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Pochettino labels Spurs players ‘heroes’ after reaching Champions League semi-final

Mauricio Pochettino has hailed Tottenham’s players as ‘heroes’ after they progressed to the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday night.

Spurs took a 1-0 advantage into the second leg at Premier League rivals Manchester City, and advanced to the last four after one of the most thrilling Champions League encounters in memory.

Substitute Fernando Llorente’s goal, after being checked for handball by VAR, gave Pochettino’s side victory on the away goals ruling, where they will now meet Dutch side Ajax in the semi-finals.

The game began with a chaotic opening 21 minutes, with City taking a 3-2 lead after the teams exchanged goals at a frenetic pace.

Raheem Sterling opened the scoring only to see Son Heung-Min’s brace put Spurs in control within 10 minutes, before Bernando Silva’s reply a minute later levelled the game on the night.

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Sterling’s second put City 3-2 up, and Pep Guardiola’s side were heading through when Sergio Aguero netted just before the hour.

Llorente’s goal, bundled in from a corner, put the tie back in Tottenham’s control and ultimately proved the winner, but not before Sterling had a goal ruled out in injury time by VAR for offside.

Pochettino was full of praise for his players after what he described as an ‘unbelievable game’.

“It was unbelievable – the way it finished. I am so happy, so proud,” Pochettino told BT Sport.

”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.”