Well, this certainly was not in the script. Or was it?
Tottenham Hotspur, having overcome Manchester City in the previous leg, became the latest side to fall to Ajax in this season's Champions League, as Erik ten Hag's side picked up a crucial 1-0 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday.
Ahead of the game, Spurs fans were incredibly excited, with many feeling as though this could be their chance to shine on the grandest stage.
The performance against City was the stuff of dreams, and Spurs just needed to replicate that and they would surely be heading to the final.
Best chance we'll get for UCL final, go go go for it. COYS — stan kirk (@stankirk1950) April 30, 2019
Let's put the hurt on em', Spurs!— FizbanTv [WizardatLarge] (@FizbanTV) April 30, 2019
However, things took a turn for the worst pretty quickly. Ajax dominated proceedings early on, and they met little resistance from Spurs, and the Eredivisie side took a deserved lead through Donny van de Beek after a quarter of an hour.
The midfielder beat the offside trap to find acres of space in the penalty area, and fooled Hugo Lloris into diving early before slotting the ball into the bottom corner. Fans and players were relieved to see the Video Assistant Referee reviewing the decision, although Van de Beek was proven onside to give De Godenzonen a crucial lead.
Is Ajax playing at home?wow total football— Daniel Onyemelukwe (@DanielOnyem3) April 30, 2019
Donny van de Beek is a stunning talent that nobody is talking about because of de Jong and de Ligt. Ziyech as well.— Kyle Bonn (@the_bonnfire) April 30, 2019
Did the world just seem to stop when van de beek was through on goal?!?!?— JACK (@JRG91802) April 30, 2019
Things went from bad to worse for Spurs as Jan Vertonghen was forced off the field after suffering a nasty clash of heads with teammate Toby Alderweireld.
The Belgian was down for around five minutes and, after trying to continue, had to substitute himself off almost immediately and was carried to the dressing room to get some much-needed treatment.
Spurs’ medical staff checking whether Vertonghen was in a fit state to return onto the pitch pic.twitter.com/4aOxMlb1FJ— Jack Cooper (@jckcpr) April 30, 2019
As the second half began, Spurs looked to be a changed side, retaining possession with ease and creating a handful of good chances through the likes of Dele Alli and Fernando Llorente.
Ajax's influence on the game wavered, and Spurs fans could be heard willing their team on, sensing they may finally have taken control of the action.
Spurs looking much better now. I guess the Ajax academy is going to have to start teaching their youngsters to be fearless at age 5 instead of 6.— SuperKen (@teknicz) April 30, 2019
Spurs turning up the heat for 2nd half. They look likely to score soon.— Mārtiņš (@MartinsFCB) April 30, 2019
However, it simply was not enough. Mauricio Pochettino's side did not create enough good opportunities to score, and rarely posed any real threat to Andre Onana in the Ajax goal.
The final whistle blew, meaning Spurs now have it all to do in the second leg.
They are now one goal behind, and must travel to the Johan Cruijff ArenA to fight for their lives. The players should probably avoid social media, as fans of rival clubs were less than sympathetic.
Spurs just keep on giving. Absolute bottle jobs!!!— Sim ⚒W.H.U.⚒. (@BeckleySim) April 30, 2019
Spurs season going down the pan, Pochettino off to Manchester next season. Failures bottle jobs etc — David Ingall (@dingle23) April 30, 2019
Source : 90min