March 1, 2021

Llorente and VAR knock down City (4-3)

Llorente and VAR knock down City (4-3)

Guardiola jumped by the band to celebrate the victory. No protocol, no technical area that could contain it. The excitement of qualifying for the semifinals of the Champions League after going up three times the tie could do anything. But the emotions also freeze and those of Pep were frozen when the referee made the gesture of reviewing the play in the VAR. He saw the images and canceled Sterling's goal, the third for him, the fifth for his team. Life for everyone Now those who jumped were Tottenham and Pochettino, who had managed to correct the small details that a coach can control to take the tie.

When Sissoko was injured on the edge of the first half and Pochettino replaced him with Llorente, the Tottenham coach was probably not aware that he was making a decisive move for the future of the tie. It was a brave change, a defensive midfielder was leaving and a center forward entered. Maybe at that time Tottenham did not need to be brave urgently. Pochettino had resigned to cover the absence of Kane with another center forward, but the behavior of the defense of the City encouraged to disturb her with the constant presence of the Spanish.

The rest was already a matter of chance. The science and the study do not influence that a footballer who has stood out throughout his career for his head game, finished a corner with the hip and ended up qualifying his team for the semifinals of the Champions League.

It was no use to the City to have overcome the tie on two occasions, not having collapsed when Son scored two goals in the beginning of the match and having managed to take the game to the field that suited him best. As the minutes passed, City managed to corner Tottenham in their area. That was the game Guardiola expected and his team felt more comfortable.

The difference before the start of the match was only one goal, the one that marked Son in the first leg. He did not need City to go crazy to complete the comeback. But the match got out of Laporte's hands. At four minutes, Sterling had already matched the tie, but it was not too long before Laporte passed the ball to Son on the edge of the area for the South Korean to equalize. Ederson did not do too much to avoid it either. As if it were a repetition of fate, the central for which the City paid 65 million to Athletic lost a ball outside their area that ended his trip at the feet of Son to re-score. But only one minute was slow to equal Bernardo Silva. In eleven minutes four goals had been scored. Only ten minutes later came the third of City, again Sterling, which equaled his particular fight with Son. The game was too open for what the City was looking for, accustomed to locking up their rivals in the area, to protect their centers with the ball from the avalanches of the rivals.

And with that patience and touch so accustomed, City finished building his comeback with a goal from Agüero. Guardiola and his team were happy, although their veins felt the cold of the comeback of Tottenham with the goal of Llorente. It was a warning before they were frozen permanently when the referee canceled Sterling's third goal.

Tottenham had already given up playing. It was just about resisting. The gesture of Wanyama, who deliberately threw a ball out to give his team time to reorder before City started playing again, was the best explanation for what was happening on the field. Eriksen wanted to play ball, but he lost it surrounded by three City players. The ball reached Aguero and then Sterling. The whole stadium screamed the goal before the winter returned.


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