The independent London newspaper

Champions League adventure is VAR from over for Spurs!

Mauricio Pochettino’s men make history as club reach competition’s semi-finals for the first time on a night of incredible drama at Man City

17 April, 2019 — By Dan Carrier

Champions League
Quarter-Final, Second Leg

MAN CITY 4 (Sterling 4, 21 Bernardo Silva 11, Aguero 59)
TOTTENHAM 3 (Son 7, 10 Llorente 73)
(4-4 on aggregate, Spurs win on away goals)

SPURS reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last night (Wednesday) after edging past Manchester City in one of the most dramatic games in the competition’s history.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men lost the seven-goal show-stopper 4-3 at the Etihad Stadium, but progressed on away goals after drawing 4-4 on aggregate.

They went into the tie holding the advantage after winning the first leg 1-0 thanks to Heung-Min Son’s persistent finish. But that lead was wiped out within five minutes when Kevin De Bruyne fed Raheem Sterling, who curled the ball inside the far post.

However, before Spurs fans could slump down in their seats Pochettino’s side drew level. Aymeric Laporte failed to clear Dele Alli’s attempted through-ball, allowing Son to curl the ball past Ederson from 10 yards.

The visitors then suddenly found themselves ahead. Lucas Moura pounced on Laporte’s poor touch before driving forward and picking out Christian Eriksen, who in turn found Son. The forward quickly set his sights on goal and expertly placed a shot beyond Ederson’s full-stretch dive to claim his second goal in as many minutes.

All Tottenham had to do now was stop City scoring three goals and they would be facing Ajax in the semi-final.

That, however, proved too big a task.

The home side rallied and were back in front before the break. Bernardo Silva made it 2-2 on the night when his shot deflected off Danny Rose and trickled in at the near post. De Bruyne then presented Sterling with a simple tap-in to level the scores on aggregate.

On the hour mark it was City who were in the final four. De Bruyne drove through the heart of the Spurs midfield and threaded a perfect ball for Sergio Aguero who smashed the ball past Hugo Lloris.

But this topsy-turvy classic was far, far from over. On 73 minutes the result swung back in Spurs’ favour. Fernando Llorente bundled the ball home from close range, and after a nail-biting VAR review to check for a handball, referee Cüneyt Çakir adjudged it went in off the striker’s hip.

There was still time for even more drama in the dying minutes of injury time. Sterling thought he’d won it when he bundled the ball past Lloris to complete his hat-trick, but the goal was chalked off after VAR showed Aguero was offside in the build-up.

Embed from Getty Images

It means Spurs will play in the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time, facing Ajax at home on April 30, with the return leg taking place on May 8.

MAN CITY: Ederson, Walker, Kompany, Laporte, Mendy (Sane, 84), Gundogan, Silva (Fernandinho, 63), De Bruyne, Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero.
Substitutes not used: Muric, Stones, Mahrez, Otamendi, Jesus.

TOTTENHAM: Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose (Sanchez, 91), Wanyama, Sissoko (Llorente, 43), Alli, Eriksen, Son, Moura (Davies, 82).
Substitutes not used: Gazzaniga, Foyth, Walker-Peters, Skipp.


Share this story

Post a comment