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Three things: Man City v. Tottenham

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This will go down as one of the greatest, and most dramatic, games in the history of the UEFA Champions League.

In their quarterfinal second leg at the Etihad Stadium Manchester City beat Tottenham 4-3 on the night but drew 4-4 on aggregate and lost on the away goals rule, as their dream of winning an unprecedented quadruple is over.

Spurs will play Ajax in the UCL semifinals, and Man City were knocked out at the quarterfinal stage by a fellow Premier League club for the second-straight season.

After two goals a piece from Heung-Min Son and Raheem Sterling kicked off a wild opening 21 minutes where five goals were scored, VAR drama in stoppage time saw Man City score, as they thought they had won 5-4 on aggregate. But Sterling’s goal was chalked off and Pep Guardiola‘s men were beaten by Mauricio Pochettino‘s battling Spurs who were without top goalscorer Harry Kane but Son and Fernando Llorente delivered the goods.

Good news for neutrals: Man City host Tottenham on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) in a crucial Premier League game for both clubs.

Here’s what we learned from a wild encounter, which will go down as one of the most incredible 90 minutes in the history of European action.


HISTORIC START SETS TONE FOR INSTANT CLASSIC

Five goals were scored in the opening 21 minutes of the game, which set a new record for the quickest time five goals have been scored in a single Champions League game. Aside from that wild opening period, which ended in Raheem Sterling putting Man City 3-2, the entire game was played at a frantic pace which will see it go down as one of the greatest games in Champions League history. Both teams threw caution to the wind and just went for it.

This was playground football. One team scored, another went up the other end to score. One team attacked, the other then launched a counter. Guardiola and Pochettino will have been far from happy with the standard of defending throughout, but this was one of those games people will be talking about for years and was a real “I was there” moment for anyone at the Etihad Stadium.

Man City went 4-2 up, and thought they had it in the bag, then Fernando Llorente made it 4-3 after a lengthy check with VAR, and then came Sterling’s hat trick goal in the 93rd minute which sparked pandemonium inside the Eithad… only for VAR to correctly show the goal was offside.

This game had it all and it will be shown again and again for the next few decades.


STERLING, KDB SUBLIME BUT CITY’S QUADRUPLE DREAM OVER

Raheem Sterling is having the season of his life and has now scored four goals in his last two games, and on top of Sterling’s goals, the return to form and fitness of Kevin De Bruyne has been a huge bonus for Guardiola’s side despite their heartbreaking exit to Spurs. De Bruyne has now assisted on six of City’s last eight goals, with the Belgian midfielder taking games by the scruff of the neck and making up for lost time after his lengthy spells out this season.

City thought they had sealed yet another dramatic late win, one that would rival Aguero’s amazing last-gasp goal to win them the Premier League title in 2012, but it wasn’t to be. They dominated the game and beat Spurs fair and square in the second leg, but Aguero’s missed penalty kick in the first leg and slack defending from Vincent Kompany and Aymeric Laporte in the second leg ended their chances of winning a historic quadruple.

City’s Champions League jinx has continued for another season, and it was made even crueler by knowing they deserved to go through and thought they had before VAR denied them. Guardiola has long been a fan of VAR technology, but he must feel sick to his stomach as City once again came up short in Europe. He will hope that disappointment will now fuel them to complete the domestic treble, but it is likely this defeat to Spurs over two legs will haunt this group of players for at least the next few months, if not years.


SPURS, SON, DEFIED BELIEF

Losing Harry Kane in the first leg and Moussa Sissoko in the second leg hit Spurs hard in both games, but with Heung-min Son stepping up to score three of their four goals and almost adding a few others, the South Korean star and Tottenham didn’t really deserve to get knocked out of the Champions League.

This was the moment Son truly arrived as a world-class player. He has been criminally underrated in the past few seasons and has stepped up in Kane’s absence again, big time. Llorente, only on for the injured Sissoko, turned out to the hero for Spurs, as they dug deep and rode their luck at City.

As for Spurs’ run to the Champions League last four, for so long it looked like the “Spursy” tag would strike again in this second leg after they chucked away a 2-1 lead by giving up three-straight goals. But they did it. And they’re in the semifinals of the European Cup for just the second time in club history. This is Pochettino’s greatest-ever achievement as a manager, and many will forget that Spurs didn’t win any of their opening three group games, and were 12 minutes from being eliminated but rallied to beat PSV at home in their fourth group game.

Given their injury-hit squad, not playing at their home stadium until the final weeks of the season and not signing a single player in the past two transfer windows, Pochettino has worked miracles. They beat Man City, the favorites to win the Champions League, fair and square over two legs and despite Ajax’s young stars stunning both Real Madrid and Juventus in the last two rounds, Tottenham will be the favorites to advance to the UCL final in Madrid on June 1.

Write this Tottenham team off at your peril.

UCL Live: Can Spurs hold on v. Man City? Liverpool 2-0 up at Porto

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Two more places in the UEFA Champions League semifinals are up for grabs on Wednesday, and two Premier League sides could very well be headed for the last-four.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

The PL is guaranteed at least one spot in the semis once Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur conclude their quarterfinal clash at the Etihad Stadium. Mauricio Pochettino‘s side holds a narrow 1-0 lead on Pep Guardiola and Co., but must protect — or build upon — their advantage without the services of world-class forward Harry Kane (ankle ligament damage). Man City’s ongoing pursuit of the unprecedented quadruple hinges upon overturning the deficit.

