Manchester City’s Champions League campaign came to an end tonight, despite the reigning Premier League Champions beating Spurs 4-3 in an epic encounter at the Etihad.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men went into tonight’s fixture leading 1-0 on aggregate after the first leg last week, and the eagerly awaited clash immediately sprung into life, with the scores tied at 2-2 after just 11 minutes, courtesy of goals from Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva which came either side of a double from Spurs attacker Son Heung-min.
Once Spurs had scored Pep Guardiola’s side knew they would have to win by two clear goals on account of the away goal rule, and in-form winger, Raheem Sterling, hit home again from close range after 21 minutes to send the Citizens in at half-time 3-2 up.
Sergio Aguero would then power home after good work from the impressive Kevin De Bruyne to put City in the driving seat, only for Fernando Llorente to put Spurs back in control after glancing a corner in off his hip.
City would pile forward in search of an all-important equaliser, and it seemed that they would remain on course for an unprecedented quadruple when Sterling stroked home deep into injury time.
However, VAR intervened to dramatically deny the goal for offside, and Spurs held on to move into the last four on away goals.
Speaking after the game City boss Guardiola admitted it was a cruel way to exit the Champions League, but revealed that he was proud of his club.
“It is cruel but it is what it is and we have to accept it,” Guardiola told BBC 5 Live.
”After 20 minutes we were 3-2 up. In the second half we created a lot of chances and we scored the goals we needed. Unfortunately, it was a bad end for us so congratulations to Tottenham and good luck for the semi-finals.
“I support VAR but maybe from one angle Fernando Llorente’s goal is handball, maybe from the referee’s angle it is not.”
On Raheem Sterling’s goal that was ruled out:
“I watched the action and the people from above decided it was offside. We missed a penalty in the first leg but I am so proud of the players and the fans. I have never heard noise like that since I have been in Manchester but football is unpredictable.”