Liverpool one night, Tottenham the next. The Premier League is the gift that keeps giving in the Champions League, and debate will now rage as to which club mounted the more incredible comeback to reach next month’s final in Madrid. You can pick an accumulator bet using tips from Footy Accumulators to try and win money on the match.
Tears for Tottenham
Lucas Moura, the former Paris Saint-Germain forward scored a second-half hat trick, including the game-winner deep into stoppage time, to give his side a 3-2 win that got them through 3-3 on aggregate via the away goals rule.
“I’m living a dream, man. It’s impossible to explain what I’m feeling right now. I’ve always dreamed about this, I always believed I’d play a Champions League final one day,” Lucas said. “But not even in my best dreams I could imagine it would go down the way it went.”
“Three goals, one of them in the finals seconds. It was amazing. Only football can provide that. This is a really special day, the most emotional of my professional career. It will — no doubt about it — be in my heart forever.”
Without injured star striker Harry Kane, Mauricio Pochettino’s men overcame a 2-0 half-time deficit at Johan Cruyff Arena to book a date with Liverpool in the June 1 final in Madrid.
It reduced Mauricio Pochettino to tears, with the Spurs manager struggling to describe the feeling of guiding the club to their first Champions League final.
“It is difficult with words to describe my emotion,” he said. “It is one of the most important nights in my life. Thank you to football. My players are heroes; in the last year I was telling everyone this group are heroes.
“To go to the Champions League final is nothing short of a miracle.”
Liverpool Lives Another Day
Trailing 3-0 from the semifinal first leg in the Camp Nou, when Liverpool were taken down by the genius of Lionel Messi, Klopp and his players had the faintest of hope going into the second leg at Anfield. To make their task even more daunting, they had to make do without their two world-class forwards — Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino — due to injury.
But this is Liverpool, and this is Anfield, and, well, all the myths and fairy tales surrounding this place came true on an unforgettable night of pulsating and fearless football. Barcelona — mighty Barcelona — were ruthlessly dispatched with two goals from a makeshift striker (Georginio Wijnaldum) and another two from a player (Divock Origi) who was on loan at Wolfsburg at this time last season.
To turn this tie around, Liverpool had to get everything right. They could not afford Barcelona any opportunity to score a killer away goal, which would leave the home side needing to score five, and they had to take every big chance that came their way.
Even when Liverpool tied the match at 3-3, Barcelona were still in it, knowing one goal would swing the pendulum back in their favour and keep them on course for Madrid. Yet their world well and truly caved in on 79 minutes, when Origi struck again to make it 4-0 and put Liverpool ahead.
Barcelona simply fell asleep at a corner, with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross to Origi catching them completely flat-footed. Origi still had a job to do by putting the ball into the net, but yes, this is Anfield, so where else was it going to end up?
It was 4-3, and thousands of Liverpudlians could start to book their flights to Madrid, while the same number of Catalans began to cancel their hotels. This was Liverpool’s night, and nobody inside Anfield will ever forget it.