I’m honestly not sure how many times I’ve watched it back. It must be in the hundreds.
At sly moments on idle Tuesdays I will flick on YouTube and watch the goals back and the celebrations too. Every piece of footage. Every conceivable angle.
I’m still not sure it ever really happened. Lucas Moura’s three little birds sending Tottenham to the Champions League final in Amsterdam.
Moura’s winning goal against Ajax in last season’s Champions League is his most memorable moment in Spurs colours
You can hear a scream. And then Jermaine Jenas’ lip quiver in one highlight reel, the ex-Spurs ace unable to fathom just quite what had unfolded in front of him. The emotion had overtaken it all.
It overtook all of us. Tottenham fans around the globe, it seemed, lost two minutes of their lives.
Into the Champions League final having been 3-0 down on aggregate at half-time of the semi-final against Ajax.
I remember absolutely losing it, talkSPORT 2 Breakfast show host, and Tottenham’s on-pitch announcer, Paul Coyte told us.
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I just went absolutely crazy. I spoke about it on the air the next day. The dog still looks at me funny, in fact it still does look at me in a strange way. It had to go into therapy straight afterwards.
Like anybody and everybody I spoke to I just went absolutely crazy and then afterwards I was just thinking, ‘oh my God, I think I’m going to cry, this is ridiculous, I have no idea why but I feel completely emotional about this, I feel like I’m going to burst into tears’.
So many people I spoke to afterwards did cry because it was just ridiculous. It was the most incredible few minutes I have ever seen in all the years I have been watching Spurs.
I went to the 1981 FA Cup final, I’ve been to all the big games, Gazza’s goal in 1991 and everything but I have never ever felt like that in football match. It was just absolutely unbelievable.
Lucas Moura’s winner is now etched in history like Paul Gascoigne’s free-kick against Arsenal
The journey to that moment in Amsterdam had been just as chaotic as the winning strike by the Brazilian.
It was a miracle Tottenham even made it to the knockout stages.
There were 80th and 89th minute winners against Inter and PSV Eindhoven respectively, and a draw with Barcelona after a terrible opening three games.
A last minute tackle from PSV star Nick Viergever in their final match with Internazionale also played a role in their progression.
It was luck like this which propelled Tottenham through.
PSV’s Nick Viergever denies Mauro Icardi with an unbelievable tackle
“Tottenham fans, get yourself out and buy a Viergever shirt!”
If he didn’t make this, Tottenham would’ve gone out… pic.twitter.com/9i3VIjGOc7
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 11, 2018
A huge Hugo Lloris penalty save against Man City at home. Then the second leg… Well, VAR made sure that was wild with Fernando Llorente’s hip sending Spurs through, but not before a dramatic injury time winner for Raheem Sterling was disallowed.
Coyte added: With everything that we had gone through, it was almost like everybody gets their bit of luck, or that moment, and it seemed like that was Man City.
It was amazing that whole Man City situation in the quarter-final it only happens once. You don’t get moments like that ever again.
That fortune inspired Lucy Jones and plenty of other Spurs fans to descend on Amsterdam: I was like, ‘I’m going, don’t care, I will walk there if I have to’. I just felt ‘this is it’. We can achieve anything. This isn’t our luck, so maybe our luck is in.
I just thought whatever happens we’re going to have the best time ever. It doesn’t really matter if we don’t win.
The whole thing just wasn’t Spurs. Forever mocked as bottle-jobs by rivals. In recent years glory had slipped by. A talented side unable to make the most at key times.
A Premier League title and a League Cup in 2014/15, and two FA Cups semi finals in 2016/17 and 2017/18 all went by the way side with luck deserting them.
It had seemed like it was all going to happen again too.
An atrocious performance in the first leg against Ajax left many wondering how Tottenham were still in the game.
I remember thinking we had got away with it to be honest with you, admitted Coyte. I thought at the start we were going to get tonked because the football they were playing was unbelievable and I thought we were in real trouble.
To get away with it 1-0 I thought, if we get an early goal over there then we may be able to do something.
Donny van de Beek scored the only goal as Ajax stunned Spurs in the first leg
And that positivity, despite the defeat, was still with other fans such as Jones: I was disappointed about the home leg but I booked my Eurostar in the stadium, downstairs by the Goalline bar because I believed we’d claw something back. I did it with the belief we’d do something special.
We took over the whole of Amsterdam. Everywhere you looked there was a cockerel. Everyone was happy, dancing in the streets. You would go into a pub and everyone was Spurs. It was absolutely brilliant.
No one could get a ticket because there weren’t many and they were like gold dust but we found this pub we went to five or six hours early just to get a spot, this Irish bar, and it was the busiest bar I have ever seen in my life. All Spurs fans. It felt like we were in north London. It was the best atmosphere I have ever known, ever. I’ve got goosebumps thinking about it.
