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30th Apr 2019

Ironic stat underlines mammoth task Spurs face to reach Champions League final

Simon Lloyd

History is against Spurs

Tottenham are up against it if they’re to reach their first Champions League final.

Ajax take an advantage back to Amsterdam for the return leg, winning in London by Donny van de Beek’s goal after quarter of an hour.

Spurs will need to score twice in the Netherlands to stand a chance of advancing against an Ajax side that have been one of the success stories of this season’s competition, already eliminating Real Madrid and Juventus along the way.

As if this wasn’t already difficult enough for Mauricio Pochettino’s men, history isn’t on their side, either.

As a statistic tweeted by Opta reveals, of the 17 previous teams to have lost at home in the first leg of a Champions League semi-final, only one of them has managed to recover in the return game to reach the final.

That team, ironically, was Ajax, as they reached their second consecutive Champions League final in 1996 where they eventually lost to Juventus on penalties.

Before they fly out to the Netherlands, Spurs must turn their attention to their penultimate league game, away at Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.