Champions League: Spurs triumph over Man City in thriller to reach semi-finals
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Manchester City's Champions League dream ended in dramatic fashion Wednesday night as Tottenham progressed on away goals despite losing 4-3 in Manchester, while Liverpool strolled past Porto to join them in the semi-finals.
Four goals were scored in a crazy opening 11 minutes as Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva cancelled out two Son Heung-min away goals for Tottenham.
City finally looked set for the last four when further goals from Sterling and Sergio Aguero put them ahead in the tie for the first time.
But there was a further twist when Fernando Llorente's controversial goal 17 minutes from time was allowed to stand despite a VAR check for handball by the Spaniard.
VAR intervened again deep into stoppage time to save Spurs once more when Sterling thought he had completed his hat-trick only for Aguero to be ruled offside in the build-up.
That meant the tie finished 4-4 on aggregate following Spurs's 1-0 win at home in the first leg, but the Londoners went through thanks to their superios away goals tally.
Tottenham's reward is a semi-final clash against Ajax.
Pep Guardiola will face more questions over his failure to land the Champions League three seasons into his City's reign, but after a more conservative approach for the first leg was criticised, he set the tone for a thrilling 90 minutes.
Kevin de Bruyne was restored to the starting XI among four changes from the first leg and the Belgian showed why the decision to leave him out last week was so questioned.
De Bruyne drove at the heart of the Spurs defence before feeding Sterling, who cut inside and curled a wonderful shot into the far corner.
Guardiola had called for the home fans to finally produce an intimidating atmosphere on a European night at the Etihad.
However, they had barely retaken their seats by the time Tottenham were level.
Aymeric Laporte cut out Dele Alli's forward pass, but only turned the ball into the path of Son, whose shot had too much power for Ederson.
Three minutes later, City's quadruple quest appeared in tatters as Laporte was again caught in possession, this time by Lucas Moura and the Brazilian teed up Son to curl into the top corner for his 20th goal of the season.
Yet, a kamikaze opening 11 minutes had another twist as Bernardo's effort deflected off Danny Rose and wrong-footed Hugo Lloris at his near post.
By the midway point of the first-half, City were back in front as Bernardo and De Bruyne played creators once more and Sterling finished off a low cross at the back post.
Spurs' hopes of holding on to their advantage on away goal suffered another blow when Moussa Sissoko was forced off with an injury.
Mauricio Pochettino chose attack as the best form of defence by replacing the midfielder with Llorente in what proved to be a decisive change.
City started the second period with the same menace they did the first as Lloris denied Sterling before the French World Cup winner made a brilliant stop to deny De Bruyne the goal his performance deserved.
However, De Bruyne had his hat-trick of assists on the hour mark as he surged through midfield before timing his pass for Aguero to perfection and the Argentine rifled past Lloris.
Finally ahead for the first time in the tie, Guardiola soon sent on Fernandinho to restore some sense of control, but City were pegged back again as an incredible tie swung back in Tottenham's favour.
Kieran Trippier's corner was bundled in by Llorente, but there was controversy as the ball seemed to hit the striker's arm on its way in.
After a VAR check, though, Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir stood by his original decision and the goal stood.
And VAR went against City again deep into stoppage time as delirium soon turned to disbelief inside the Etihad when what would have been a hat-trick for Sterling was ruled out.
Liverpool stroll past Porto
In the night's other tie, Liverpool set up a mouthwatering Champions League semi-final against Barcelona after their superstar front three all scored in a 4-1 win away at FC Porto that saw them cruise into the last four 6-1 on aggregate.
On a wet night at the Estadio do Dragao, Liverpool had to weather an early storm before scoring from their first attempt just before the half-hour mark, Sadio Mane prodding home for a goal given after a lengthy VAR review.
Already in control of the tie after a 2-0 win at Anfield in the first leg last week, Liverpool had effectively killed off Porto there and then, but Mohamed Salah, substitute Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk added further goals after the break.
Eder Militao scored a consolation for the hosts 21 minutes before the end, but this was another miserable night for them after they lost 5-0 to the same opponents on this ground a year ago.
But Jurgen Klopp's side had to survive a Porto onslaught in the opening stages, sparked by a Jesus Corona shot just over the bar in the first minute.
They had 13 attempts on goal in the first 25 minutes, but would regret not scoring while on top.
When the away side finally made it into the box at the other end, Salah -- his every touch jeered by the Porto support who felt he should have been sent off in the first leg -- rolled the ball into the six-yard area for Mane to get his 22nd goal of the campaign.
While the offside flag came up, the longer Dutch referee Danny Makkelie spent conferring with his video assistants the more obvious it became that the goal would stand.
Porto knew their chance was gone, with their fans cursing Mane again -- he had scored a hat-trick in Liverpool's big win here in the last-16 tie last season.
The match opened up after the interval, with Trent Alexander-Arnold releasing Salah to run through and beat Iker Casillas on 65 minutes.
Porto got their consolation shortly after when Militao -- who will join Real Madrid next season -- rose to head in from an Alex Telles corner, finally giving their support something to cheer.
They will be glad to see the back of Liverpool, however.
Mane missed the target after rounding Casillas, but Henderson set up fellow substitute Firmino to head in the visitors' third on 77 minutes and Van Dijk nodded in from a corner to round out the scoring.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
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