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'For me': Kieran Trippier now shares whether he thinks Lucas Moura should've been dropped for Tottenham's Champions League final
Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

'For me': Kieran Trippier now shares whether he thinks Lucas Moura should've been dropped for Tottenham's Champions League final

Newcastle United full-back Kieran Trippier has told Under the Cosh that he thinks Mauricio Pochettino was right to drop Lucas Moura for Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League final back in 2019. 

Spurs’ run in Europe during the 2018-19 campaign was full of remarkable moments that fans will never forget. Pochettino’s side scraped through the group stage with a 1-1 draw against Barcelona on matchday six. 

They then went on to hammer Borussia Dortmund 4-0 on aggregate in the last-16, before reaching the semi-finals on away goals after a thrilling 4-3 loss at the Etihad. 

But it was Lucas Moura’s brilliant hat-trick in Amsterdam that secured Spurs a place in their first-ever Champions League final. They looked to be heading out when they went into half-time two goals down to Ajax. 

Despite Moura’s semi-final heroics, the Brazilian was dropped for the final as Harry Kane returned from a lengthy spell on the sidelines. 

Spurs were underwhelming in Madrid and fell to a 2-0 defeat against Liverpool.

Pochettino’s decision to start Kane over Moura has been a topic of debate for Tottenham fans ever since. Now, Trippier says that he thinks Pochettino made the right decision. 

Photo by Stuart Franklin – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Trippier on Moura

The Newcastle man started the game at right-back for Spurs and was ever present in the side throughout their run in the tournament. 

Kane returned to the starting line-up for the final back in June 2019 after not playing a single minute since the start of April. 

The England striker had suffered a ligament injury and was forced to watch his side’s historic run from the sidelines. But Trippier has backed Pochettino’s decision to start Kane in the final. 

He told Under the Cosh: “I understand Lucas scored a hat-trick but if you were going to play Lucas and drop somebody else, then who do you drop? Dele was flying that season, Christian was unbelievable, Sonny. So it’s one of those.

“I understand everybody’s frustration about it but for me you can’t have H [Kane] on the bench because he can score at any moment.” 

Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Spurs fans will always wonder what could have been had Pochettino started Moura over Kane in the final. 

Kane certainly looked off the pace in the game after not playing a single minute of first-team football for just under two months.

Moura was full of confidence after scoring a brilliant hat-trick in the semi-final, but only played 24 minutes off the bench.  

You can certainly understand why Pochettino decided to play Kane in what was Tottenham’s biggest game in their recent history. But it will probably forever be a decision that leaves Spurs fans wondering what could have been had Moura got the nod on the night.

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