Lamela ends difficult period with special night
Sat 11 May 2019, 17:18|Tottenham Hotspur
In years to come, as our players look back on their footballing careers, Wednesday night’s stunning comeback win over Ajax will undoubtedly go down as one of their greatest moments in the game. But for Erik Lamela, the events in Amsterdam meant so much more.
Having not featured for us since the 1-0 victory away to Borussia Dortmund at the start of March, the attacker made his long-awaited comeback in what was one of our biggest games of the modern era, playing the final nine minutes - plus a memorable period of injury time - as we defeated the Dutch side 3-2 to reach our first-ever Champions League Final.
It had been a hamstring injury which sidelined Erik, a frustrating problem that later resurfaced, just as he looked set to return against Manchester City in April’s Champions League encounter at the Etihad, keeping him out of action for over two months in total.
But what better way to end such a difficult and trying period than to finally get back onto the pitch and help your team-mates make history, reaching European football’s greatest stage?
“The night was so good for me,” the Argentine international explained. “Even if I played just the last part of the game, I really enjoyed being back out on the pitch.
“I’ve had a couple of injury issues over the last couple of months, so I suffered a lot when I was out and I missed some important games, so it was great to be back and be part of that night.
“It was one of the best games of my career and I’m hoping the Final will be even better.”
Before that showpiece occasion against Liverpool in June, we first have the test of their Merseyside neighbours Everton to contend with in our final Premier League match of the season on Sunday (3pm).
The task of sealing our qualification for next season’s Champions League is nearly complete and by avoiding defeat against the Toffees, our place will be mathematically secured.
But, for Erik, he is thinking of only one thing – that is to win the game.
“It’s important to get a result,” our number 11 admitted. “We must respect the opposition, but the team wants to finish the season well.
“There has been a lot of effort made throughout the season to get to this position so it's vital to finish with a win in front of our fans.
“Then we will enjoy the three weeks of training that will follow before the Final.”