Tottenham Hotspur booked their place in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals following a crazy clash with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium
The game really did start at an absolutely frantic pace as Raheem Sterling scored the opener after only four minutes. A quickfire brace from Heung-Min Son though left the Etihad speechless as Tottenham appeared to take control of the tie. However, City were not to be silenced as a scruffy strike from Bernando Silva and another clinical finish from Sterling put Pep Guardiola’s men ahead on the night.
They eventually claimed the aggregate lead mid-way through the second-half as Sergio Aguero got his name on the scoresheet with a powerful finish. However, the momentum swung back in the visitors’ favour as Fernando Llorente scored from a late corner. City thought they had stolen an uber-dramatic late winner as Aguero teed-up Sterling for his hat-trick but the goal was ruled out by VAR for offside as Spurs secured their place in the Champions League last four.
Goals flowing from the off
With a goal being crucial for Manchester City, they were ahead within only a few minutes. Kevin De Bruyne fed Sterling on the left flank and the England winger cut in and let fly with a wonderful effort that crashed into the far corner of Hugo Lloris’ goal.
However, Tottenham were not behind for very long as Son equalised almost immediately. Dele Alli’s ball was cut out by Aymeric Laporte but the Frenchman only served to play it into the path of the South Korean on the edge of the penalty area. His low shot then dribbled underneath Ederson to immediately silence the Etihad.
Crazy first ten minutes
If the home crowd were shocked after Son’s first strike, they certainly were after he scored again. He picked the ball up on the left hand side of the penalty area and then curled a wonderful effort into the top corner for his 20th goal of the season in all competitions.
The unpredictability of the match did not end there though as only minutes later, Bernardo Silva was on hand to equalise. The Portuguese found space on the right and managed to force the ball home via a touch from Tottenham defender Danny Rose.
Super Sterling sparkles again
The chaos continued as Guardiola’s men edged themselves ahead on the night through Sterling. The brilliance of this strike though really was down to De Bruyne. The Belgian whipped in a stunning low ball towards the back post where Sterling was waiting patiently to slam home.
The forward could have secured his hat-trick in the second-half but could only shoot straight at Lloris from the centre of the penalty area. The Frenchman then was at top form as he leapt across his goal-line to palm away a wicked De Bruyne strike.
City claim aggregate advantage but Tottenham edge ahead
The second-half was not quite as barmy as the first but that did not stop the reigning Premier League champions from taking the lead. De Bruyne, who was brilliant all night long, drove through the heart of the Tottenham midfield and released Aguero in behind. From close range, the Argentine forward thundered the ball into Lloris’ near post.
More controversy was to follow though and it was a contentious call from the referee. From a corner, substitute Llorente bundled the ball home edging Spurs once again ahead on aggregate. Loud appeals for handball from the hosts were heard and the goal was checked by VAR but the goal was given.
Ilkay Gundogan could have won it for City late on as he latched onto Leroy Sane’s knock-down but he could only put the ball high over the crossbar.
The hosts even thought they had the tie sealed up as Aguero teed up Sterling for his hat-trick. The England winger tucked the ball into the bottom corner and sent the stadium into raptures. However, the referee and VAR intervened once again to rule the strike out and ensure Tottenham’s inclusion in the semi-finals.
There is only one word that can be used to describe this game: madness. It really was a spectacle to behold and surely one of the great Champions League ties. Both teams really did leave everything on the pitch. Some of the attacking play was absolutely breath-taking, whilst the defending did not really inspire confidence. Tottenham will now face Ajax in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Manchester City: Ederson (6); Mendy (6) (Sane (N/A), 84′), Laporte (7), Kompany (7), Walker (7); D. Silva (7) (Fernandinho (6), 63′), Gundogan (6), De Bruyne (9); Sterling (8), Aguero (7), B. Silva (8).
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (7); Rose (7) (Sanchez (N/A), 90′), Vertonghen (6), Alderweireld (6), Trippier (5); Wanyama (6), Alli (6), Sissoko (6) (Llorente (7), 41′), Eriksen (7); Son (8), Moura (5) (Davies (N/A), 81′).
Goals: Sterling (4′, 21′), Son (7′, 10′), B. Silva (11′), Aguero (59′), Llorente (73′)
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir
Yellow Cards: Sissoko (41′), Son (48′), Rose (54′), Wanyama (77′)
Red Cards: N/A
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