Last night at the Camp Nou, I experienced perhaps the quickest 94 minutes of my life.
Spurs, my little club from north London, earned a point away in Barcelona to secure a place in the Champions League last sixteen.
Only eight teams in the history of the competition have ever qualified for the next round having earned just one point after the opening three group games. Spurs are now one of them.
After the 1-1 stalemate back in October away at PSV, it seemed qualification was just a pipedream for Mauricio Pochettino and his team.
I’m not afraid to admit that having already purchased my tickets for the two following home ties against the Dutch side and Inter Milan, I was contemplating giving them up out of pure disappointment.
But still, I trekked back to Wembley optimistic. Here we are two months later in the next round after a defining performance at Barcelona.
Initially it was a weird atmosphere inside the Camp Nou that saw the home supporters almost encourage Spurs to play well. They were just there for good football.
Sure, it was a bonus when it was their side doing the attacking, but by no means did a spell of strong Tottenham play dishearten them. If anything, they enjoyed it.
The feeling of intensity didn’t leave me throughout the entire game. Granted, most of our jitters were self-provoked given our seats were in the home end. If Spurs scored, the threat of getting my head kicked in was very much a possibility.
This ferocity from the home supporters escalated tenfold when a certain Lionel Messi began warming up. The support he received for just a simple jog was so defeaning that it even threw Spurs off their stride during an attack. The Nou Camp is his castle and without even gracing the pitch, you knew the King was home.
But still, Pochettino’s team held in there and took the game to the hosts. The moment that marvellous gem Lucas Moura scored the equaliser is one that will stay with me forever.
Gritted teeth, a quick jab to my colleague sat next to me and a few raised eyebrows were my only means of celebration.
But despite the final whistle being blown, the job wasn’t quite done for the Premier League side. There was a brief pause inside the ground as fans awaited the result of the Inter v PSV game, in the knowledge that all they had to do was match that result.
As the scoreboard at the Camp Nou flashed up that it had finished a draw, the travelling fans erupted once again. Tottenham had done it.
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