Ten Hag: Ajax 'confident, fit and eager' for Spurs match

Ten Hag: Ajax 'confident, fit and eager' for Spurs match

07/05/2019

Georginio Wijnaldum and Divock Origi eached scored twice as Liverpool overcame a three-goal deficit to defeat Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate in the second leg of the Champions League semifinals.

The remarkable win ensured Liverpool's second straight trip to the final on their quest for their sixth trophy in Europe's premier club competition.

Barcelona exit the Champions League semis in the same heartbreaking fashion as last year's quarterfinal loss to Roma -- blowing a three-goal advantage after an initial home victory.

With Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah sidelined with injuries, Origi made the most of his start as the Belgian tucked in a goal in the seventh minute after Marc-Andre ter Stegen initally saved Jordan Henderson's effort.

Barcelona quickly settled in and had several chances to equalise the match, if not for clutch saves by Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson. The Brazilian made diving stops on Phillippe Coutinho's attempt and two shots by Lionel Messi.

Alisson was called back into action in the waning seconds of the first half when he thwarted Jordi Alba's throughball from Messi on a counter attack.

Liverpool then roared out the gate as half-time substitute Wijnaldum scored successive goals in the 54th and 56th minute to level the aggregate.

Origi sealed the win in the 79th minute when Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold caught Barcelona on their heels on a corner kick.

Ten Hag said his team had no injuries following Sunday's Cup Final win against Willem II Tilburg, although it was not yet clear whether Brazilian forward David Neres could start the match.

Four-time European champions Ajax are looking to reach their first Champions League final since 1996. Many pundits have suggested it has become impossible for Dutch teams to compete with their much wealthier English, Spanish and Italian peers, but Ten Hag is ignoring them.

"A few people who knew this level of success said it would still be possible for a Dutch team to reach the Champions League final; people like Johan Cruijff, Louis van Gaal and (Ajax director) Marc Overmars", Ten Hag said.

"It's up to us tomorrow to prove them right."

Ajax defender Daley Blind said he had never expected his return to Ajax last summer, after four years at Manchester United, would turn out to be so exciting.

"The team has grown tremendously in many aspects this year", the 29-year old son of former European cup winner and Ajax captain Danny Blind said.

"This really is a team effort, and I am proud to be part of it."

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