Thrilling Beginning and Disappointing End for Manchester City
The second round of Manchester City vs Tottenham Champions League Quarterfinal was a joy to watch for an unbiased football fan. Being either a City and Tottenham fan good luck! Man City and Coys fans have witnessed way too many heart attack moments. This match has become one of the most exciting and entertaining games in the recent Champions League games. Did VAR rob Man City of Champions League Semifinal?
Raheem Sterling opened the score in the 3rd minute of the game with an absolute stunner. Sterling who is notorious for his hard work and killer finishing leveled out the aggregate score to 1-1. It took only 4 minutes before Son's strike send Hotspurs ahead on aggregate. Son's second goal in Champions League Quarterfinal (1 home and 1 away) meant that Man City will have to beat Tottenham by at least 2 goals. Son added another screamer to his tally only 2 minutes later getting a Champions League Quarterfinal "hattrick".
At this point, many Tottenham fans started to coquet with a thought that perhaps Tottenham can beat Manchester city and get to the Champions League Semifinals. In the 11th minute, an unlucky ball rickshaw from Tottenham's Dany Rose changed direction and poor Hugo Lloris could only watch the ball roll over the line - 2-2 (2-3 on aggregate). The hopes for Coys fans were still alive even though the goal margin has become uncomfortably too slim.
It Ain't Over Until It's Over!
Manchester City is notoriously known for high pressure and very direct low crosses from wins aimed between defense and goalkeeper. These balls are one of the most difficult balls to defend. They are even more difficult for defenders to handle when your crosses have sniper's precision. Kevin de Bruyne's perfectly executed pass from the right side outside of the box found Raheem Sterling in a very sharp angle in the 21st minute. Sterling's composure and impeccable timing of his run allowed him to get the finishing touch on the ball 3-2 (3-3 on aggregate).
I cannot say how much I enjoyed this game! It was BRILIANT. Almost like a soap opera. Full of twists and turns, love and hatred, joy and disappointment. This is WHY WE LOVE FOOTBALL #MCITOT pic.twitter.com/oTUYBaOv8W
— Radovan Fafilek (@RadovanFafilek) April 17, 2019
The ball was moving up and down the field. Both teams had incredible chances but could not convert them to goals until Kun Aguero's 58th-minute bullet shot from 12 years was too much for Hugo Lloris to handle 4-2. At this point, the blue side of Manchester started celebrating their advancement to Champions League Semifinal.
How wrong they were... You never know what happens in football until the last minute of the game. Never celebrate too early, or you can get utterly disappointed. Yes, I am talking about you Manchester City Fans.
Mauricio Pochettino's tactical genius in subbing Lucas for Llorente proved to be vital for the game. Fernando Llorente's speculative handball/body touch from the corner kick ended up in the back of the net. 4-3 (4-4 on aggregate - however, away goal advantage for Tottenham). It seemed like this game will never be decided!
Man City Became Another Victim Of VAR Technology
As amusing and thrilling this game of football was it had to come to the end. Pochettino's decision to park the bus often does not fly well with Tottenham players but in this instance, their hard work and motivation led to a crucial mistake from Christian Ericksen 90+2th minute. Ericksen's pass didn't find Dany Rose but a leg of Bernardo Silva. The ball then bounced toward Aguero who passed it to Sterling, who finished his "hattrick". Or that's what pretty much what everybody watching the game though. Manchester City 5-3 Tottenham in the 92nd minute after a rookie mistake from Ericksen...
Any other day Manchester City would go through to the next round and at the 92nd minute of the City - Coys game that's what everybody thought. Everybody but the VAR referee. The VAR referee has recently added a completely new dynamics to the game. The constant Big Brother overview was omnipresent in Juventus vs Ajax yesterday and dramatically changed the pace and outcome of the game.
The VAR referee has spotted an offside in Kun Aguero's run, thus, making Sterling's goal illegal. This crucial decision that was missed by referees on the field proved to be crucial and send Tottenham not Manchester City to the next of Champions League!
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 17, 2019