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Champions League Classics: Manchester City 4-3 Tottenham

Enjoy an incredible 2019 quarter-final decider in full on UEFA.tv – and get some background here.

Heung-Min Son celebrates at full time
Heung-Min Son celebrates at full time

A 1-0 first-leg lead looked like a slender advantage to take to Manchester City, but Tottenham were up for the challenge in last season's UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

WATCH ON UEFA.TV


Context

First-leg highlights: Tottenham 1-0 Manchester City
First-leg highlights: Tottenham 1-0 Manchester City

Still in the hunt for a domestic treble – as well as a maiden UEFA Champions League title – City had looked a little limp as they lost the first leg of this quarter-final tie, Heung-Min Son scoring the only goal in the first European game at Spurs' new stadium after Hugo Lloris had saved a Sergio Agüero penalty. On a run of 11 straight home wins, Josep Guardiola's side had real cause for confidence – especially with Tottenham talisman Harry Kane out injured – but Mauricio Pochettino fired his players up to battle in Manchester, saying: "We need to believe we can stop them and show our quality."

Key players

Fernando Llorente: Already 32 by the time he joined Spurs from Swansea in summer 2017, the Spanish target man started the City decider on the bench but – as throughout the campaign - was eager to make the difference when called upon.

Watch Heung-Min Son highlights
Watch Heung-Min Son highlights

Heung-Min Son: Signed from Leverkusen in 2015, Son earned the love of Spurs fans with his dedication, pace and skill, and scored in the first leg against City. With Kane absent, the Korean was ready to bear extra responsibility.

Sergio Agüero: Now aged 30, the Argentinian continued to defy the passing years in 2018/19, becoming City's all-time leading league goalscorer. Sharp as ever in Europe, he had struck twice in the 7-0 home defeat of Schalke in the previous round.

What happened

An astonishing start produced the quickest five goals in a match in UEFA Champions League history with the lead changing hands twice. Raheem Sterling conjured two clinical finishes to put City 1-0 and 3-2 up, the latter after Son had struck twice in four minutes to give Tottenham a 2-1 advantage on the night. Bernardo Silva's deflected effort within a minute restored parity.

Lloris denied Kevin De Bruyne, and Ederson repelled substitute Llorente's header early in the second half, before City took the lead for the first time in the tie when Agüero rifled in their fourth. Spurs did not buckle, though, and Llorente diverted Kieran Trippier's corner past Ederson to settle a sensational contest, albeit only after Sterling's stoppage-time effort had been disallowed.

Reaction

Tottenham reaction from two-goal hero Son
Tottenham reaction from two-goal hero Son

Heung-Min Son, Tottenham forward: "It was madness."

Dele Alli, Tottenham midfielder: "It was a crazy game. I thought it was two minutes until half-time, and I looked at the clock and it was 27 minutes."

Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham coach: "My players are heroes. After qualifying for the semi-finals and making history, I am more than happy and more than proud for them."

Josep Guardiola, City manager: "It was an amazing night for us and I never saw the stadium like that since I was here in Manchester. We are sad for all of [our fans] but I know they know we gave absolutely everything and football is like this. It's unpredictable."

Elsewhere that night

Already 2-0 up from the first leg, Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool powered their way to a semi-final with Barcelona, Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk scoring in a 4-1 win at Porto. "The scoreline flattered us a bit," conceded midfielder Jordan Henderson. "The shark has no mercy" was the headline in Portuguese sports paper O Jogo the next morning.

Aftermath

Tottenham's road to the 2019 final
Tottenham's road to the 2019 final

More drama ensued for Spurs in the next round. Their chance of reaching a first UEFA Champions League final looked to have faded when a 1-0 home loss to Ajax was followed by the Dutch club establishing a 2-0 half-time lead in Amsterdam. However, Tottenham made a remarkable recovery to secure a 3-2 win (and away-goals success) as Lucas Moura completed a hat-trick with pretty much the last kick of the game. The 2-0 final reverse to Liverpool was an anti-climax.

City, meanwhile, took out their disappointment on their domestic opponents, becoming the first men's team in English history to win a domestic treble – sealed with a 6-0 FA Cup final triumph against Watford. "I love the Champions League but to do this is more difficult," Guardiola said. "It's one of the best seasons I've ever experienced as a manager."

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