Tottenham Hotspur prevailed as eventual winners against Manchester City in their Champions League quarterfinal encounter as their 1-0 home advantage gave them the edge in this tie, despite losing 4-3 on the night and 4-4 on aggregate.
Pep Guardiola's side have scored early this season, and did exactly the same here. Raheem Sterling collected the ball on the left from Kevin de Bruyne before cutting inside and superbly bending the ball around Hugo Lloris – a perfect City start.
Down the year's Spurs have been labelled as a team to 'bottle it' on the big stage, although on this occasion it appeared far from the case.
Tottenham's response was tremendous as they got straight on the attack. Heung-Min Son picked the ball up following a ricochet off Ayermic Laporte and placed it past Ederson – the Londoners had their away goal.
Two minutes later, it got even better for Pochettino's men. Son again picked the ball up, this time from the left flank, before cutting inside Kyle Walker and bending the ball stunningly into the top corner.
City responded immediately as Aguero fed Bernardo Silva and the Portuguese winger's left-foot shot deflected off Danny Rose and beat the wrong-footed Lloris to make it 2-2 on the night.
Sterling struck again in the 21st minute to level the aggregate score, ghosting in at the back post to convert a low cross from De Bruyne that had zipped across the face of the goal.
A wonderful strike from Aguero in the 59th minute put City in the driving seat again -- the Argentine blasting in at Lloris's near post after a magnificent burst forward and perfectly weighted and timed pass from De Bruyne.
City, who went out at the same stage to Liverpool last season, were stunned though in the 73rd minute when Spurs substitute Fernando Llorente bundled in a Kieran Trippier corner to restore the London club's advantage through away goals.
With officials unsure if the ball had bounced off the Spaniard's hand or rolled off his hip in the goalmouth scramble, VAR was called into action and the goal stood for Spurs -- a decision Guardiola questioned after the game.
Then came the stoppage time video heartbreak for the home support, Aguero burst down the right flank and delivered a low cross for Sterling to slot home what would have been his hat-trick goal.
The VAR call was correct and the Premier League champions were out, to the delight of Pochettino and his players who celebrated wildly in front of the travelling Spurs support.
"It is cruel but it is what it is and we have to accept it," said City coach Pep Guardiola to the reporters, whose dream of winning four titles this season is now over.
His counterpart, Pochettino, who was without his top scorer Harry Kane, said his team had shown all their character.
"My players are heroes. We made history," said the Argentine boss to the reporters, whose team reach the last four for the first time since the creation of the Champions League and since their 1962 appearance in the semi-finals of the European Cup.
Spurs forward Son Heung-min is the highest scoring Asian player in Champions League history with 12 goals, overtaking Maxim Shatskikh of Uzbekistan.
(Featured Image: Facebook/Tottenham Hotspur)
About the Author
Jeet Ghosh is a Football Journalist, living and working in Kolkata with 7 years of experience. He has also worked with Sportzwiki and India.com. Jeet is a sports lover but has special liking for football. He follows the football league’s around the world and is somewhat partial towards Real Madrid.