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Guardiola laments "cruel" City exit as VAR grabs the headlines

The City manager defended VAR but described the wait before Raheem Sterling's goal was ruled out as "cruel" as his side were knocked out of the Champions League.

Guardiola laments "cruel" City exit as VAR grabs the headlines
Dave ThompsonAP

Pep Guardiola lamented Manchester City's "cruel" Champions League exit after an extraordinary loss to Tottenham on Wednesday.

City claimed a 4-3 win at home in the second leg, but bowed out on the away-goals rule after the quarter-final tie finished locked at 4-4.

Fernando Llorente's 73rd-minute goal proved decisive, the strike confirmed by the VAR despite the ball appearing to hit the forward's arm.

But there was another late twist, Raheem Sterling seemingly completing his hat-trick and sending City through in additional time, only for his effort to be ruled out by the VAR for offside.

Guardiola: "It was inched for the handball" 

Guardiola felt the way Sterling was denied was particularly painful to City, whose quadruple bid was ended.

"It was inches for the handball, that was inches," he told BT Sport. "It's offside. It was cruel, in this moment when it's not a legal goal, okay.

"But when you celebrate for 30 seconds or a minute when there's only one or two minutes left and we are so close to getting through to the semi-finals and after we don't concede, it's cruel, but it what it is."

Tottenham will face Ajax in the semi-finals, while they meet City again in the Premier League on Saturday.


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