By 90Min
May 31, 2019

Tottenham are only the second team in history to reach the Champions League final after failing to win one of their opening three group stage games - with Jose Mourinho's Inter the only other side to achieve the feat.


The Nerazzurri went on to lift the trophy in 2010 after beating Bayern Munich 2-0, and no side has come close to repeating the feat in the competition's subsequent years.


Spurs, however, have followed a remarkably similar path and could follow in Inter's footsteps if they are able to defeat Premier League rivals Liverpool in Madrid.

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If they do, they will successfully conclude what has been one of the most dramatic Champions League campaigns, filled with ups and downs - and plenty of jaw dropping drama.

Things started dreadfully for Mauricio Pochettino's men, picking up a solitary point from their opening three group games to leave progression into the knockout stages looking unlikely.

Defeat to Inter after two late goals was followed by a Lionel Messi masterclass at Wembley, and after a disappointing 2-2 draw with PSV - where Spurs conceded another late goal - essentially meant Pochettino's side needed maximum points to stand any chance of progressing from the group.  

A swift turnaround was to follow, though, and after wins against PSV and Inter respectively, Spurs knew that if they could match Inter's result in their final group game, they would advance.


Easier said than done when you're facing Barcelona at Camp Nou, but to everyone's surprise, Spurs earned a valuable point - and thanks to Inter's late slip up against PSV, the draw was enough to see them into the knockout stages.

A comprehensive 4-0 aggregate victory over Borussia Dortmund in the first knockout round set up a blockbuster tie against Manchester City in the quarter final. 


An exhilarating second leg which included seven goals, two first half braces and a VAR decision which cancelled out Raheem Sterling's last minute strike, sensationally sent the Lilywhites marching into the semi final.

Cue another unbelievable result. After trailing 3-0 on aggregate, Lucas Moura ensured he will go down in Tottenham folklore by scoring a dramatic hat-trick to catapult his side through to the final.

So how did Inter do it nine years ago?

Well, Mourinho's men fared slightly better than Tottenham during their opening group games, as the Italians drew all three; also finishing, coincidentally, in second place behind Barcelona.

CHRISTOPHE SIMON/GettyImages

They dispatched Chelsea and CSKA Moscow in the round of 16 and quarter final respectively, setting up another meeting with Barcelona in the semi final. They emerged as 3-2 winners on aggregate to set up a showdown with Bayern Munich in the final, which again was coincidentally also played in Madrid.

A typical Mourinho masterclass stunned Bayern with Diego Milito grabbing a brace to lift the trophy and complete the treble for Inter - paving the way for Mourinho to take the helm at Real Madrid the following season. 

Spurs will be hoping the return of talisman Harry Kane can inspire them to match Inter's achievement and restore European glory for the first time in 35 years.

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