It was the game that had everything. Sky Sports selects the talk points from Tottenham's Champions League win against Man City and what it means for the rematch …
Football makes drama like nothing else
And to think, there will be those who left the stadium early.
Some games start spectacularly, others have a dramatic resolution, but few competitions have everything and this one has done it.
Five goals were scored in the first 21 minutes of this game. This is the shortest time it took to score five goals in a Champions League game. It was wild and it was wonderful when the star actors in both formations were determined to steal the show for themselves. Attack dominated the defense and all there was to do was to enjoy it.
Every great drama requires a change, and the second half delivers it. The desire of the local audience for the fourth goal was palpable and how appropriate should the record dictator of the city, Sergio Agüero, be the man who provided it. Then came what most had taken as the last turn when Fernando Llorentes's goal turned the tie in the other direction, as only an away goal can do so.
And when you thought you had seen it all, Raheem Sterling scored what seemed victorious in the stadium, just for VAR, to add another level to the drama …
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The emotion of the VAR moment increased the connection to the epic
This should have been the evening when the fans of Manchester City really fell in love with the Champions League. Instead, they left the Etihad Stadium more than ever.
VAR was right to keep Aguero off of stops & # 39; target & # 39; to stop. The potential handball call against Llorente for the winner could have gone both ways. But football is about emotions as well as facts, and these supporters of the city have been through.
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VAR not only changed the tie, but decided.
However, go beyond the special, and a different outlook is emerging.
VAR is a game changer for the game. A target is only a target if it has been validated and approved by VAR. This requires a seismic shift in the mentality of football fans everywhere. But perhaps we should also look at it this way: the introduction of video technology made last night's tie memorable, surpassing even Manchester United's VAR-backed epic against PSG last month, extending an extraordinary affair to a truly epic event.
It's probably an unpopular view, but the use of this season may have even improved the Champions League.
Fans of the city find their voice …
None of it made it tastier for the home fans.
As a reporter in the stadium, there is little like the moments that surround a VAR decision, and nothing like that. The fans in front of the press box are demanding replies from those with monitors and the journalist will soon become king. One thumbs up and it is blessed relief. A thumbs down and it is everywhere sorry.
The wait was endless. It may provide good television, but for the fans in the ground it must feel unbearable and the bald explanation is under the given circumstances inadequate. Confidence in the officials has never been high. Supporters need to see for themselves to believe it. Many left the floor and cursed UEFA and everyone else for what they had to endure.
The bitter irony for City fans is that they have spent much of the decade being accused of not being fully invested in the competition and not just by rival supporters. Even Pep Guardiola tried on the eve of the game to persuade a little more with a few pointed remarks. "I want to see that they want to reach the semi-finals, not just the players, but the fans as well," he said. "I want to see that."
He wanted to involve her and he understood. The more painful her heartache must have been in the injury time.
Tottenham is in dreamland
The emotions could hardly have been more different for Tottenham fans.
Tottenham was in their new state-of-the-art home in early April and in the semifinals of the Champions League at the end of April. Tottenham rarely had it that good. They have not only joined the elite, they have found themselves. This is probably the biggest moment of Tottenham since 1961.
It is not twice that. Of course not. Mauricio Pochettino is still waiting for the trophy, which will mark everything he has achieved in the past five years. To say that the Spurs have nothing to show what they did under the Argentine would be absurd. Not only do they eat at the top table, they devour themselves.
Another top-4 finish seems inevitable and they are not only in the Champions League to check. They are in the process of winning it now, and the hope is great that they can take the next step. There was a time when Spurs supporters feared it would be inevitable that Arsenal would become European champion before they did. Not now.
City lost in the first leg
For Guardiola the nightmare is a recurring one. But should he have attacked more? There will be those who are surprised only when one sees that the city usually succumbs to the outer gates. Perhaps influenced by his previous run-offs against the club, 3-1 in Monaco and 3-0 in Liverpool, Guardiola was on the verge of losing everything in Tottenham in that first leg, which proved costly.
The man, who is widely regarded as the outstanding coach of his generation, has failed to reach the final of the Champions League in his last seven attempts. This is largely due to his fighting outside the home. Guardiola has won six of his 26 co-games on the road, undermining his ambitions. Worryingly, it may undermine his ambitions.
The story, often told by Guardiola, is about sitting in a dark room for hours until he identifies the weakness he can exploit in the opposition, but his obsession could count against him in the contest. In both legs he called a starting lineup, which he had never chosen and not because of injury or suspension.
The suspicion is that he has done so because of a compulsion to lodging. The desire to be the one who has twisted the link to his will with a bit of ingenuity, rather than relying on his team doing what they have done so spectacularly throughout the season.
Sterling is getting better and better
And not only in the goals and the supports and in his comprehensive contribution to the rise of City and England this year.
Sterling becomes a leader, role model and statesman.
It is easy to speak well in the victory. Less after a bad setback, a jolting depression after the delirium of assuming that you have won an injury winner to take your team to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
A heartbreaking result after all the hard work we did for the qualification. Really hard to accept, but we can still be proud of what we have shown, how you have supported us, and how our hearts beat for this club. #Stand upright @Man City pic.twitter.com/337Fb8PdQx
– Raheem Sterling (@ sterling7) April 18, 2019
Where was Sane again?
The decision to leave Kevin De Bruyne on the bench for all but a minute of that first leg was obvious to the folly that seemed at the time when he delivered a brilliant performance that nearly drove City through, but he did not the only omission. Again, Leroy Sane's commitment was limited to a short cameo.
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At least it was not Riyad Mahrez's preference for the German here, but it's confusing that a player who scored in the Premier League every 90 minutes this season only gave Tottenham a split second over two legs. It's tempting to think that Guardiola would have the resources to win this match if he had just picked her.
No Harry Kane, no problem
There was no such luxury for Pochettino, who wanted to use many of his fringe players at night. He had no services from Serge Aurier, Eric Dier and Harry Winks. He lost Moussa Sissoko in this insane first half. But the true hallmark of this achievement is that it was achieved without Harry Kane.
Of course, we should not think about the fact that Tottenham's victory actually brought defeat last night. But it's not about individual results, it's about progress, and in fact, Tottenham has moved ahead of Manchester City to the last four European elite competitions, even though he played almost three quarters of the game without talisman.
Tottenham is a one-man team? The term was crushed to dust. And how fitting that the result, which underscores this point more than anyone else, should be directed against the coach, who described her as the "Harry Kane Team" in 2017.
Double your conversations with Liverpool
Of course, it's not all bad for City. The quadruple is out, but the view of a high is still very large.
Could this worrying elimination in the Champions League serve to focus and see City double its efforts to make sure they are the first team to win the Premier League title in that decade? If they can do it, it's Watford that will prevail between them and a historic domestic threesome through May.
& # 39; City a game away from bad season & # 39;
But they are not the only ones chasing history.
With all of City's talk about a unique quadruple room, it's too easy to miss the fact that Liverpool has the most prestigious double in football: the Champions League and the Premier League.
It's a feat that came much closer on Tuesday night. For one, of course, because they have secured their own promotion to the semi-finals of the Champions League with a strong dismantling of Porto. Three games – but with two guaranteed games against Barcelona – stand between the side of Jürgen Klopp and the undeniable right to be considered kings of Europe.
Did not your chances of becoming kings of England improve significantly on Wednesday night? Their title position was hit hard. Mentally and physically. The city's decision is about to reach an ultimate test.
And now they can do it again
The rematch on Saturday afternoon is not to be overlooked.
Man City against Tottenham
April 20, 2019, 11:30 am
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