Tottenham Hotspur’s comeback against Ajax in the second leg of the Champions League semi final was one of the most dramatic in the competition’s illustrious history.
Spurs found themselves 3-0 down on aggregate after going two goals behind during the first half of the tie at the Johan Cryuff ArenA which gave Mauricio Pochettino’s side a mountain to climb if they were to set up a date with Liverpool in Madrid on June 1st.
Pochettino’s decision to bring on Fernando Llorente for Victor Wanyma at the break proved to be a masterstroke with Spurs adopting a more direct approach to try and use the Spaniard as a target man to allow the likes of Lucas Moura space to run in behind.
The plan worked perfectly with the Brazilian scoring three second half goals including one deep into injury time to send the North London side through on away goals.
The Spurs boss admitted that he regrets celebrating in the manner he did by showing such emotion when there was still one minute left to play.
The adrenaline was running through the Argentine’s veins in such a manner that he found it difficult to sleep when he returned to the club’s training ground in the early hours of the following morning and decided to watch the match again with a nice glass of wine.
Pochettino said in an interview with talkSPORT: “It was a massive achievement for us,”
“It was one of our dreams when we started the process here at Tottenham.
“We’ve worked so hard and we have shared a lot of tough moments, so when you achieve something that nobody believed was possible, it is very emotional.
“And of course, we know how hard we work to reach this level, which is why it is difficult to keep your emotions inside.
“When Lucas Moura scored that third goal, in this moment I lost my head, I lost my composure and I nearly regretted it. When the referee said, ‘one minute more’, I wanted to kill myself!
“We were celebrating before we finished the game and in that moment we realised what a big mistake we were making because we jumped and ran inside the pitch and we believed the game was finished, but then we needed to defend again for one minute. It was the longest minute of my life.
“The best memory is when we finished, it was amazing – a big hug with my people, my son, the players, the staff. It’s an amazing memory.
“We got back to the lodge at Tottenham, were sitting on the sofa, watching the repeat of the match and we opened a bottle of Argentinan red wine. It was 3 o’clock that we arrived at the lodge and it was difficult to go to sleep because we were still in disbelief over what had happened a few hours before.”
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