Manchester City vs Tottenham report: Tottenham match report
In the end, it all came down to away goals, with Tottenham losing the second leg but winning via a 4-4 aggregate score. This is how football should be, tension all around and passion prevailing in the end.
Two highly revered managers, who have a solid defensive core, went head to head and yet, at half time, five goals were scored, and seven were scored by the final whistle. It says a lot about how the game went.
It was end-to-end football at its very best. For anyone watching, this was ‘the’ game, one for the future no matter what the result was.
Quality football played by arguably two of England’s best managers, it had everything, from an overflowing bucket of goals to VAR disallowing, allowing and proving to make the biggest impact of them all.
It was Manchester City, on one hand, dominating possession and on the other hand, Tottenham proving to be a stunning threat on the counter. Both Lucas Moura and Son Heung-Min used their explosiveness contributing to two goals in three minutes, which is exactly what Pochettino would have expected.
However, Manchester City are Manchester City and their sheer attacking power combined with a visionary performance from Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva proved to be a match.
Together, the two ran rings around the Tottenham defence, moving the ball rapidly and effectively. One moment perfectly emphasised that, and it came from the brilliant Belgian.
Out wide, De Bruyne received the ball as he did millions of times before and like clockwork, he delivered an inch-perfect pass to Sterling on the other side.
The pass cut open the away side’s defence like a lightsaber through butter, effortless moving towards the oncoming Sterling. In the end, all the Englishman had to do was tap it in.
That ended the half and yet, the drama wasn’t over. The second arrived with the same frantic football packed into a more composed and elegant style. Manchester City continued to dominate possession but it was Tottenham who had the final say.
A rare Tottenham corner was the perfect opportunity for the away side to fling the ball at their 6’4” centre-forward, which is when the great VAR made its appearance.
Big brother had struggled over the course of the game and yet, it stepped up. Two goals rightfully allowed and disallowed (opinions vary) in the final 20-odd minutes.
The first of these two goals came off some part of Fernando Llorente’s body and the second was via a Bernardo Silva touch that put Sergio Aguero offside in the lead up to the potential winner.
Both moments changed the game and showed exactly why and where VAR will prove to be such a big difference-maker in the Premier League. For Tottenham, however, this is it.
They are at the pinnacle of their greatest modern football achievement and much like Ajax, they are the underdogs. This is their best finish in the Champions League, with them only winning the UEFA Cup (Europa League) twice and the Cup Winners Cup in 1963.
It’s their chance to create history and make the advertising for their stadium sound completely underwhelming.
Here is what a few excited Tottenham fans had to say: