Thursday, May 9, 2019

Spurs destroy Ajax's 'destiny' in Champions League classic


Half an hour after the full-time whistle and some Ajax fans still haven’t moved. They are rubbing their faces and this nightmare is running through their minds on a loop.

The floor underneath is now sticky. It’s been pelted with gallons of beer that’s dried in. There’s a reason they serve it in plastic cups in stadiums.

You might expect anger but there’s none there, yet. They will be angry when they come to terms with it. They will look back on posts hit and spaces emptied and mistakes made.

They will wake up for years to come in the dead of night and ask themselves why? And how?

Ajax played this season’s Champions League with a sense of destiny. They were everyone’s second favourite… everyone’s other than the fans of the teams they were playing.

Tottenham knew that they were up against that and a whole lot more.

They were up against a fresh team whose title challenge in the domestic league was put on hiatus so they could better concentrate on winning the Champions League.

The last time they walked off a field it was with the Dutch Cup held aloft. The last time Tottenham walked off it was against Bournemouth where they’d just been beaten and there were only nine of them.

You cannot for a second take your eye off the ball, you cannot take it for granted. You cannot – with only 45 minutes to go and with a three-goal headstart – assume anything.

Because if you do you will be attacked by mentality giants . It’s not just Liverpool who can claim to have that in this season’s Champions League. What Spurs did goes a long way to eclipsing what Liverpool did against Barcelona.

Maybe it was nerves for Ajax; maybe it was that they realised they were tantalisingly close to the most important match this club has played in the best part of a quarter century.

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