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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 17 February, 2020


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So we’re just over an hour away from what is undoubtedly the biggest game of the season so far for both these sides.

Tottenham hold a 1-0 lead from the first leg, though City will still be confident of progression, having only lost two out of 25 competitive matches at home this season, winning the other 23.

Spurs have a poor recent record at the Etihad, losing six, winning one and drawing one of their last eight matches there, with their most recent victory there coming in February 2016.

The visitors, however, can be cautiously optimistic given their first-leg performance. Per the BBC, of teams trailing 1-0 in the first leg in Champions League knockout history, just 31% have advanced, with City hoping to increase that percentage tonight.

Who do you think will advance?

Poll Results:

Tottenham (282)
Man City (161)

De Bruyne starts for City tonight, though there is only a place on the bench for Leroy Sane.

Confirmation of both teams below. Dele Alli is passed fit for Spurs, while Victor Wanyama starts with Harry Winks unavailable.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Manchester City fans show support for their team ahead of kick-off. Source: Nigel French

Guardiola’s pre-match interview…

There’s plenty of booing in conjunction with the Champions League anthem.

City fans clearly aren’t the biggest admirers of Uefa.


We’re under way…


Silva pushes Rose over as the Spurs defender shepherds the ball out of play.

The England international is not best pleased with his opponent on account of that infringement.


It’s the perfect start for City.

De Bruyne does well to find Sterling on the left-hand side of the box.

Trippier affords the City attacker far too much space and the winger curls an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net to level the tie on aggregate.






What a start to this game!

Initially, an Alli through ball deflects into the path of Son, with Ederson only able to help the South Korean’s shot into the net.

Moments later, Spurs break and Eriksen plays it to Son, who curls an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net.

Then, almost immediately, City go down the other end and Silva receives the ball inside the box, his effort deflects off Rose and wrongfoots Lloris before finding the back of the net.

We’ve had four goals in nine minutes here.


Those are officially the four fastest goals in Champions League history.

What it means is that City need to score twice more to go through.


David Silva curls a free kick just over from about 30 yards out.

This game appears to have settled down slightly now.


De Bruyne drills a ball across the box and Sterling is on hand to tap home.

The England international was left completely unmarked, with a square-footed Trippier at fault, as he was for the first goal partially as well.


Better from Tottenham.

They’re holding onto the ball a bit now and settling the game down.




When you think about it, this crazy start is fairly understandable.

Both sides fielded very attacking starting XIs and both are not really accustomed to having to do much defending in the Premier League.


Sissoko is down after a collision with De Bruyne.

It looks like he’ll be okay to continue.

18-year-old Oliver Skipp is the only like-for-like replacement on the bench.


De Bruyne pulls it back to Aguero, but Alderweireld is alert and blocks his shot out for a corner.

Meanwhile, Sissoko goes down again and you get the sense his evening could be done.


Sissoko has gone down for a third time and will now come off.

Llorente will replace him, which likely means Eriksen will go into the sitting role and Alli will revert to the advanced attacking midfield role.


Tottenham break again.

Son evades the challenge of Walker, but this time his shot from the edge of the area goes just wide.


There will be three minutes of stoppage time mainly owing to that Sissoko injury and all the stoppages between goals.

What a half this has been.


The second half has begun…


De Bruyne is fouled by Son on the edge of the area.

Spurs have a very defensive look about them in this second half — it looks like a 4-5-1 at times.


De Bruyne curls his free kick just over.

The Belgian international has already had a big influence on this game and continues to look lively.


Big chance!

Silva drills the ball across to Sterling, whose close-range shot is saved by Lloris, with Rose doing well to get his foot to the rebound before a City attacker can.


Spurs are really hanging on at the moment.

They can’t get out of their own half and aren’t really used to defending so much in games.


Aguero lays it off to De Bruyne, whose powerful shot from the edge of the area is superbly saved by Lloris.

At the moment, it feels like ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ the next City goal comes.


Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - Second Leg - Etihad Stadium Tottenham Hotspur's Moussa Sissoko speaks to manager Mauricio Pochettino after being substituted. Source: Martin Rickett


All of a sudden, Tottenham are looking threatening.

Alli’s cross finds Llorente, who forces Ederson into a decent save.


City lead for the first time in this tie and De Bruyne is at the heart of it again.

The midfielder skips by Wanyama, before playing through Aguero, who fires home an unstoppable shot from a tight angle.


City make a defensive change in reaction to that goal.

Fernandinho replaces David Silva.


Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - Second Leg - Etihad Stadium Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak (left) with CEO Ferran Soriano (right). Source: Nigel French


Tottenham continue to look nervy.

Alli plays a poor pass that’s intercepted, and Silva plays through Sterling, who is adjudged to be offside.




Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - Second Leg - Etihad Stadium Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal of the game. Source: Nigel French


After a long deliberation and consultation with VAR, the ref gives a goal.

Llorente is unmarked and diverts home Trippier’s corner with his thigh (and not his hand, as replays prove).


Bernard Silva’s shot from just inside the box is deflected just wide.

Moments later, a corner falls to Gundogan, who fires a shot well over from the edge of the area.

The tension in the Etihad is palpable.


Tottenham make a defensive change now.

Davies replaces Moura.


Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - Second Leg - Etihad Stadium Tottenham Hotspur's Fernando Llorente scores his side's third goal of the game. Source: Mike Egerton



City make an attacking change.

Sane is on in place of Mendy.


With just over five minutes of normal time remaining, every Spurs player is back in their half.

We’re set for a big finish to a remarkable game.


Son carries the ball for a few seconds but is ultimately crowded out by City players.

Spurs are finding it hard to keep the ball right now.


Spurs make a final change.

Sanchez replaces Rose.


There will be five minutes of stoppage time…




Aguero was adjudged to be offside in the build-up after Eriksen had given it away.

Sterling slotted past Lloris, but it proved irrelevant after a decision that will cause plenty of controversy.

Flag 90Mins




Ecstasy for Spurs, while City are crestfallen.

It was surely the game of the season, and had a suitably dramatic conclusion.

So that’s that. Spurs go through in one of the most dramatic and unpredictable Champions League fixtures ever.

City will feel hard done by — they were the better team on the night, with two big VAR decisions going against them.

Both looked the correct calls, though Pep Guardiola and his players may argue differently.

For Mauricio Pochettino, it is another remarkable achievement. Without Harry Kane and a host of midfielders, in addition to losing Sissoko tonight, he has still somehow managed to guide his side to an unlikely triumph.

Sterling, Aguero and De Bruyne were all particularly brilliant on the night and didn’t deserve to be on the losing team in this tie. Pep Guardiola must now rue the decision to leave the Belgian international out in the first leg, after his hat-trick of assists tonight.

Tottenham, meanwhile, were second best for about 80% of the contest, but showed remarkable resilience to get back in the tie when they looked dead and buried.

Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

We’ll have more reaction to come shortly and you can read the match report here.

Gavan Casey and Murray Kinsella are joined by Bernard Jackman to discuss Izzy Folau’s impending sacking by Australia and all the week’s news on the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

Subscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here:

About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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