Well, that happened.
Tottenham Hotspur are in the UEFA Champions League Final for the first time in their history after defeating Ajax in their semi final second leg last night. Pochettino’s men had to come from 3-0 down on aggregate in order to get the job done, but in a similar manner to Liverpool the night before, the spirit of the English club allowed them to ride a wave of momentum through to full time. They didn’t even have their top names in the starting XI, either, but in the end, it didn’t matter one bit.
What a run
This is the kind of accomplishment that you just can’t take away from a team, regardless of how hard you try. They’re always going to be known as Champions League finalists from this point on, rivalling the accomplishment of their rivals Arsenal from back in 2006. On that night the Gunners lost 2-1 to Barcelona, which raises an important question: what would a Spurs win in Madrid do for the history of the North London derby?
Logically speaking it seems obvious to suggest that Tottenham will jump ahead of Arsenal, but it’s all about perspective. The Gunners still have more success in their past than their greatest rivals, but in the modern era, Tottenham have the edge – and they’re also the only one of the two clubs to lift the European Cup up high (if they beat Liverpool in the final, of course).
But let’s get back onto Tottenham, because they’re the ones that deserve to be spoken about today as opposed to Arsenal. Mauricio Pochettino has built a team worthy of winning any competition, and that much is a fact. We aren’t even necessarily talking about the quality of his squad, either, because it’s the honest to god passion and heart that they’ve been able to show which impresses us the most. They just don’t seem to know when to quit or roll over, which could’ve been very easy for them to do when you think about their many obstacles this year.
There’s still one major obstacle to go before the celebrations can begin, though, as Liverpool tend to believe that it’s their destiny to win the Champions League too. Both sets of fans have been waiting for an opportunity like this to silence the doubters, and one of them will be able to do so.
The bookmakers already seem to believe that Liverpool are the favourites to walk away with the trophy, and honestly, that’s probably the right way to go when you analyse the evidence. With that being said evidence clearly doesn’t mean anything in this game anymore, because based on the evidence, the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final should be contested between Barcelona and Ajax.
In another world maybe we’ll get to still see that clash one day, but in the here and now, it’s all about the underdogs. They’ll get the chance to wave the flag high for English football in a few short weeks, and we can’t wait to see it.