There will be few moments that can ever compare to the closing minutes of Tottenham Hotspur’s heroic effort in Amsterdam.
As the clock ticked down with Spurs still needing one more goal to advance to the Champions League final, Ajax time wasting, the brutal feeling of defeat neared until one man stepped up to the occasion.
Lucas Moura slotted home for his hat-trick in the final minute of stoppage time, becoming Tottenham’s European saviour on Wednesday night. It was a remarkable scene, and even more impressive is the fact that Spurs would not have been where they were without Lucas’ miraculous contribution some five months ago.
During the group stage, the north London club looked certain to bow out after losing their first two matches by a combined 6-3 scoreline.
But after a superb fightback, Tottenham put themselves in contention for a place in the final 16, but still needed a result away at Camp Nou in the final round to progress.
With five minutes remaining and Spurs trailing 1-0, their Champions League hopes were in tatters. And who stepped up to save the day? Moura.
The Brazilian ghosted into the box on that December night, latching on to a Harry Kane cross and sweeping home to equalise in dramatic fashion. Without that late goal, none of Tottenham’s fairytale run to the final would have happened.
And again, when the north Londoners needed goals in the absence of Kane, Lucas provided, bagging three of the finest en route to the second remarkable comeback of the week and one of the best in Europe for some time.