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Le Tigre

Two of the Greatest Games in History in 2 Days...

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That few in this country realize even happened. 

 

The last legs of the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League were held on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Each match--Liverpool/Barcelona and Ajax/Tottenham--were considered to be basically decided before they were even played: Barcelona won the first leg 3-0, and Ajax won 1-0 at Tottenham--obtaining that precious away goal in the process. 

 

For Liverpool, it was dire beyond reasonable hope. Their only chance to go past Barca, was a 4-0 win, or some combination of goal differential to net a 4-goal lead. With 3 of its best players injured, and against a veteran and extremely talented Barca side (with arguably the best player in the world, Lionel Messi), there was virtually no chance of it happening for Liverpool. Except...it did. They ran Barca ragged with second-teamers--one scoring two goals--and were absolutely impenetrable defensively. 4-0 win, and on to Madrid for the Finals.

 

if that dizzying match wasn't enough, almost the same insane drama occurred the next night in Amsterdam. After the first leg win 1-0, Ajax went up 2-0 in the first half on Wednesday. Tottenham was completely reeling, and apparent to all that Ajax was going to run them out of the building. Then, Tottenham bags a goal about halfway through...then another within minutes after to tie the match. They have 2 away goals, but had to have the third. The match reached the 90 minute mark, and the referee added 5 minutes for stoppage time. For the next 5 minutes, it was a scene reminiscent of a medieval battlefield--bodies flying every which way...most of it in the Ajax end. But an Ajax forward stole the ball at midfield and sped towards the Tottenham goal...seemingly en route to the killer goal. He fires a beauty to the right corner, but miraculously the ball curves just the slightest and hits the post. Tottenham is all but out of time, but gets one last push into the Ajax zone. Incredibly, a Tottenham forward slips behind his defender...the Ajax keeper comes too far out to meet him, and the forward buries a shot in the back of the goal---at the last second of stoppage time. Tottenham wins 3-2 and goes on to Madrid for the Finals. 

 

I have seen seen a lot of miracle finishes in sports over the years--but have never seen two in back-to-back days. As the old saying goes "ya shoulda seen it" Amazing. 

 

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