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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020


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So that’s that.

Spurs have the advantage ahead of the second leg, which takes place on 17 April, before the teams meet again three days later in the Premier League.

The hosts probably just about deserved their victory tonight. They had some good luck with the penalty miss and some bad fortune with Harry Kane’s injury, but ultimately Son Heung-min stepped up and proved the match-winner as he has done many times in the past, while Christian Eriksen also deserves credit for a lovely assist.

City, despite a good spell in the first part of the second half, were disappointing for the most part. They barely created any chances of note and seemed to adopt an overly cautious approach to the fixture. They are likely to be a different proposition for the return leg in the Etihad, however, with their fans behind them.

With both Kane and Dele Alli going off with knocks, Mauricio Pochettino’s side may have to rely on some second-choice players again for their upcoming fixtures.

Danny Rose plays it to Son on the right.

However, the South Korean’s cross goes straight into Ederson’s arms.

Down the other end, De Bruyne finds himself in a promising position, but Lloris does well to hold onto the Belgian’s powerful cross.

There will be six minutes of stoppage time…

Man City make a late double change in an attempt to get something from the game.

Sane is on for Mahrez, while De Bruyne replaces David Silva.

Spurs make another change.

Llorente is on in place of Dele Alli, who walks off gingerly, having also seemingly taken a knock,

That goal has really reinvigorated Spurs.

All of a sudden, they look confident and exuberant again.

Pochettino makes a defensive change, meanwhile, with Wanyama replacing Winks.

Son breaks the offside trap and just keeps the ball in play after latching on to an Eriksen pass.

His powerful shot goes under Ederson’s body and into the net.

The referee consults VAR and is ultimately satisfied that the South Korean kept the ball in play and stayed onside.

City are starting to really take control of this game.

As I type, Mahrez finds Jesus with a cross, though the young Brazilian doesn’t connect properly with his header and it goes well over.

Tottenham break with Alli, though there are no options and he is eventually closed down.

Meanwhile, Pochettino still seems to be having words with Delph from the sideline over his Kane challenge.

It’s now City’s turn to make a change. Aguero has had a rare quiet night, and he is replaced by Gabriel Jesus.

Some of the life and confidence just seems to have gone out of Tottenham since that Kane injury.

They did win five out of seven matches earlier in the season without their star striker, so there is evidence to suggest they can cope in his absence.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - First Leg - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Manchester City's Aymeric Laporte (left) and Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli confront each other. Source: John Walton

Here’s a look at the incident that led to Kane’s withdrawal.

Mahrez gets booked for cynically taking down Moura as he attempts to make an immediate impact.

Spurs continue to look the more impressive of the two sides.

Confirmation of that change.

Moura is on for the injured Kane, who looked to have suffered a serious injury that will keep him out of action for some time.

Worrying news for Spurs fans as it looks like Harry Kane won’t be able to continue.

Delph goes over the top on a challenge and catches his ankle.

It looks like Moura is coming on to replace him.

Rio Ferdinand suggests only football men can truly understand whether or not that first-half penalty should have been given.

Good break by Spurs after Winks wins it in midfield.

Kane then plays it to Son, whose shot from the edge of the area is tame enough, with Ederson making a comfortable save.


Son evades the challenge of Gundogan all too easily before curling a shot from about 30 yards out just wide.

Positive start for City.

An Aguero cross finds Sterling in acres of space, and the England international’s low shot is parried away by Lloris.

The second half has begun…

So half-time and it’s all square.

City will be disappointed with that Aguero penalty miss, after a spot kick was awarded with some standard VAR controversy, although by the letter of the law it probably was the right call.

Otherwise Spurs have been the better team. They’ve played with greater energy, created the better chances and looked more threatening going forward — both Harry Kane and Dele Alli will feel they might done better with half chances.

You get the sense, however, that City can only get better after a strangely subdued first-half display, so it’s finely poised ahead of the second period.

Aguero gets a sight at goal.

But the Argentina international drags an ambitious attempt well off target.

City haven’t been at their usual sharp best in attack so far.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - First Leg - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Referee Bjorn Kuipers consults VAR before awarding Manchester City a penalty. Source: Adam Davy

Sterling gets penalised for dragging down Son off the ball.

City look a little rattled at the moment, with the visitors second best for most of the first half.

More panic in the City area as a couple of shots require last-ditch shots.

There was a crucial moment in that attack where Kane had a chance to play through Alli, but his pass was just too heavy and meant his fellow England international was forced to cross rather than shoot owing to the difficult angle.

Aside from the penalty scare, Spurs have actually been quite impressive.

They have not let City dominate in their usual manner and have demonstrated plenty of ambition in attack, with clever passing and movement troubling their opponents.

Another penalty shout for City, as Mahrez goes down under Rose’s challenge.

This time, however, the officials opt not to consult VAR.

Chance for Spurs!

Alli is fouled out wide, but the ref gives Tottenham the advantage.

Eriksen then finds Kane, whose shot from a tight angle is parried away by Ederson.

There’s been plenty of debate over whether or not the penalty should have been given.

Lloris saves Aguero’s penalty.

It was given after Rose was adjudged to have handled Sterling’s shot following consultation with the Video Assistant Referee.



First half-chance for Spurs.

Sissoko finds himself in plenty of space wide left. His cross finds Ali, whose volley from the edge of the area goes over the bar.

That will give the hosts some encouragement.

It’s been a quiet enough opening.

Neither side has carved out a clear-cut chance yet.

We’re under way…

Confirmation of tonight’s teams below. De Bruyne only makes the bench interestingly.

So who do you think will go through?

Poll Results:

Man City (177)
Tottenham (138)

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - First Leg - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Manchester City's Bernardo Silva arrives at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Source: John Walton

So we’re just an hour away from one of the most intriguing matches of the season so far.

Man City go into the game as firm favourites. Per the BBC, of the last 16 games the sides have played, the Etihad outfit have won 11 and lost just four, with one draw.

Pep Guardiola’s side won the only other meeting between the sides so far this season — a 1-0 victory at Wembley, while they also beat them 4-1 and 3-1 in the two league fixtures between the sides last season.

That said, it would be foolish to write off Tottenham. They’ve had a few extra days rest, having not played at the weekend, while City were reaching the FA Cup final amid a 1-0 victory over Brighton in the semi.

Moreover, Liverpool weren’t fancied when they played City at this stage of the competition last year, yet emerged with an emphatic 5-1 aggregate victory.

So it should be a fascinating fixture in what will be the first really big game played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, described by Gary Lineker earlier as “the best football ground I’ve ever been to”.

Gavan Casey and Ryan Bailey are joined by Bernard Jackman to look back on a thrilling weekend of European rugby 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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