VAR manna from heaven for Tottenham’s Alderweireld

In one final heartstopping twist deep into five minutes of stoppage time, City's packed stadium celebrated what they thought was a last-gasp tie-clinching hat-trick goal by Sterling.

Then - as Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir signaled the goal had been overruled following video review -- Guardiola fell to his knees, head in hands, in utter despair.

"We missed a penalty in the first leg but I am so proud of the players and the fans", Guardiola said.

"He's certainly in a balanced environment here, where I can't see him running away with any outside noise".

Having gained the initiative in the tie, Guardiola tried to protect it by sending on Fernandinho but his plans were soon torn up as Llorente bundled in a controversial effort from a corner after 73 minutes.

The joy was, however, short-lived as the Argentine striker, Aguero, was correctly ruled to be in an offside position by VAR as he latched on to the ball.

"Unfortunately, it was a bad end to us so congratulations to Tottenham and good luck for the semi-finals".

I think I must one of the luckiest guys on the planet today. That feeling of elation when you see your team hit the back of the net in the last minute is the reason we all go to football in the first place and now, slowly but surely, that feeling is being taken away.

The goal was then checked by VAR, and as would later be the case with Raheem Sterling's ruled out injury-time strike, it looked favourably on Spurs and Llorente. "Thank God the ref gave offside". Bernardo Silva's outstretched leg had diverted the ball toward Aguero and the cold, emotionless VAR once again called a big decision correctly: Aguero was offside and the goal would not count.

The first goal, after four minutes, went to City through Raheem Sterling.

Son Heung-min scored twice for Spurs in an astonishing opening 11 minutes and he admitted that sometimes players can be frustrated by VAR but this was not one of those days. To do this with an unbelievable team like Tottenham and be for the first time in the semi-finals of the Champions League with these team-mates is insane. "It was unbelievable, the way it finished".

Llorente told COPE after the match: "I was screwed, I thought they cancelled it".

His counterpart, Pochettino, who was without his top scorer Harry Kane, said his team had shown all their character.

  • Angelo Rivera