Four goals scored inside of the first 11 minutes, chaos on the pitch, chaos on the touchline and a video replay of an offside goal shattering the dreams of City fans and lighting a fire under Hotspur supporters heard from Manchester back to London. It was the most sensational 120 seconds of drama you will ever see, and the rest of the game wasn’t that bad either.
Tottenham lost 4-3 to Manchester City but won on away goals in one of the most exhilarating Champions League matches in history. The accomplishment marks Tottenham’s first ever appearance in the semifinals of the Champions League tournament.
Manchester City took the lead four minutes in, leveling the tie on aggregate (Tottenham won the first leg 1-0 at home), when Raheem Sterling curled a shot past keeper Hugo Lloris. The Etihad erupted, but within five minutes of the goal Tottenham responded when Son Heung-Min responded giving Tottenham the lead back on aggregate.
Bernardo Silva then pulled a goal back within two minutes of Son’s second to make it 2-2, and it was then 3-2 on 21 minutes after Sterling converted Kevin De Bruyne’s cross at the far post.
3-2 after 21 minutes.
It was like a game of FIFA 19, mash buttons, up up down down triangle x o shoot shoot sprint shoot.
Sterling and Son were on fire whenever they had the ball at their feet.
But at 3-2, City needed one more goal to go through, and nobody scores more late goals than City, well except for Liverpool, who have made their season about late surprises.
Rather than sit back and play the game out, City went for the kill. One more goal would surely finish Spurs off.
But the kill shot never came. Instead, the first crucial VAR intervention came into play, when Llorente deflected in Kieran Trippier’s corner before Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir was called to review it on the video screen by VAR.
Cakir awarded the goal, judging that the ball went in off Llorente’s hip rather than his hand.
Was this the right call? You decide.
City still had 17 minutes plus stoppage time to tilt the pendulum back in their favor, and they pushed once again, pouring forward and targeting the byline. The clock ticked on, into stoppage time, until Christian Eriksen’s loss of possession gifted the ball to Aguero, who laid it off for Sterling to score.
Guardiola sprinted to celebrate and the Etihad went wild, but VAR had one more card to play. Bernardo Silva’s outstretched leg had diverted the ball toward Aguero and the cold, motionless VAR once again called a big decision correctly: Aguero was offside and the goal would not count.
Etihad Stadium, the home of Manchester City, went from thunderous roaring in celebration to madness and then silence after Raheem Sterling’s potential hat-trick goal in the 93rd minute was over turned (correctly) following a video replay showing Sergio Aguero in an offside position during City’s counter attack which temporarily gave them the lead.
It was a tight call, but it was the right one, and City Manager, Pep Guardiola was forced to retreat to his bench, knowing that his team’s time had run out; the clock struck midnight in Manchester and their plans for Champions League silverware had vanished.