It was high drama again at the Etihad today, as Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur drew 2-2 following crazy scenes that saw City apparently snatch an injury time winner through Gabriel Jesus, only for VAR to chalk it off due to a handball from Aymeric Laporte in the build-up.
The game was largely one-sided in favour of City, who took a first half lead through Raheem Sterling before an Erik Lamela snapshot levelled things for Spurs just two minutes later.
City again went ahead with a Sergio Aguero goal late in the half, only for substitute Lucas Moura to equalise in the second half with literally his first touch of the ball. City then pushed hard for a winner but were unable to find one - largely thanks to VAR.
Here are 3 reasons why Tottenham drew with Manchester City.
#1 VAR rears its head again
Last season’s Champions League quarter-final between City and Tottenham ended in controversy as VAR chalked off a late winner for Raheem Sterling, and that trend continued here as Gabriel Jesus’s late winner was disallowed due to a handball in the build up by Aymeric Laporte.
For City fans, this must’ve been a hard pill to swallow, but while Tottenham fans will be singing the praises of the new system tonight, it’s likely only a matter of time before it comes back to bite them too.
Simply put, VAR is almost too perfect right now, picking up on slight errors and incidents that the human eye would usually miss. Did Laporte handle the ball? Definitely. Did he mean to? Most likely not, and realistically Jesus did all the work for the goal when he received the ball anyway.
VAR is apparently supposed to correct clear and obvious errors from the official, but when it’s used in the way it was at the Etihad, it comes off as almost nitpicky.
Unfortunately for fans - who will probably be beginning to feel like they can’t celebrate a goal until VAR confirms it - the genie is now out of the lamp and VAR is here to stay. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is probably still too early to say; realistically every team is probably going to feel aggrieved by it at some point, but tonight City will probably feel cheated while Spurs fans will definitely feel relieved.