Toby Alderweireld: Tottenham 'left hearts on the pitch' in stunning Ajax comeback

Yahoo Sport UK
Toby Alderweireld comforts Dusan Tadic of Ajax (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Ajax v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League

Toby Alderweireld comforts Dusan Tadic of Ajax (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Toby Alderweireld says Tottenham ‘left their hearts on the pitch’ after a stunning comeback booked their place in the Champions League final.

Alderweireld was at the heart of a team which went 2-0 down on the night, and 3-0 down on aggregate, after goals from Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech.

But Lucas Moura struck three times in retaliation - with the final goal a dagger in the hearts of the hosts - to put Spurs through on away goals.

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And the Belgian defender said his side stepped up under pressure to earn a historic Champions League final berth.

“We put our heart on the pitch,” the 30-year-old told BT Sport. “After the first leg everyone said Ajax have a great team, but today we showed we wanted it more.

“I’m so proud.

“Of course it was mentally difficult (the 2-0 deficit). From that moment we started playing better, started playing football.

“(Lucas Moura) deserves a lot of credit, he works very hard for the team.”

It was a half-time rendition of Bob Marley’s ‘Everything’s gonna be alright’ which rankled with viewers in England.

Ajax, 3-0 up on aggregate, could have ostensibly showing an arrogance in playing the track, but the former Ajax man defended the team.

“I think you have to show them a lot of respect, the team, the fans, they’ve got a great philosophy as well as a great history,” he added.

“Everyone wanted more, more, more and today it’s unbelievable.

“We have to celebrate, and then we have to prepare. We have three weeks to prepare ourselves.”

Spurs defender Danny Rose added Tottenham were just focused on having no regrets come full time.

Indeed, the 28-year-old added Liverpool’s result partially inspired them.

“It (both results) goes to show it’s not over til it’s over,” the England man said.

“We were still disappointed from the first leg, how we started, and we started like that again tonight. We came out (after half time) and played like that. It goes to show we can beat anybody.

“We just said that’s the right attitude. The gaffer doesn’t mind losing, but you would have to lose in the right way.

“If we hadn’t won tonight we’d have been proud of how we finished the game.”

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