Tottenham Hotspur qualified for the Champions League semi-finals despite losing 4-3 to Manchester City in a thrilling encounter at the Etihad on Wednesday April 17th. The north London side won the first-leg 1-0, on Tuesday April 9th, allowing them to qualify by away goals.
City took the lead just four minutes in to the game. Kevin De Bruyne’s pass found Raheem Sterling, who cut in from the left-hand side and curled in a beautiful shot inside the far post. But Spurs were level just a few minutes later. Son Heung-Min latched onto a mistake by Aymeric Laporte and shot past goalkeeper Ederson.
The South Korean got his second goal of the game just moments later. After receiving a pass from Christian Eriksen, he curled in an effort into the top corner to put his side ahead. But the see-saw game continued as the hosts equalised in the 10th minute. Sergio Aguero’s pass found Bernardo Silva whose shot deflected off Danny Rose before trickling into the net.
Sterling put his side ahead for the second time in the game in the 20th minute. Again, it was De Bruyne’s pass which found the England forward who struck into the net to complete a stunning first 20 minutes.
Manchester City needed one more goal to qualify, but it was Tottenham who almost equalised as Son fired an effort inches wide just before half-time.
The home side started the second half on top as Sterling’s shot was saved by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Bernardo was denied by a last-ditch tackle by Rose after attempting to convert the rebound. De Bruyne had an effort saved, moments later, as the Sky Blues upped the tempo.
But the visitors still looked dangerous as substitute Fernando Llorente had a header saved by Ederson in the 57th minute. But City finally got their fourth goal just a minute later. De Bruyne drove past the Spurs midfield and slipped the ball through to Aguero, who fired past Lloris to put his side 4-2 up on the night and 4-3 up on aggregate.
But the London side weren’t ready to give up yet. In the 72nd minute, Kieran Trippier’s corner came off the hip off Llorente and went into the net. City players appealed for handball but the referee, after checking video assistant referee (VAR), decided to allow the goal.
The Manchester club needed another goal and almost got it in the 85th minute as substitute Leroy Sane’s pull back was volleyed over from close range by Ilkay Gundogan.
City thought they had won the game in stoppage-time after Sterling struck into the net from Aguero’s pass but the referee consulted (VAR) and rightfully judged that the Argentinian was offside in the build-up.
As the final whistle blew wild celebrations broke out from the Tottenham bench as the club reached their first ever Champions-League semi-final.
After the game the BBC reported Spurs head coach, Mauricio Pochettino, calling his players “heroes”. He said, "It was unbelievable - the way it finished. I am so happy, so proud. My players are heroes to be here.”
Manchester City head coach, Pep Guardiola, said the defeat was “cruel” on his side but congratulated Tottenham. "It is cruel, but it is what it is, and we have to accept it.
"I am so proud of the players and the fans. I have never heard noise like that since I have been in Manchester, but football is unpredictable. Unfortunately, it was a bad end for us so congratulations to Tottenham and good luck for the semi-finals.”