Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspurs battled it all out in what was one of the most entertaining games in Champions League history. Pep Guardiola’s men came out as 4-3 winners but Spurs’ crucial 1-0 win in the first leg meant that City bowed out of the competition on the away-goal rule. City midfielder Fernandinho later reacted to winning the battle but losing the war.
Fernandinho was ushered in for his post-match comments on what was a nail-biting encounter at the Etihad. The Brazilian displayed his frustration on the VAR decision at the end of the match which turned the tie on its head by deeming Raheem Sterling’s would-be 93rd minute winner to be offside.
“F**k VAR”, Fernandinho claimed in anger as he slammed the door on his way out. Fernandinho was livid with the referee’s decision who had to make some vital calls throughout the match.
Fernando Llorente’s all-important third away goal stirred heavy controversy at the 73rd minute with many claiming that the Spaniard handled the ball before it hit his waist and ended in the back of the net. The substitute was brought in to replace the injured Moussa Sissoko before half-time as Pochettino changed his system.
Llorente ensured that his team would not miss their captain and star striker Harry Kane, who is reportedly out of action for the rest of the season. Heung-min Son deputized for Kane in the starting XI, and quickly lifted the Londoners out of trouble with a brace after Raheem Sterling’s curling effort gave Manchester City the lead inside 5 minutes.
Bernardo Silva equalized inside 11 minutes setting a record for the fastest four goals scored at the start of a Champions League match, before Raheem Sterling tapped in a superb Kevin De Bruyne cross to hand his side a critical lead going into half-time.
Sergio Aguero, who has been Manchester City’s go-to man for years, arrowed a shot past Hugo Lloris to make it 4-3 on aggregate potentially sealing a semi-final berth for only the second time in their history. Llorente’s goal, however, was the killer blow for Pep Guardiola, for whom Champions League glory in England still beckons.
The Catalan claimed that his side “gave everything” on Wednesday night, and that the result was “cruel” to their fans and his players. He will surely be hoping that his team quickly forget about last night, and focus on their Premier League ambitions.
Manchester City, remarkably, host Tottenham Hotspur again in a massive Premier League encounter. Surely, we’re not ready.