Manchester City defeated on the night but Tottenham qualified in a dramatic night thanks to Video Assistant Referee that ruled out Raheem Sterling’s 93rd-minute goal, and Cityzens boss, Pep Guardiola said ‘It was very cruel’, after Etihad erupted for 68 seconds thinking their beloved team had reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, before VAR stepped in to spoil the party and send Spurs through.
For a moment, the Etihad Stadium ejected as Raheem Sterling appeared to have handled the knockout hit to Tottenham’s Champions League hopes. Manchester City’s uncommon fourfold expectations had blasted once more into life in the most exceptional style. Football had hurled another exemplary minute.
In the wake of opening home from a Sergio Aguero pass in damage time (two minutes, 22 seconds in), Sterling went wild, dashing to the corner banner as Pep Guardiola jumped noticeable all around with unbridled euphoria, celebrating with the upbeat City fans.
For Tottenham – disaster. Dele Alli sank to the floor, Hugo Lloris viewed on with gloom and chief Mauricio Pochettino looked to the sky in absolute incredulity.
Their odds of achieving their first Champions League semi-last were no more. Their fantasies were shattered. Absolute euphoria in the home end. City’s web-based social networking group couldn’t trust their very own eyes, tweeting a progression of arbitrary letters as they let out their help.
City’s considerations immediately swung back to regrouping and seeing out the last couple of minutes of what has been an enchanting conflict. In any case, the dramatization was just about beginning. As Guardiola strolled back to the City hole, the official (3 minutes, 23 seconds into included time) checked with VAR just to affirm the triumphant objective should stand.
VAR was gotten to remove any dramatization, yet the accurate inverse occurred here – trust in Tottenham and Pochettino. Furthermore, it before long turned out to be certain that Aguero was offside in the development after Bernardo Silva contacted the ball on following a Christian Eriksen pass. A snapshot of frenzy and nail-gnawing at the Etihad as they anticipated the arbitrator’s tie-choosing call.
The TV cameras cuts to Cuneyt Cakir, who puts his hand to his ears as he gets the VAR flag. The choice is by all accounts taking perpetually however he, in the long run, prohibits the objective.
This time it’s Guardiola’s turn to sink to his knees in dismay. He can barely handle it. City’s snapshot of enchantment is detracted from them. What’s more, Tottenham are minutes from their first Champions League semi-last.
Minutes after the fact, the official blows his last whistle and Pochettino tosses his hand into the air as the Tottenham squad and fans go wild. For City, whose greatest dream is winning the Champions League and commanding European football, musings should quickly come back to the Premier League in the event that they are to pip Liverpool to the title.
Guardiola has encountered the most astounding highs in football and this was an uncommon low for the Spaniard in what has been such an outstanding administrative vocation. What’s more, he let his feelings out after the game.
‘It was cruel. This moment when it’s not a legal goal, OK,’ Guardiola said following the full-time whistle. But in the moment we celebrate in three seconds, one minute, when there’s one or two minutes left we are so close to the semi-finals and after we don’t concede so it’s very cruel. But it is what it is.’ Reality had set in and after their moment of madness, City’s social media team posted on Twitter: ‘We gave it everything’.
Pochettino had recently encountered his best minute in football as an administrator and that was obvious in his post-coordinate meeting. The Argentine said: ‘It was unbelievable – the way it finished. I am so happy, so proud. My players are heroes to be here. I am so happy for them, so happy for the fans. ‘In a moment many things happened in your head. The disappointment was massive but they changed the decision. That is why we love football. Today we showed great character and great personality it was an unbelievable game.’
For a minute, Eriksen thought he had lost the tie for Tottenham. The Danish midfielder, who has been key in everything his side have done as such far this season, inhaled a tremendous murmur of help in the wake of giving the ball away paving the way to the refused objective.
‘I must be one of the luckiest guys on the planet tonight. I thought it was all over but It was a fun game. It was a rollercoaster. We gave them a lot but also got a lot – it was a weird game. After today we take a deep breath, it will be a fairytale to play them and fun to be back in the (Amsterdam) Arena again.’
The last laugh went to Tottenham. Fernando Llorente opened home the champ in the 72nd moment. Once more, VAR worked in their favour. The Spanish striker diverted the ball home from an in-swinging Kieran Trippier corner and rushed to the happy voyaging support behind the goal. But there was a concise panic for Spurs as the arbitrator counseled VAR and headed toward the little screen close to the passage to check if Llorente had dealt with the ball.
After replay after replay, the pressure was fabricating however Cakir flagged an objective. Tottenham fans were cherishing VAR on a captivating night of activity, which presented the snappiest five objectives in Champions League history. How did the Tottenham fans celebrate? ‘VAR, VAR my ruler’ they recited well into the night.