The other remaining PL side, Liverpool, takes a 2-0 lead to Portugal, where they’ll attempt to send Porto out of the competition and reach back-to-back semifinals for the first time since 2008. Jurgen Klopp‘s side advanced all the way to the final in 2018 before the Reds fell to Real Madrid in Kiev, Ukraine.

Barcelona and Ajax were the first two sides to reach the semis on Tuesday.

Below is the full schedule for Wednesday’s games, and PST will have you covered with recaps, analysis and reaction from both games.

Wednesday’s UCL quarterfinal schedule

Manchester City v. Tottenham Hotspur – 3 p.m. ET kickoff

Porto v. Liverpool – 3 p.m. ET kickoff

Moura leads Tottenham past Huddersfield (video)

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  • Spurs third in the table
  • Kane, Alli, Winks out injured
  • Moura scores hat trick
  • Huddersfield remain bottom of table

Tottenham Hotspur eased past already-relegated Huddersfield Town on Saturday, as Mauricio Pochettino‘s men made it three wins from three games at their new stadium with Lucas Moura the hero.

The 4-0 victory was sealed in the first half as Victor Wanyama and Lucas Moura scored in quick succession, as a much-changed Spurs line-up (Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks were all missing through injury, while Heung-Min Son came on as a late sub) outclassed the Terriers with Moura adding two goals late on to score his first-ever hat trick for Tottenham.

Moura stepped up big time in Kane’s absence, as Spurs now face back-to-back games at Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League and Premier League.

With the win Spurs move in to third on 67 points, while Huddersfield stay bottom of the table on 14 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Spurs dominated the early stages of the game as Fernando Llorente caused problems in the air, and Victor Wanyama flashed a shot wide of the post.

Huddersfield improved as the first half wore on, but Spurs always looked more dangerous and deservedly took the lead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

A ball was played into Llorente and it found Wanyama unmarked, as the Kenyan midfielder waltzed into the box, around Ben Hamer and tapped home to make it 1-0.

That goal opened the floodgates, as Moura was then played in by the brilliant Moussa Sissoko and he smashed home across goal to double Spurs’ lead. Jon Stankovic missed a glorious chance from a set piece before the break to make it 2-1, but apart from that chance Tottenham were in complete control as Llorente again went close on two occasions.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Llorente hit the crossbar early in the second half as he controlled Juan Foyth‘s ball and volleyed goalwards but hit the bar. Moura then danced free but hit his shot straight at Hamer as Huddersfield failed to stop wave after wave of Tottenham attack.

Karlan Grant had a chance on the break but Sissoko did well to get back and block and Steve Mounie nodded wide, while Llorente had another effort deflected over as he continued to cause problems.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Hugo Lloris denied Juninho Bacuna‘s free kick late on as Spurs went through the motions a little, but Eriksen’s deflected shot hit the post as they broke on the counter late on.

Moura grabbed his second and Spurs’ third late on, as he finished off a lovely ball from Eriksen emphatically, and he then smashed home a third in stoppage time from Son’s pass to make it 4-0.

In the end, it was a case of job well done for Spurs ahead of their massive Champions League quarterfinal second leg clash at Man City on Wednesday.

Watch Live: Tottenham v. Huddersfield

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Tottenham Hotspur host Huddersfield Town on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as it is likely that Mauricio Pochettino’s men have to cope without the injured Harry Kane for the rest of the season.

Pushing hard for another top four finish, Spurs know they have to finish the season strongly without their leading goalscorer as others have to step up once again. With a huge Champions League quarterfinal second leg Man City on Wednesday, Tottenham are entering a crucial week of their campaign.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE

As for the Terriers, they’ve been relegated for a few weeks now and Jan Siewert’s men continue to have only pride to play for.

In team news Spurs rest several players with Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks out injured. Fernando Llorente gets a rare start up front, with Juan Foyth and Kyle Walker-Peters coming in.

Huddersfield make three changes to their starting lineup with USMNT midfielder Danny Williams on the bench.

LINEUPS

Chairman Ralph Krueger leaves Southampton

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Influential Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger will leave the club effective June 30, saying:

“Everything has a beginning and everything has an end. It is the journey in-between that I will treasure. Thank you Southampton Football Club for the journey.”

[ MORE: Arsenal, Aubameyang on racism ]

Krueger was a surprise hire at St. Mary’s, having come from a hockey background in Germany and a short stint with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers.

Shortly after the time in Alberta, Krueger signed on to run Saints, shepherding the club after Mauricio Pochettino left to join Tottenham Hotspur.

The team qualified for the League Cup Final under his stewardship, and twice qualified for the Europa League.

But successive Premier League relegation scraps led to a change, and perhaps the timing of the end of the NHL regular season could also be a sign that hockey is calling him home?

Saints owner Katharina Liebherr said, “Ralph laid the foundations for the Saints to be a sustainable team that put pressure on the top sides in the Premier League.”

That’s the truth. What’s next for Ralph? JPW spoke at length with the chairman in 2017. We trust you’ll be impressed with the men (or both men. Your call).