UCL: Spurs’ dramatic comeback, Liverpool’s goal fest confirm semi-final slots

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Liverpool and Tottenham have qualified for the semi finals of the UEFA Champions League tournament after a night of glorious comeback for Spurs and a comfortable dominance by the Reds.

Tottenham overcame Manchester City in a classic encounter at Etihad Stadium to reach the last four of the Champions League for the first time.


Fernando Llorente’s goal, bundled in from a corner and confirmed by VAR 17 minutes from time, gave Mauricio Pochettino’s side victory on away goals on a night of tension, attacking quality and defensive frailty that ended City and Pep Guardiola’s quest for a historic quadruple of Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.
In a game of relentless drama, City even thought they had won it in injury time only for Raheem Sterling’s goal to be ruled out for offside by VAR.
Spurs were protecting a 1-0 lead from the first leg but an opening 21 minutes of chaotic brilliance saw City lead 3-2 on the night as both teams exchanged goals at will.

Sterling lit the blue touchpaper on a thunderous atmosphere when he curled in a precision finish from the edge of the area after only four minutes, but Spurs responded with a double from Son Heung-min as he took advantage of errors by Aymeric Laporte.
Bernardo Silva put Spurs level on the night with a shot that deflected past Hugo Lloris, then Sterling arrived on the end of the outstanding Kevin de Bruyne’s cross to score at the far post.
It left City effectively needing to win the second half and they looked on course when Sergio Aguero crashed home their fourth after De Bruyne sliced Spurs open before Llorente, on as a first-half substitute for injured Moussa Sissoko, bundled in from a corner via his hip – the goal given after a VAR check for handball.


In one last extraordinary twist, City thought they had snatched victory and Sterling a hat-trick, but emotions switched instantly as VAR had the final word once again, ruling that Aguero was in an offside position as Bernardo Silva diverted the ball into his path.
Spurs go on to face Ajax at the end of unforgettable encounter that left everyone involved stunned and breathless.

Meanwhile, Liverpool swept aside Porto with a thumping 6-1 aggregate victory to set up a mouth-watering Champions League semi-final tie with Spanish champions Barcelona.
Leading 2-0 from the first leg at Anfield, goals from Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk underscored an accomplished performance by Jurgen Klopp’s side.
The Reds had been forced to survive an early bombardment in the saturated Estadio do Dragao, before Mane opened the scoring with a sliding effort – from Salah’s scuffed shot – which was confirmed by VAR.


Salah stroked in a second after the break from a superb counter-attack before Real Madrid-bound defender Eder Militao pulled a goal back for the hosts.
Liverpool reasserted their authority though with close-range headers from Firmino and Van Dijk sealing an impressive victory.
Remarkably Porto had looked capable of capitalising on a sluggish Liverpool start until Mane’s goal swung the momentum of the second leg back in the visitors’ favour.
Until then Liverpool were the beneficiaries of errant finishing from the home side – with Moussa Marega notably failing to convert any of his five chances in the opening 20 minutes.
Liverpool will face Barca – who beat Manchester United in the last eight – in the first leg of their semi-final at the Nou Camp on Tuesday 30 April

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