Manchester City were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Tottenham in a thrilling encounter on Saturday, August 17th. The drama-filled game ended in dramatic fashion as Gabriel Jesus had a goal ruled out in stoppage time by video assistant referee (VAR) after a handball by Aymeric Laporte in the build-up.
Man City dominated the game from the start and took a deserved lead in the 19th minute. Kevin de Bruyne’s cross from the right-hand side was headed into the back-of-the net by Raheem Sterling.
But Tottenham equalised minutes later. Erik Lamela found some space on the edge of the box and fired a left-footed effort into the bottom corner to bring the visitors level against the run of play.
City continued to dominate and retook the lead in the 35th minute. Another De Bruyne cross from the right was flicked into the net―this time by Sergio Aguero―to put the hosts back ahead.
De Bruyne was close to adding a third minutes later but blasted over with just the keeper to beat. Ilkay Gundogan also went close as the champions went into half-time a goal ahead.
City picked up where they left off at the start of the second-half as Oleksandr Zinchenko forced goalkeeper Hugo Lloris into a save. De Bruyne then fired a shot inches wide off the post as the pressure grew.
The home side were in complete control as both Aguero and Sterling went close early in the half. But it was Spurs who equalised just before the hour mark. Substitute Lucas Moura headed in from a corner with first touch after replacing Harry Winks.
City went right back on the front-foot after conceding as Rodri had a long-range shot tipped over the crossbar by Lloris. From the resulting corner, Bernardo Silva’s shot came back off the bar. The Portuguese midfielder again went close minutes later as his shot flew inches wide of the goal.
The Sky Blues continued to put the pressure on Jesus, who had a shot deflected over the bar in the 70th minute. The Brazilian had a header fly inches wide of the post in the 79th minute as the pressure continued to grow.
In stoppage time, City thought they had scored the winner after Gabriel Jesus struck in following a corner, but the goal was ruled out after VAR had shown the ball appeared to strike the arm of Laporte before finding Jesus.
AFP reported that City manager Pep Guardiola was disappointed with VAR over the decision. "Deja vu. It was the same," said the Man City manager. (The) last action we score a goal, VAR disallowed it. What should I say? It's the second time, it's tough."
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino blamed speculation surrounding the futures of star players such as Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld for his side’s inability to match City.
"Sometimes people struggle to realise we arrive here with our circumstances; we cannot fight face-to-face with them," said Pochettino."We have a lot of circumstances we have to fix in the last few weeks until the transfer window shuts in Europe."