Hat-trick hero Lucas Moura should get a statue in England after firing Tottenham into the Champions League final, says Christian Eriksen.
Danish playmaker Eriksen returned to old club Ajax on Wednesday night hoping to help Spurs overcome a 1-0 aggregate deficit in their semi-final tie.
Instead, Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech’s first-half goals put Ajax two goals up in the second leg to hand them a 3-0 aggregate lead.
But Lucas Moura restored the hope of a comeback for Spurs by scoring twice inside space of just four minutes. It meant the Lilywhites were just a goal away from booking a spot in June’s final in Madrid.
And the Brazilian winger struck again to complete his hat-trick with a dramatic 96th-minute winner to secure Spurs a 3-2 second leg win and a place in the final on away goals after finishing 3-3 on aggregate with Ajax.
“Today was about heart, performance and Lucas Moura,” Eriksen told BT Sport.
“He’s how we won the game, he deserves it, after a rollercoaster of a season, for him to get us in the final.
“I hope he gets a statue in England after this. We are blown away, no real words for it.”
Lucas Moura has now scored more Champions League semi-final hat-tricks (1) than Lionel Messi (0).
And he scored all three goals with his left foot. 🤪 pic.twitter.com/weHcvJxOvyHarry Kane established himself as a leader of Tottenham after taking the captain's armband due to Lloris' injury in Tottenham's loss to Brighton. Tottenham bounced...
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 8, 2019
The 27-year-old admitted Spurs had to throw their game plan aside and rely on grit and heart alone after falling 3-0 down on aggregate to Ajax.
“It was a non-tactical performance, it was more of a fight, more of a heart performance, and that’s how we won it,” said Eriksen.
“It was a ridiculous game. We were really far down, we tried to fight back and we’re just lucky. I feel sorry for Ajax, they played a very good game against us.
“In the end, we’re just lucky we scored. It’s a relief, because we’ve been fighting for this and I think it’s a dream for everyone to be in the Champions League final.”
“We weren’t able to look ourselves in the mirror if we (were to) go down three or four nil today – we had to fight back, there was no other option.”
Eriksen started out his senior playing career at Ajax, where he made 162 appearances and won three Eredivisie titles during a five-year spell in Amsterdam.
“We were just lucky,” he said. “I feel sorry for Ajax, they played a very good game against us.
“But we have been fighting for this, it is a dream to be in the final.”