Mauricio Pochettino hailed his Tottenham ‘superheroes’ after they pulled off another Champions League miracle by beating Ajax to set up an all-English final against Liverpool.
Twenty-four hours after the Reds’ comeback against Barcelona, Spurs were dead and buried at half-time as they trailed 3-0 on aggregate in their semi-final second leg in Amsterdam.
But Lucas Moura completed a stunning second-half hat-trick, with the third coming deep into injury time, to send Spurs through to a first-ever Champions League final, sparking amazing scenes at the Johan Cryuff ArenA.
Pochettino was reduced to tears after the game for his players performing what he called a ‘miracle’, and they will now meet Jurgen Klopp’s side in Madrid on 1 June.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) May 8, 2019
The Spurs boss, who said on the eve of the game that he could leave the club if he won the competition this season, has long described his players as heroes for performing in tough circumstances this term.
But he has upgraded that description to ‘superheroes’ as he celebrated one of his most significant nights.
‘It’s difficult with words to describe my feelings and my emotions,’ he said.
‘I think it’s one of the most important nights in my life. How the game finished, everything that happened, the first half, how we planned to play, how the plan was down after three minutes when we conceded the goal, and I think everything was amazing.
‘The most important thing I want to say is to congratulate my players. They own the football, they delivered a great job.
‘For me, they are heroes. I’ve told you the last six months, I repeat this sentence.
‘I think they are superheroes now. To get the club to the final of the Champions League I think is very close to a miracle.
‘No one believed in us from the beginning of the season. We are so close to the top four and have the opportunity in Madrid to play the final against Liverpool.
‘It is an amazing season in our new home. This chapter that we’re going to close now, until 1 June, it can be amazing to close the chapter playing a final. In case we won, it should be an amazing book.’
🏆 The 2019 #UCLfinal is set! 🏆
Tottenham 🆚 Liverpool#UCL
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 8, 2019
Both Liverpool and Spurs may think their name is ready to be etched on to the trophy given the manner of their respective comebacks, and Pochettino thinks the Madrid showpiece will be a thrilling encounter.
‘Allow me to relax a little bit, there is going to be time to talk about Liverpool,’ he said.
‘I want to congratulate Jurgen Klopp and all the players and Liverpool, because I think they were amazing.
‘We enjoyed a lot, watching the tie against Barcelona, they are heroes too, and of course it is going to be an amazing final between two English teams that for sure we are going to enjoy.’
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