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Spurs squeeze past City into semi after epic battle at Etihad

The game saw seven goals and one, very important, strike ruled out for offside at the end as Spurs squeeze past City into the Champions League semi-final.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 17: Fernando Llorente of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his teams third goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Campus on April 17, 2019
Chloe Knott - DanehouseGetty Images

Manchester City 4-3 Spurs: match report

Manchester City won the battle but lost the war on Wednesday night as Tottenham Hotspur did just enough to knock them out of the Champions League despite conceding four and being under the cosh for large spells of the game.

In what turned into an epic encounter after a cagey first leg, Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Heing Ming Son (twice), rattled the back of the net before the 12th minute and things hardly slowed down after that.

Mauricio Pochettino was without Harry Winks, Harry Kane and without much hope after 21 minutes when Sterling scored his second and Aguero knocked home the fourth after 59. His side, with a bench lacking depth, looked out on their feet and it looked like they would have to put it down to experience. It was a dominant display by City but they couldn't put the tie to bed and could never quite shake off Spurs. 

They needed just one chance and Fernando Llorente scored with his hip to make it 4-3 on the night after 73 minutes.

City poured everything into getting that leveller that would see them through. They thought they had it too when Eriksen coughed up the ball and Aguero fed Sterling to score beyond Lloris as the Etihad exploded and Pep sprinted down the sideline in celebration. The referee consulted with VAR though and Aguero was offside by a matter of inches as he recieved the ball. 

It will be another year without a Champions League semi-final for Pep Guardiola and City and further heights reached by Pochettino, who was down to his bare bones on the night.

Ajax await in the semi-final as one of the other most interesting stories in this year's competition. But regardless of the result and the debate surrounding VAR and Guardiola's inability to get to the last four that will surely follow, what we watched at the Etihad on Wednesday night will linger in the memory and go down as one of the greatest games the competition has ever seen.

Manchester City vs Spurs live online: match updates

Manchester City vs Spurs live online: match preview

The Etihad is the venue for Spurs vs City on Wednesday night with kick-off at 21:00 CEST with, at the very least, one Premier League team set to make it into the Champions League semi-final of the competition.

Heung-Min Son scored a second half winner in the first leg of the all-Premier League quarter-final clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City last Tuesday night. The Korean will be needed again in the second leg as Pochettino's men defend their lead against a Pep Guardiola side looking to make their first semi-final appearance under their technician.

Fernadinho is out for the hosts along with Zinchenko but the former could have a massive bearing on how Guardiola lines out his team. He experimented in the first leg and was largely lambasted after the game with suggestions he got too cute at the wrong time. Gündogan could replace him and Bernardo Silva, who was left out in London should start as City go in search of a goal. Guardiola might be feeling the heat after a tetchy press conference in which he referred to himself as a failure and said he didn't come to City to win the Champions League but to play the kind of football they have been playing since he arrived.

Pochettino has to plan without Harry Kane after he went off in the second half with an ankle injury. Harry Winks is missing as is Eric Dier and Serge Aurier. The two teams meet each other again at the weekend in another season-defining game as City look to close in on the title and Spurs look to interrupt that. Pochettino has said that City's side are capable of winning the quadruple but they could be the masters of their demise if they can knock them out tonight and take points off them at the weekend in what are sure to be two heated battles.


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