijff ArenA in May 2019 to face the Dutch giants in the Champions League semi-final second leg already 1-0 behind following the first leg in north London.
Ajax extended their advantage to 3-0 on aggregate after de Ligt and Ziyech had both scored in the opening 35 minutes to put Ajax in the box seat to book their place in the final.
A dramatic second half comeback courtesy of Lucas Moura’s hat-trick, with his third goal coming with the last kick of the game saw Tottenham seal their passage to Madrid on the away goal rule.
Blind, who was one of the players left crestfallen on the pitch following Tottenham’s remarkable turnaround admits that the events of the night are still discussed by those he played with, whether when meeting at international level with Holland or elsewhere.
“You know, when we see each other with the guys from that year, the Champions League campaign of that season always comes up,” he was quoted by Voetbal Primeur as saying.
“Because everyone was so happy in that season, there was such a nice vibe in that team.
“Whenever you see each other, in the Netherlands squad or anywhere else, this season passes in review.
“And always the beginning is full of good cheer and beautiful memories, and yet we end in malaise again because it’s about Tottenham at home.”
Ajax can only have themselves to blame for throwing away the second leg, having had any other chances to extend their lead and the manner in which they failed to defend the third goal.
It was a momentous night for Tottenham, but fans equally can recall the final with regret having failed to really threaten Liverpool on that evening in Madrid.
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