UCL: VAR is king as Tottenham progress at Man City’s expense (2)

A one nil victory for Tottenham in the first leg of this fixture last week prepared no one for the monumental entertainment that fans and viewers worldwide were serenaded with.

Both teams came out of the block determined to go all out to get the advantage and this approach produced a stunning four goals in the first 11 minutes. Sterling got the game’s first goal in the fourth minute, finishing up a nice move to put the Citizens ahead on the night and level on Aggregate.

The lead did not last long as Son stepped up courtesy two defensive errors by Laporte to draw his side level and put Tottenham 2-1 up on the night. This lead also was shortly lived. Bernado Silva got on the end of a pass from Aguero and played a scrappy shot through the body of his marker and into the net at Lloris’s near post.

A quick free kick from De Bruyne saw the Belgian receive a reverse pass and square the ball across goal to an on-rushing Sterling to score past Lloris for his second of the game and put draw his team to within a goal of qualification.

The second half paled in comparison to the first half in terms of intensity but Manchester City knew they needed a goal to go through and up stepped Aguero to fire past Lloris again at his near post. De Bruyne charged through the midfield to lay a perfect pass which Aguero let run to set himself up for a shot that went in from the near post.

Tottenham had lost Sossoko earlier in the first half to injury and he was replaced by Llorente, with Alli dropping back into central midfield to accommodate the big man upfront. This change will produce the final goal of this tie and ultimately win the game for Tottenham. A corner kick was met by Llorente at the near post and redirected into goal for Tottenham’s third on the night and fourth of the tie amidst suspicion of hand ball that was quashed after VAR review.

The telling moment of the game however had several protagonists but VAR stole the shine and ultimately rightly ruled out a ladt minute goal that would have sent Manchester City through to the Semi Final and Tottenham back hom. Eriksen was caught on the ball and his hurried pass back brushed off the shin of Gundogan and fell into the path of Aguero who cushioned a tiny pass to Sterling to fire past Lloris for City’s fifth of the game. After VAR review however, the goal was struck out as Aguero was marginally offside at the time the ball brushed Gundogan’s shin, hence nullifying the subsequent passage of play and the goal.

Tottenham go through to the semi-finals for a date with giant killer Ajax thankful for the technology as the linesman did not flag Aguero offside initially.

Author: Victor Modo
Sports writer and photographer, and a lover of good football. I write opinion pieces and hope you read some one day.

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