Manchester City 4-3 (4-4 on agg.) Tottenham Hotspur
Since it became Manchester City’s home in 2003, the Etihad Stadium has played host to some unforgettable occasions.
But it’s barely credible, with a nod to a last-gasp title triumph in 2012 that it has witnessed anything quite like this — a Champions League clash which quite literally had everything, ended with VAR making the final call.Drama, suspense, controversy – where does one begin.
Few reports can cram in the amount of Champions League 2019 highlights this produced.
Yet, if you us fans need time to recover, spare a thought for these two sides and their supporters.
Fittingly, both sets of fans stayed to the end to applaud their heroes for this was a night where both teams provided them aplenty after an amazing contest.
As City fans sang their club tune ‘Blue Moon’, knowing their players had given everything, Spurs players and fans were delirious – bouncing up and down in front of each other.
Highlights of the Game
City, with 11 straight home wins behind them (now 12), made a dream start as Raheem Sterling cut inside Kieran Trippier inside four minutes and found the net.
Three minutes later and the unsung Son Heung-Min got Spurs the away goal they craved (they would need two more) as the South Korean rifled the ball beyond Ederson.
Son Heung-min celebrates as he scores for Tottenham into semi-finals
Son struck again within three minutes as Aymeric Laporte overran the ball and was robbed by Lucas Moura before a quick interchange with Christian Eriksen, who then moved it to Son whose finish was unstoppable.
Yet again, within 60 seconds, City were back on level terms. This time it was Bernardo Silva who equalised as the hosts went straight back down the other end and saw his shot take a cruel deflection off Danny Rose.
When it took a further 12 minutes before another goal, it felt like a drought!
This time it was Sterling as he grabbed his second of the night from a stunning Kevin de Bruyne ball.
Spurs were hanging on by the end of the first half and then behind just before the hour as De Bruyne showed his class again and Sergio Aguero – who had a hand in the first two goals – rifled the ball past Hugo Lloris at the back post.
Yet, somehow, via a hip, substitute Fernando Llorente – only on the pitch because of an injury to Mousa Sissoko –then helped the ball into the net and Spurs were ahead on away goals.
When, in the third minute of stoppage time, Sterling fired home, City were on cloud nine, Spurs crestfallen.
Then VAR intervened and ruled it offside.
An astonishing end to a stratospheric night.
It’s easy to forget Spurs were 12 minutes away from being eliminated by PSV Eindhoven after four group games.
Now they are in the semi-finals of Europe’s premier club competition for the first time since 1962, under the late great Bill Nicholson, after an emotional rollercoaster.
Words can barely do occasions like this justice.
Son is now the highest scoring Asian player in Champions League history with 12 goals, overtaking Maksim Shatskikh of Uzbekistan.
England has now provided seven different Champions League semi-finalists in the competition’s history – more than any other nation (Arsenal, Chelsea, Leeds, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd).
Sterling has been involved in 43 goals (29 goals and 14 assists) in 50 games in all competitions this season (club and country), more than any other English player from the top five major leagues.
Four goals in the opening 11 minutes of Manchester City vs Tottenham is the fastest four goals have ever been scored in a single Champions League match.
City are still the top scorers in this season’s Champions League with 30 goals.
Tottenham have won 18 of the 20 ties in UEFA competition in which they won the home first leg. Their last aggregate defeat when winning in the home first leg came against Kaiserslautern in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup second round.
Pep Guardiola has only lost three times in his 16 managerial contests with Mauricio Pochettino (won nine, drawn four) – the pair also crossed paths as coaches in Spain with Barcelona and Espanyol respectively.
City have scored 20 goals in their five home games in this season’s competition.
1X2 Borussia Dortmund @ 1.53 Over 3.00 @ 2.00 Total Goal 2-3 @ 2.06 Third Line text CLICK HEREDisclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.Bundesliga
A third meeting in the space of 11 days, that’s what is next.
It’s City v Spurs again at the Etihad Stadium in under 72 hours in a crucial Premier League match.
City then have a Manchester derby at Old Trafford and a visit to Burnley to negotiate.
Spurs host Brighton next Tuesday and West Ham on April 27 after the completion of the trilogy.
The Champions League 2019 betting odds were not expecting a Spurs v Ajax semi-final but that is exactly what we have.
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