Tottenham crushes Man City's hopes after epic clash

First Leaf Desk 2019-04-18 sports

Manchester City and Tottenham played out one of the most enthralling Champions League matches in recent memory, exchanging four goals in the opening 11 minutes to set the tone for a pulsating encounter.

When Raheem Sterling got the game's fifth -- and City's third -- after 21 minutes, it was the fastest five goals had ever been scored in the Champions League, eclipsing the previous record of 24 minutes set by Dortmund and Legia Warsaw in 2016.

It was a gripping spectacle right up until the dramatic finale when City had a stoppage time goal from Raheem Sterling, which would have sent them through, ruled out for offside after a VAR review.

City fans had celebrated what looked like the goal that sent them into the last four before the replay confirmed that Sergio Aguero was offside in the build-up.

The crowd fell silent as Cakir blew the whistle for full time, save for the small pocket of delirious and disbelieving Tottenham fans in the far corner.

"I must be one of the luckiest guys on the planet I think," Eriksen told BT Sport after the match, a nervous smile plastered across his face.

"I think it was one of toughest games, it was unbelievable how it finished," Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino told BT Sport. "I'm so happy, so proud of my players. They're fantastic, all heroes.

"I'm so happy for them, for our fans, for everyone. But we have to get ready for Saturday," he laughed, referring to Tottenham's Premier League clash against City.

The contest exploded into life in the fourth minute when Sterling put City in front, receiving a ball from Kevin De Bruyne on the left flank and then cutting inside onto his right foot before beating Hugo Lloris with a beautiful, curling shot into the far corner.

Three minutes later though, Spurs drew level when City's French defender Aymeric Laporte's attempted clearance fell straight at the feet of Son Heung-min whose low shot flew in off the leg of City keeper Ederson.

Laporte was also at fault for Spurs' second in the 10th minute when he gifted the ball to Lucas Moura, the Brazilian feeding Christian Eriksen who found Son, the brilliant South Korean finishing superbly into the far corner.

There was no respite as City responded immediately as Aguero fed Bernardo Silva and the Portuguese the winger's left-foot shot deflected off Danny Rose and beat the wrong-footed Lloris to make it 2-2 on the night.

The dangerous Sterling struck again in the 21st minute to level the aggregate score, ghosting in at the back post to convert a low cross from De Bruyne that had zipped across the face of the goal.

A thundering strike from Aguero in the 59th minute put City in the driving seat again -- the Argentine blasting in at Lloris's near post after a magnificent burst forward and perfectly weighted and timed pass from De Bruyne.

aving appeared to take complete control of this quarterfinal, nerves were again jangling just 60 seconds later as Bernardo Silva's deflected effort drew City level on the night.

And breathe. Four goals and just 11 minutes gone, one Manchester City fans reaction to Silva's goal said it all. Eyes wide and laughing incredulously, he -- like everybody else at the Etihad -- could scarcely believe what he was seeing.

So frenetic was the opening period, the lull until the game's fifth goal -- City's third -- seemed like an age. In reality, it was just nine minutes.

Silva's reverse pass found Kevin De Bruyne down the right and the Belgian's inch-perfect low cross found Sterling at the far post for an easy tap in.

Almost unbelievably, it would take until 15 minutes into the second half for the next goal to be scored.

Aguero thundered the ball past Hugo Lloris at the near post after excellent work by De Bruyne, who seemed determined to drag City through to the semifinals all by himself.

"They deserve a lot of praise. I am so happy because the effort is massive from the squad who have lived with everything. If we have one thing to describe this team, we always keep the same spirit, ideas and philosophy and that is the most important thing," Pochettino said.

Now the pair will meet again on Saturday at the same venue in the Premier League, with plenty at stake for both teams.

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