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Champions League 2018/19: 3 Reasons why Tottenham can still come back to win the second leg against Ajax

Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.07K   //    03 May 2019, 18:16 IST

Can Spurs really overturn the one-goal deficit and get through their semi-final tie against Ajax?
Can Spurs really overturn the one-goal deficit and get through their semi-final tie against Ajax?

There’s no denying that Tottenham’s 0-1 defeat to Ajax in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie was a kick in the teeth for Mauricio Pochettino’s side. Their overall performance was poor and to be frank, they were relatively lucky that Ajax didn’t score more in what was somewhat of a one-sided first half.

The tie isn’t over by any means, though – the two sides play the second leg at Amsterdam’s Johan Cruyff Arena on Wednesday night – and while the Dutch side are definitely in the driving seat following their victory on Tuesday, Tottenham simply cannot be counted out.

Here are 3 reasons why Tottenham can still come back and win against Ajax in the second leg.

#1 They’ve overcome worse odds in the Champions League this season

Spurs overcame huge odds to even make it out of the group stage in the Champions League
Spurs overcame huge odds to even make it out of the group stage in the Champions League

Okay, so admittedly, trailing 0-1 going into a second leg away from home is a tricky obstacle for any team to overcome, particularly when the side in front is a team like Ajax, who have already dumped former winners Real Madrid and Juventus out of the competition this season. But somehow, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to suggest Spurs have already overcome worse odds in the Champions League in 2018/19.

Their start in the group stages was utterly woeful, for one; they were defeated 2-1 by Inter Milan and 2-4 by Barcelona, and then only managed a 2-2 draw away to PSV Eindhoven. That left them stranded on a single point after 3 games, 5 behind Inter and 8 behind Barcelona. It looked like their hopes of making the knockout stages were dead.

But somehow Pochettino’s men didn’t give up, defeating PSV 2-1 and Inter 1-0 to give them a fighting chance of making it through, before an unlikely 1-1 draw against Barcelona in the Nou Camp sent them through by the skin of their teeth, making them only the 8th team in the competition’s history to make it to the knockouts after claiming just a point from their first 3 games.

And while their Round of 16 tie against Borussia Dortmund went smoothly – they won 4-0 on aggregate – they were also up against it when Manchester City went 4-2 up in the second leg of their Quarter-Final tie, but somehow managed to edge through thanks to a scrambled goal from Fernando Llorente.

Compared to those two situations? Being 1-0 down going into the second leg against Ajax sounds like a walk in the park – of course there’s a chance they can still come back to win!

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