Football Features

Ajax 2-3 Tottenham: Full player ratings as Lucas inspires Spurs to first Champions League final

By William Eldridge

Published: 22:20, 8 May 2019

Tottenham Hotspur produced one of the greatest Champions League comebacks of all time to beat Ajax 3-2 and seal their progression to the final winning 3-3 on away goals. 

A second-half Lucas Moura hat-trick shocked the world and saw Spurs defy their Dutch opposition to seal an all-English Champions League final against Liverpool next month.

The hosts started the match exactly how they would have liked with talented defender Matthijs De Ligt heading home from a corner in the opening five minutes to double Ajax’s overall lead across both ties.

A poor start evolved into a disaster half for Spurs who allowed Hakim Ziyech far too much space to drive a shot into Hugo Lloris’ right post to double Ajax’s lead on the night and triple it overall.

Into the second half, Spurs had it all to do. Incredibly, within 15 minutes they were level on the night. Two fantastic goals from Lucas gave Spurs so much hope with so much time left to play.

With Ajax’s place in the final almost secure, Lucas helped Spurs produce the impossible, scoring with a finish that personified Tottenham’s second-half class and bring Ajax players to their knees.

Spurs won 3-2 on the night and went through 3-3 on away goals. Here are the player ratings from Tottenham Hotspur’s amazing 3-2 Champions League semi-final second leg victory against Ajax.

Ajax

André Onana – 6 – The Cameroonian shot-stopper made two consecutive saves from Son and Eriksen but was largely untested in the opening half. Made a good block from Alli in the second half. Couldn’t stop Spurs getting back in the match and will be disappointed to be on the losing side. Booked for time-wasting.

Noussair Mazraoui – 6 – Back in the starting XI for the Dutch side, Mazraoui had little to contend with in the opening 45 minutes with Spurs failing to find any space in the final third. However, he struggled as Spurs pushed on and made little defensive impact to keep the visitors at bay.

Daley Blind  – 6 – The greatest compliment you can pay Blind is that the former Manchester United defender plays just as effective as his younger centre-back partner. That was his first half. The second? He just couldn’t handle substitute Fernando Llorente who won almost every header and allowed Spurs more opportunities going forward.

Matthijs De Ligt – 7 – Commanding in the first leg, the talented centre-back delivered in the first five minutes, heading in from an early corner to double Ajax’s advantage. Produced an amazing block on Moura but couldn’t do anything about any of his three goals. Captain fantastic will be horrifically disheartened with the result.

Nicolás Tagliafico – 6 – After committing his immediate future to the club last week, his performance was mixed. A good first half was forgotten and he was inches away from getting on the end of a Lloris save.

Frenkie De Jong – 8 – The soon-to-be Barcelona man plays like an individual well-beyond his years. His anticipation to intercept and ability to guide a pass to one of Ajax’s attackers was second to none. Extremely unlucky to be out of this competition.

Lasse Schone – 6 – Working alongside De Jong in the middle of the park, Schone’s patience personified Ajax’s early approach. Did well to limit the space in front of the Ajax penalty area. However, fingers will be pointed at him for Tottenham’s second. Subbed early in the second half.

Hakim Ziyech – 7 – Ziyech started superbly with a smashing goal into the back of the Tottenham net this evening. A left-footed shot hit with such sweet venom to extend Ajax’s control. Missed an amazing chance to pull his side back in front, missing from 12 yards out. He hit the post as the game neared its end. Will go to bed knowing he could have won the game for Ajax. Booked for constant fouling.

Kasper Dolberg – 6 – Starting in place of David Neres who picked up an injury in the warm-up, Dolberg slotted in straight away, leading the line and causing a few headaches for Tottenham’s defenders. Wasn’t overly influential as the game progressed. Subbed.

Donny van de Beek – 6 – The man who put his side 1-0 up in the first leg, saw his influence in front of the Spurs defence continue. He faded as the match progressed.

Dusan Tadic – 6 – The former Southampton man was pushed out wide due to the inclusion of Dolberg. Missed a great chance to double Ajax’s lead on the night but fired just wide of Lloris’ post. Found space and assisted Ziyech with a calmness Spurs lacked. Wasn’t as clinical as he would have hoped.

Substitutions

Joel Veltman – 6 – On with 30 minutes to play, Veltman’s defensive work did little to stop Spurs.

Daley Sinkgraven – 5 – The substitute was unnoticeable.

Lisandro Magallán – N/A – A late sub.

Tottenham Hotspur

Hugo Lloris – 6 – Produced an amazing save within the first four minutes but could do nothing about Ajax’s opener nor their second.

Kieran Trippier – 3 – Criticised for his poor crossing ability last week, the England right-back should have done better for both of Ajax’s goals. His inability to defend with any urgency cost Spurs dearly. Wednesday’s performance summed up his season. Subbed as Spurs went for it.

Toby Alderweireld – 6 – At times, the Belgian struggled with the constant movement from the Ajax frontline. Comfortable in possession, the lack of movement ahead of him early on forced him into more sideways passing, denying Spurs any momentum. Grew into the match and helped inspire his side onwards.

Jan Vertonghen – 6 – Back in the Spurs line-up following his nasty head injury in the first leg, Vertonghen will be glad he could hide behind his face mask after his side’s attempt at defending for the two first-half goals. Thought he had missed THE chance after he headed against the bar with minutes to play but Lucas saved the day.

Danny Rose – 7 – The England full-back grew more frustrated as the minutes ticked by last week and it was more of the same this time around. Got forward more than Trippier, with Rose’s efforts at least more obvious than his right-footed counterpart. Cheeky nutmeg started Spurs counter for their opening goal. Booked for punching the ball in anger. Subbed to save him from a red card.

Victor Wanyama – 5 – The anchor at the heart of Tottenham’s midfield was not influential this evening, allowing Ziyech too much space to bury his goal. Subbed at half-time.

Moussa Sissoko – 8 – A substitute last week, Sissoko started from the off and brought a much needed commanding presence to the Spurs midfield. An inspiration performance, every time he got on the ball he looked like creating something. Constantly surging forward. He was booked for a strong challenge on Tagliafico fairly early on.

Christian Eriksen – 6 – Against his former club, the Danish international missed a good chance to draw his side level with a shot straight at Onana. Provided a great ball for Alli who should have done better. Produced a few good crosses to test the Ajax defence but once again, Lucas stole the headlines.

Dele Alli – 7 – Should have done better from Ajax’s early goal, allowing De Ligt too much space to head home. Missed a fantastic chance in the opening stages of the second half. Did well to set up Lucas for Tottenham’s opening goal. His clever flick allowed Lucas to achieve hero status in the final seconds. Two assists.

Lucas Moura – 10 – Wow. Just wow. Hat-trick hero. Tottenham legend. When all seemed lost, when he seemed off the boil, he shocked us all. A calm first goal, a clever and mazy second, before creating history with a perfect third. Fun fact, at half-time we had him rated at a 4. Football’s a funny game.

Heung-Min Son – 6 – Back in the Spurs European line-up following suspension, he missed a decent chance in the 23rd minute when through on goal. Found more space as the game went on and proved more troublesome.

Substitutions

Fernando Llorente – 7 – On at the start of the second half, Llorente’s intention was to provide some height and further striking ammunition at the top end of the pitch. Missed a glorious chance but Lucas saved his blushes. Won almost every header and held the ball up well. Did his job to its extreme.

Erik Lamela – 5 – On late in the match.

Ben Davies – 5 – Produced a few good passes late on.

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