The Etihad Stadium (Aggregate 4 - 4 )
UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final 2nd Leg
Referee: Cüneyt Çakir of Turkey
|Manchester City||Tottenham Hotspur|
|Sterling (4', 21'), Bernardo Silva (11'), Agüero (59')||Son Heung-Min (7',10'), Llorente (73')|
|31 Ederson||1 Hugo Lloris|
|2 Kyle Walker||2 Kieran Trippier|
|4 Vincent Kompany||4 Toby Alderweireld|
|14 Aymeric Laporte||5 Jan Vertonghen|
|22 Benjamin Mendy||Sané 84'||3 Danny Rose||D Sánchez 90+1'|
|17 Kevin De Bruyne||12 Victor Wanyama|
|8 Ilkay Gündogan||17 Moussa Sissoko||Llorente 41'|
|21 David Silva||Fernandinho 63'||20 Dele Alli|
|20 Bernardo Silva||23 Christian Eriksen|
|10 Sergio Agüero||7 Son Heung-Min|
|7 Raheem Sterling||27 Lucas Moura||Davies 82'|
|5 John Stones||6 Davison Sánchez|
|19 Leroy Sané||16 Kyle Walker-Peters|
|25 Fernandinho||18 Fernando Llorente|
|26 Riyad Mahrez||21 Juan Foyth|
|30 Nicolas Otamendi||22 Paulo Gazzaniga|
|33 Gabriel Jesus||33 Ben Davies|
|49 Aro Muric||52 Oliver Skipp|
Johnny On The Spot:#ALL-TIME-CLASSIC…There was no way that City and Ireland nemesis Cüneyt Çakir would let such an outstanding game of football pass by without putting his stamp on it in some way. The ruling out of Raz Sterling’s last minute hat-trick was the cruellest of blows.
This incredible football game had absolutely everything. Superb entertainment.
City started on the front foot and rewarded a capacity crowd with a stunning start – a delicious Raheem Sterling opener on 4 minutes…nobody could have predicted what happened next as the game simply exploded. 17 minutes later and the score stood at 3-2 to The Blues.
Both sides were giving it everything they had, City pressing high and hard continually, breaking up Spurs rhythm but the Londoners kept on wriggling clear. Spurs had opened up with a midfield diamond which looked thoroughly exploitable from the wings, but it was the speed of their counter attacks led by the jet-heeled Son that rocked City in a bat-shit crazy opening frenzy of goals. One on one Son is lethal. Yet City’s resilience is beyond question under Josep Guardiola. They raced through the gears relentlessly and went in at the break 3-2 to the good. This was a thunderous occasion. We had a Champions league classic on our hands.
Yet without a doubt, Pep would have fully addressed that Aymeric Laporte and Benjamin Mendy needed to tighten up the left side of City’s defence. We had witnessed an outstanding attacking performance from The Blues but they needed to be tighter in possession. Spurs had played some lovely stuff but in truth they’d profited from 2 gifts.
The atmosphere ramped up again as the City fans raised the roof for the second half kick off. The champions simply tore into Spurs who found themselves utterly rocked and gasping for air. Despite a brief rally, they were again overwhelmed and Kun Aguero slammed in his 30th goal of the season – amazingly, City’s 154th. City continued the unrelenting pace of their attacks and went close repeatedly. You felt that City needed another goal.
Yet around the 70th minute of this pulsating, incredible game City eased off momentarily against a side you simply cannot do that against and Mauricio Pochettino’s men snuck in to put themselves within 15 minutes of a mouthwatering semi-final date with a brilliant Ajax.
City returned to pouring it on. The game rested on a knife edge yet again. It became scrappy and the tension was unbearable. Spurs rediscovered their shape and City looked a little dispirited but somehow found the extra gear that resulted in Sterling’s tie-winner being ruled out for a borderline offside with a timing and drama that only UEFA officials are capable of conjuring. The conspiracy theorist inside this correspondent couldn’t help but wonder how they missed Llorente’s arm connecting with the ball before he scored.
Both squads will be absolutely shattered tonight but there is literally no time to dwell upon it. Spurs fly south to Stansted tonight before flying back to Manchester on Friday ahead of a crucial Premier League fixture – episode three of a mentally and physically draining City-Spurs trilogy.
JB’s Man of The Match: Kevin De Bruyne. Utterly brilliant.