Man City’s quadruple hopes dashed by Spurs in Champions League classic

Tottenham Hotspur reached the semi-final of the Champions League for the first time in their history after beating Manchester City on away goals (4-4 agg) following an incredible second leg at the Etihad...


Tottenham Hotspur reached the semi-final of the Champions League for the first time in their history after beating Manchester City on away goals (4-4 agg) following an incredible second leg at the Etihad. Manchester City needed a fast start to kickstart their comeback and they got just that as Raheem Sterling handed them the lead after just four minutes. Kevin De Bruyne’s fingerprints were all over the move as he picked the ball up on the right touchline, bounced the ball off Sergio Aguero and then teed up Sterling out on the left, who stepped inside and bent a beautiful finish into the far corner. Less than three minutes later and Spurs drew level with their first attack of the game.

Dele Alli’s attempted through ball was cut out by Aymeric Laporte’s outstretched leg but the loose ball dropped to Heung-Min Son with the South Korean curling a first-time effort beyond Ederson. Replays weren’t particularly kind to the Brazilian as he appeared to dive out of the way of the shot with his trailing leg diverting it in. Armed with their away goal, the advantage was with Spurs and just three minutes later they had another through Son once more. If there were question marks over Ederson for the first, there were none over the second as Son’s swerving effort from the left-hand side of the box left him with absolutely no chance. They were Son’s 19th and 20th goals of the campaign.

At that stage, Spurs looked to be in a commanding position to progress, leading the tie 3-1 on aggregate and having two away goals safely in the bank. Almost immediately, though, their two-goal lead was wiped out as Bernardo Silva’s shot deflected in off Danny Rose to leave Lloris wrong-footed. Following what seemed an eternity without a goal (it was actually just nine minutes and 47 seconds) the game’s fifth goal went in after 21 minutes with Sterling on the scoresheet again. De Bruyne, who helped himself to two assists at Selhurst Park on Sunday, did so again, sliding an inch-perfect ball across the six-yard-box for Sterling to tap in at the back post.

The next major incident to affect proceedings wasn’t a goal but an injury instead as Moussa Sissoko hobbled off just before the break. Sissoko, who has been a revelation in Spurs’ engine room this season, went down innocuously under no pressure and after attempting to struggle on twice, eventually accepted his fate and made his exit. Fernando Llorente came on in Sissoko’s place forcing a tactical reshuffle from Spurs. It left them unbalanced and City dominated the end of the first half and start of the second, eventually making their pressure count through Aguero, who rifled a venomous shot beyond Lloris at his near post. Spurs, bereft of central midfielders and energy reserves, looked to be on the ropes but incredibly they grabbed their third of the game through Llorente as the veteran striker bundled in a Kieran Trippier corner. Initially, it looked as though the ball had grazed his arm on its way in, but referee Cuneyt Cakir correctly ruled it hadn’t following a VAR review.

With Spurs leading on the away goals rule, City threw caution to the wind in search of the winner. Deep into stoppage time, it looked as though they had it when Sterling fired in from close range after an Aguero cut-back for what he thought was his hat-trick goal. However, Cakir again consulted VAR to check whether or not Aguero was offside in the build-up. Christian Eriksen’s pass back towards his own goal bounced off Silva into Aguero’s path and with the Argentine marginally offside, the goal was chalked off. With it went City’s hopes of winning a maiden Champions League title and completing an unprecedented quadruple of trophies this season, with Spurs taking their place in the semi-finals to face another of this season’s great entertainers Ajax.

Source: MetroUK



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