C/league: VAR aid Tottenham qualification
By Saheed Ibrahim
Tottenham will forever owe their historical qualification into Champions league semi-final stage to the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
The quarter-final match between the team and Manchester City may be remembered for many reasons but the most important moment of the night was determined by VAR.
The match, which ended 4-3 in favour of Manchester City, was not enough to see City through to the semi-final stage.
Tottenham had earlier won the first leg of the game with a lone goal at home and the team qualified on away goal rule, sending City packing from the competition.
Tottenham made history by qualifying for Champions league semi-final for the second time in the history of the club, the first time was in 1961/1962 season and this was achieved after VAR cancelled Raheem Sterlings third goal of the match.
The match started with a lot of energy from the two teams but it took Manchester City just 4 minutes to find the back of the net, after a wonderful shot from Sterling beat Spurs keeper, Hugo Lloris.
Tottenham wasted no time and Heung-Min Son levelled up in the 7th minute for Spurs.
Three minutes after, Son had his second goal of the night and put Spurs in front with a powerful shot that was no match for Citys keeper.
Tottenhams lead only lasted for a minute as Bernardo Silvas low shot was deflected into Spurs net by Danny Rose in the 11th minute.
Sterling got his second goal of the match in the 21st minute and put city ahead with a tap in from a low cross from Kevin De Bruyne and city went into the half time with a 3-2 lead, needing just a goal more to secure a place in the semi-final.
The needed goal came in the 56th minute after Kun Aguero fired a rocket shot into Tottenhams net, making it 4-2.
Both teams continued to create chances but luck came for spurs as Fernando Llorente bodied a corner kick into citys net.
The goal was contested for an alleged hand ball but after VAR goal review, the goal counted, making it 4-3 and the quest for a winning goal fell back on Pep Guardiolas men.
The most dramatic moment of the game came in the 90+3 minutes after Sterling scored from a close range for city and the stadium was agog with wild jubilation.
Guardiola was seen jumping up and running around the stadium. City’s fans were in euphoria of victory and Tottenham players were already downcast. A huge disappointment could be seen on Mauricio Pochettino’s face as all seemed over for Spurs.
However, the VAR team reviewed the goal and it was revealed that Kun Aguero was in offside position when he got the ball before passing it to Sterling who scored. So, the goal was cancelled and the scores remained 4-3.
All efforts by city to secure a winning goal proved abortive before referee Cuneyt Cakir blew the final whistle after five minutes of additional time.
Tottenham therefore secures a semi-final tie with Ajax FC.
In the second game of the night, Liverpool players were too strong for Porto as they beat the host by 4 goals to 1. The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) came to the rescue of Liverpool whose first goal was earlier disallowed.
The assistant referee had flagged Sadio Mane offside but the VAR goal review revealed that he was on side. So, the goal counted.
Additional goals from Mohamed Sallah (65min), Roberto firminho (77) and Van Dijk (84) were enough for Liverpool to move to the semi-final stage.
A consolation goal from Eder Militao in the 69th minute was not enough for Porto and the game ended 6-1 on aggregate in favour of Liverpool.
Liverpool will play FC Barcelona in the semi-final stage.