Tottenham & Liverpool's comebacks: 'Tactics were replaced by heart and desire'

By Darren FletcherFormer Manchester United midfielder for BBC Radio 5 Live
Mauricio Pochettino
Tottenham Hotspur have reached the final of Europe's leading club competition for the first time

Mauricio Pochettino was the epitome of emotion after Tottenham completed an incredible comeback to beat Ajax and set up an all-English Champions League final against Liverpool.

I have never seen a reaction like that from a manager before, he was sobbing like a baby, on his knees. It was almost like his years of management all just came out in that moment. It shows how much it means to him, probably because he thought it would never be done.

The result wasn't tactical - it was just pure heart. There was no formation, it was just giving it everything to try and get to a Champions League final, and they have managed to do that.

Sometimes football can be thrown back to that. The basics - heart, emotion, desire, running your opponent into the ground - will always outdo tactics.

The culmination of both is the perfect scenario, you get your tactics spot on with a gameplan that works. But ultimately it is 11 v 11 and if you are better than your opponent, and you come out dominating them, running them into the ground, you will win the football match.

In their stunning 4-0 win over Barcelona on Tuesday, Liverpool got through with sheer guts and wanting to tackle and be aggressive and run all over the top of their opponents. Barcelona tried to play a slow tempo game and it didn't work.

We are seeing more signs of that, with teams just having a go, with a never say die attitude, and it is getting results. Spurs would have taken confidence from Liverpool. They would have seen what Liverpool did and thought 'look what can be done if you just have everyone believing and having a go'.

You will see more teams getting belief off the back of this.

It is amazing to watch, seeing the emotions of the manager, players and fans and how much it means to them - the Champions League is the pinnacle of club football.

It's been a breath of fresh air. The players haven't been rolling around or diving, gamesmanship hasn't been part of these semi-finals. It's been proper football, teams having a go, players working and no egos. It has been really refreshing and long may it continue.

You could never have predicted these nights. People will keep believing. You will see this being the standard going forward where tactics go out the window and heart and desire take you a long way.

Mauricio Pochettino falls to his knees at the final whistle
Pochettino was overcome at the final whistle - can his team go one further and win the Champions League?

How will they approach the final?

How they approach the final after these matches will be the interesting conundrum.

Do they go back to tactics, or do they tie in to the emotion that got them to the final? I'd imagine it would start off tactical, but both teams know that if they need to, especially Spurs, tactics can go out of the window and they can just throw it forward with belief and desire.

I do think you will see a tactical game, because first and foremost Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp are tactical managers. It will be intense, it will be end-to-end, like their games are in the Premier League, but when it is a final and you have nothing else to play for you throw everything at it.

Spurs will realise that when you get to a Champions League final you leave it all on the pitch.

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Liverpool are favourites - but are Spurs destined to win?

Liverpool will think Spurs are more destined to win it than them. Liverpool were the better team over their two legs and in their other matches they have sailed through to the final.

But Spurs have scraped and battled through. They went to Manchester City and got hammered but nicked three goals and it almost feels like it is their destiny more than Liverpool's.

I still think Liverpool will back themselves. They have beaten Spurs twice already this season, but for me there is just something about Spurs' run that is different to Liverpool's.

Liverpool's comeback was fantastic, you couldn't believe what they did against Barcelona, but Spurs just seem to be finding a way, scraping their way to the final.

It is finely poised, I don't think you can call it, you would probably say Liverpool are slight favourites but they will be very wary of Spurs. It will be a very interesting final.

Darren Fletcher was speaking to BBC Sport's Matt Davis.

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