Tottenham Hotspur ended Manchester City’s quadruple dreams as they advance in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League courtesy of the away goals rule. Goals, drama, controversy, ecstasy. You name it, this game had everything. The match began in flying fashion with 4 goals in the opening 10 minutes, the fastest four goals in a Champions League match.
Raheem Sterling opened the scoring before ever dependable Heung Min Son replied with a brace. Sterling put City ahead on the night in the 20th minute when he applied the final touch to an inch-perfect De Bruyne cross after Bernando Silva had leveled the proceedings with some assistance from the error-prone Hugo Lloris. Sergio Aguero then put City in front of Spurs on aggregate as his powerful hit left Lloris with no chance in goal.
At this point, it looked like one of those nights when Aguero who had missed that decisive penalty in the first tie would seal City’s fate just like he had done on numerous occasions. But more dramatic events were to follow in the aftermath of the goal. In the 73rd minute, substitute Llorente bundled in a corner which appeared to take the slightest of nicks of his elbow( you needed a snickometer to prove that) before deflecting of his hips and ending up in the back of the net. This proved to be the clincher for Spurs as they were ahead again on away goals.
Raheem Sterling then scored in stoppage time that looked like the goal that would send City through, only to be disallowed after Sergio Aguero was found offside in the build up to the goal. City's joy turned to misery as Spurs couldn't believe their luck as they manged to dump the title favorites out of the competition.
Here are 5 talking points from the thrilling, nail-biting encounter from the Etihad stadium:
#5 Goals Galore, Frantic start sets the tone
Spurs had a vital one-goal lead coming into the game and had kept a crucial clean sheet at home. All these factors meant Mauricio Pochettino and his troops would have been aware of the importance of an away goal as City had failed to register in Spurs' dazzling new stadium. In the end, that goal played a huge part in their progression.
Sterling continued his rich vein of form when he brilliantly curled the ball past Lloris to give City a flying start to the match. However, Heung-Min Son, who was rested in the game against Huddesfield, indicated his importance to his team and delievered yet again with a brace in the space of two minutes.
First, he capitalized upon a weak clearance by Aymeric Laporte to sidefoot the ball into the net to put Spurs in front on aggregate. For the second goal, Lucas Moura pounced on a sloppy first touch by Laporte again, to win the ball in a dangerous area before playing it to Son whose curling effort put Spurs in the driving seat with a two-goal lead.
But the joy was cut short when Bernado Silva’s effort took a deflection from Danny Rose to roll into the net.
The goal-laden period was completed when Sterling was at the end of a sumptuous, precise cross by De Bruyne. Defensive errors, an ultra-attacking approach due to the away goals factor meant the fans were treated to an exhilarating start to the match.