What a crazy run! Tottenham’s journey to the Champions League final in Madrid was a real rollercoaster ride
- Tottenham continued to defy expectation to reach the Champions League final
- On no less than five occasions did Mauricio Pochettino’s players look to be out
- Vital goals from Lucas Moura in Amsterdam and Barcelona put them in the final
- Sportsmail reflects on the rollercoaster ride that sent Tottenham to Madrid
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says he believes in destiny and such faith would have served him well during what has been an improbable and, at times incomprehensible, passage to the Champions League final.
The Argentine’s side have led a charmed life in this season’s competition and on no less than five occasions have they appeared all but out.
Here, Sportsmail reflects on their nerve-jangling journey to Madrid…
Mauricio Pochettino (centre) has masterminded a stunning run to the Champions League final
PSV 2-2 Spurs (October 24, 2018)
After back to back defeats against Inter Milan and Barcelona, Spurs really needed to win in Holland but got off to the worst possible start when Hirving Lozano pounced on a defensive error to give the hosts the lead.
Hugo Lloris (left) saw red as Tottenham were held to a disappointing draw away in Eindhoven
Tottenham 2-1 PSV (November 6, 2018)
Having taken one point from their opening three group games, only a win would do at Wembley.
When Luuk De Jong scored for the visitors after just 61 seconds Tottenham’s task was made even harder. The Dutch side held out until the 78th-minute when Harry Kane fired an equaliser before heading home a scrappy winner the 89th-minute.
The win moved Spurs to within three points of second-placed Inter and kept the dream alive.
Harry Kane headed in when it counted late on at home to PSV as he salvaged a crucial win
Tottenham 1-0 Inter Milan (November 28, 2018)
Anything other than victory and Spurs would have been relegated to the Europa League.
Step forward substitute Christian Eriksen who emerged as the match-winner. His 80th-minute strike moved Spurs above Inter and meant the north London club only had to match the Italians’ in the last game.
The problem? Spurs had to travel to Barcelona while Inter hosted PSV.
Tottenham needed a win to stay in contention to progress as Christian Eriksen got the winner
Barcelona 1-1 Tottenham (December 11, 2018)
Tottenham were 1-0 down after seven minutes in the Nou Camp and when Inter equalised in the 73rd-minute against PSV, Spurs were out.
Barca hit the post twice before Lucas Moura popped up with an 85th-minute equaliser to send Spurs through.
Lucas Moura converted a crucial goal to send Tottenham into the last-16 away in Barcelona
Manchester City 4-3 Tottenham (April 17, 2019)
One of the most dramatic nights in recent memory. It was 2-2 after just 11 minutes before City took control. They were 4-2 up when Fernando Llorente bundled home to make it advantage Spurs on away goals.
Then, the drama really started.
Raheem Sterling scored for City and prompted Pep Guardiola to sprint down the touchline in relief. Enter VAR. Replays showed Sergio Aguero was offside and Spurs were through.
Raheem Sterling (pictured) thought he scored the winner for Man City but VAR ruled it out
Ajax 2-3 Tottenham (May 8, 2019)
Let’s cut straight to the enormity of the task facing Spurs with 35 minutes left on the clock. Trailing 2-0 on the night and 3-0 on aggregate, they needed to score three and not concede again to go through. And they were playing poorly. Except, that is, for Moura. By the hour mark he had struck two goals as well as fear into their young opponents.
Ajax then smashed the post and Spurs the bar as five minutes of stoppage time expired. But one second in to overtime on overtime, Moura latched onto Dele Alli’s flick and somehow found the bottom corner with a first-time sweep of his left boot, and suddenly everything was oh so right for Spurs.
‘We were talking about destiny before the game with the players, and I believe in destiny when you work so hard,’ said Pochettino. Another date with destiny in Madrid awaits.
Moura was again the hero as he scored in the final seconds to book a Champions League final