Goosebumps would become a theme.
Matthijs de Ligt’s early header and Hakim Ziyech’s excellent strike left Spurs dead and buried at the break. They had barely got going in 135 minutes of football.
In Amsterdam was a familiar feeling coursing through most Spurs fans’ veins – but not all, insisted Jones.
Two goals down, I know it’s easy to say in hindsight but I just believed the whole time. Everyone was just head in hands, ‘typical Spurs’, ‘can’t believe we’ve mucked it up’, and I was like, ‘look, calm down we’ve got so much time to play’.
We got the one goal and everyone was cheering, we were back in it you know. People were just jumping higher than I have ever seen. They were hitting their heads on the ceiling. Beer was being sprayed everywhere and we’ve not even won yet. It was 2-1 but it was like being in a dream. It was like floating.
Lucas Moura celebrates getting Spurs back into the game
A second went in but even then Tottenham were holding on. Ziyech hit the post. ‘Things are happening,’ Jenas eerily remarked on commentary.
Even two minutes into added time Hugo Lloris was pawing away a shot from the Moroccan.
With 60 seconds left the ball was with Andre Onana. The dream was about to die.
We were all very annoyed at the goalkeeper, said Jones. It was more anger, screaming at the goalkeeper for time wasting. It was so frustrating. He got a yellow card in the 94th minute, I think. And we just heard the commentary say, ‘they’re going to have to give extra time for that’.
Then he kicked it.
One minute later the ball was in the back of his net.
Chaos at the Johan Cruyff Arena. Wild celebrations from players, substitutes, and Pochettino crying into the turf.
Similar scenes were played out around the world in bars and living rooms.
No one knew what happened, laughed Jones. Where did Moura come from? Everyone was screaming ‘have we done it?’ None of us knew that we’d done it because obviously the aggregate thing is confusing.
Everyone was probably drunk. It was so busy, it was so hot, I was soaking wet, it was absolutely stifling in there.
It was like walking on air. Everyone in that bar was sobbing. It was just incredible.”
Spurs celebrate reaching the Champions League final
For many, the moment meant more than words can express.
Football is full of emotion and many of us have lost family and friends who helped cultivated our love for the lilywhite shirt. How we wish they had witnessed the miracle
A really poignant moment for me,” added Jones. “I went outside and there was a young-ish guy who was uncontrollably sobbing and I was sobbing and I said ‘mate, are you okay?’ and he said ‘my dad has just passed away, we went to every game together. He wouldn’t believe this had happened’.
SO emotional.
I knew anything was possible.
Met a guy who lost his dad last year. He brought him to every game as a kid & into his adult life. He said he hopes he can see this moment.
For all those who love this club, lets enjoy it.@SpursOfficial@ChampionsLeague
— Lucy Jones (@thisislucy) May 8, 2019
It was so emotional. He would never believe it that we’d made it to a Champions League final.
This is what football and Tottenham means to people.
It was the most euphoric moment I have ever had as a Tottenham fan. I know we won the League Cup in 2008 but that for me was like winning something.
I know other fans will take the mick out of us for that because we didn’t actually win anything but Tottenham, through to the Champions League final, it just doesn’t happen. It was just incredible. Everyone was hugging.
Watching the moment back now is harder for Spurs fans.
The final came and went, somehow such a magical moment became a damp squib on the pitch despite wild partying in the Madrid Fanzone.
Poor performances saw Spurs a shadow of themselves this season and soon Pochettino was gone. Sacked just months after getting to a Champions League final.
But Moura’s moment lives on.
I just love his reaction. I watch it for his reaction. I watch the celebrations back but I don’t watch the goals as much. I need to see Poch running onto the pitch.
I haven’t watched it since he left. I can’t watch it. I can’t watch that celebration now Poch has gone. It just hurts too much.
Did the peak of the Pochettino era bring about his downfall? Coyte reckons there could be some truth in it.
There was a strange feeling going into the start of the season, he conceded. There was a strange emptiness.
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We’ve been through a strange few months as Spurs fans. Not only the highs but the lows and the confusion it was just like, ‘is this over now? How do we feel?’ It just all seemed very surreal that we were there.
I think it was some sort of hangover. I don’t know how it worked or how it affected the players but there was a strange feeling as we went back, which was such a shame.
I’m not really sure what happened. It just wasn’t right. I don’t even know if it would have been different had we been knocked out earlier.
Even so, not one Spurs fan would take it back. It meant so much to so many even if the Champions League final would end in an insipid defeat.
The ecstasy of that night in Amsterdam is now legendary. A glory night no one will ever forget.
Oh, what a night.