Tottenham Hotspur produced an incredible comeback to book their place in the Champions League.
Rio Ferdinand has suggested during BT Sport’s live post-match coverage of Spurs’ stunning Champions League semi-final win against Ajax (broadcast on 8/5 from 19:00) that Fernando Llorente’s introduction at the break was the catalyst for Tottenham’s incredible comeback.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men appeared to be heading for semi-final heartbreak as Ajax went 3-0 ahead on aggregate inside the first-half in Amsterdam. But Spurs produced a second-half display that rivalled Liverpool’s scintillating performance against Barcelona the previous day.
Lucas Moura completed an incredible hat-trick in the 96th minute to ensure that it will be two English sides heading to Madrid for the final.
But while the Brazilian will understandably take all of the headlines, Ferdinand pointed to the introduction of one of his teammates at the break that played a huge role in what was to come after half-time.
“And Llorente, what a substitution. What a substitution he was,” he told BT Sport.
“He went and stood on Daley Blind the whole game when came on and they pumped balls into him. Daley Blind couldn’t deal with him, and then the boys, they came up behind Llorente and they produced the goods.”
The Spaniard has produced some incredibly important performances on Spurs’ run to the Champions League final. He may not be the kind of player that will ever get into the starting lineup when Pochettino has a fully fit Harry Kane available, but he clearly has a role to play.
And while he may not be in the starting lineup when the final heads to his home country, it would perhaps take a brave man to write off the possibility of Llorente making some sort of impact against Liverpool.