The two semi-final ties in the Champions League will be forever remembered for being two of the greatest comebacks in the history of the competition as Liverpool and Tottenham both overcame very unlikely positions to qualify for the final of Europe’s premier competition on June 1.
Here is a look back at how both teams did it and an early preview of the first all-English final of the Champions League since Manchester United beat Chelsea on penalties in 2008.
Liverpool Blow Barcelona Away At Anfield
After losing 3-0 at the Nou Camp a week earlier, not many people gave Liverpool a chance of qualifying past the Spanish giants at the end of the return leg, however, once again, the Merseyside club were able to pull off a special result in Europe at Anfield.
With no Mo Salah or Roberto Firmino available for the game, the task was made even harder for Jurgen Klopp’s side. An early Divok Origi goal, which was tipped up by Oddschecker in their preview of the game, gave them a glimmer of hope but they still had a lot of work to do at that point.
Liverpool got themselves level in the tie early in the second half when Georginio Wijnaldum scored twice in three minutes to leave Barcelona stunned at how quickly their lead had evaporated.
The biggest talking point of the night was the home team’s fourth goal as Trent Alexander-Arnold was able to catch the Barcelona defence off guard by taking a quick corner which was finished off by Origi for his second of the night. The La Liga champions had no response after this point and they were unable to break down Liverpool on the night.
This will be Liverpool’s second consecutive Champions League final. They were beaten by Real Madrid in 2018 in the game which saw Gareth Bale score a stunning overhead kick. Since then, Klopp has strengthened his squad, most notably with a goalkeeper and it has worked as Alisson has been very solid through the campaign so far.
It could be a sensational season for Liverpool as they remain in contention for the Premier League title going into the final fixture of the season. They require Manchester City to slip up away to Brighton, while they must better that result with their home tie with Wolverhampton Wolves.
Moura Magic As Spurs Are Rewarded For Not Giving Up
Just when fans of the Champions League thought they had seen it all on Tuesday night, 24 hours later they were treated to another astonishing comeback as Spurs made it through to the final with almost the last kick of the game.
Early goals from Matthijs de Ligt and Erik ten Hag ensured Ajax were leading 3-0 on aggregate in Amsterdam, leaving Spurs with a mountain to climb. Lucas Moura got a goal back on 55 minutes and when he doubled his return for the evening just four minutes later, the English club were quickly back in the tie.
GOAL!— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) May 8, 2019
Ajax 2-3 Spurs (Lucas Moura 90+5') (Agg: 3-3)
IT'S ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And it's a hat-trick from Moura to send @SpursOfficial through!!!!!!
Oh my days!!!!!! #AJATOT
LIVE blog – https://t.co/lPDHoTJsLL pic.twitter.com/PAxIl9dkxg
As the seconds eroded away in stoppage time, Spurs looked as though they were going to fall agonisingly short of a memorable comeback, however, Moura had other ideas as he finished superbly on 96 minute to complete his hat-trick and leave his manager Pochettino in tears at the full-time whistle.
Tottenham have never played a major Champions League final before so they enter unfamiliar territory next month in a run which only enhances manager Mauricio Pochettino’s reputation as being one of the best coaches in world football.
Klopp or Pochettino Set For First Major Trophy In England
The Champions League final in Madrid guarantees that either Klopp or Pochettino will win their first major trophy for their respective clubs since moving to England.
Klopp has come close on a number of occasions and if his team fail in the pursuit of the Premier League trophy, his team will remain in training with the motivation to put that behind them by becoming the champions of Europe.
At one stage in the tournament, Tottenham looked likely to be eliminated from the competition before the knockout stages. A draw at the Nou Camp was vital in collecting enough points to advance from their group. They line up in the final by merit as wins over Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Ajax prove they are capable of beating any team on their day.
The two sides have met twice so far this season and it is Liverpool who won both of those fixtures 2-1. Both managers will be hoping that some of their leading stars will be available for selection for the game, most notably Tottenham who have been without their star striker Harry Kane through injury for the past four weeks.
The winners will be the first Premier League team to lift the trophy since 2012 and will feature in UEFA Super Cup later in the year against the winners of the Europa League, which also features two English clubs.