Another dramatic week of Champions League has come to an end – and we have two surprise comebacks from the teams that made it to the final. Liverpool secured their spot in the final with a huge home win against Barcelona, and Tottenham just made it through with a late goal against Ajax on away grounds. This just might have been the most dramatic knockout stage in Champions League history!
Barcelona and Ajax were in the front seat of the Champions League semi-finals after the first leg. Barcelona won comfortably home at Camp Nou with 3-0 against Liverpool. Ajax defeated Tottenham at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with 0-1, and had a clear advantage with their goal scored on away grounds.
But how tables would turn in the second leg. Liverpool – Barcelona played at Anfield on Tuesday, and the Englishmen needed to win by four goals in order to steal the spot in the final from Barcelona. Impossible, it might seem. But with two goals in the first half, and two quick goals from Wijnaldum in the second – Liverpool was in the lead by 4 in minute 56. The result stood until full time – and Liverpool knocked Barcelona out of the competition with an impressive home win.
The match between Ajax – Tottenham turned out to be even more dramatic. Ajax had the advantage of scoring one away goal in the first leg – so Tottenham needed to win by one with at least two scored goals in order to qualify for the final. Ajax came out strong, going into half time with a 2-0 lead. But then everything changed in the second half. Lucas Moura became a true Tottenham hero by scoring two goals in the 55′ and 59′ minute. Just one more goal was needed in order for Tottenham to move on. And in the 6th minute of overtime Moura stepped forward once again. Moura’s second half hattrick sent Spurs into their first ever European Cup final.
The all-English final is set to take place at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid on June 1st. Tottenham will be the home team and Liverpool away. At the moment, Liverpool are favourites to take home this years Champions League title. This is how the odds look at Bethard:
(Odds from Bethard 9/5 2019)