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Manchester City vs Tottenham: Player ratings from a Champions League classic

In one of the wildest European nights in recent memory, Spurs went through on away goals despite losing 4-3 on the night

Manchester City

Could almost certainly have done better for Spurs’ first goal, his uncertain dive giving him the air of a puppet with cut strings as he allowed Son Hueng-min’s shot to bounce under his trailing leg. Partially redeemed himself in the second half with a great save to keep out a Fernando Llorente header.

Llorente would have the last laugh, tumbling in the decisive goal off his thigh as Ederson looked on in horror. The Brazilian will have nightmares thinking back to the goal which sent Spurs on their way.

Sold the subtlest of dummies by Son before he curled in Spurs’ second, Walker looked as desperately disorganised as the rest of the Manchester City defence during a frantic first 20 minutes.

Part of a defence which shipped three goals at home and, though he wasn’t the worst offender, he will know he could have done better when he looks back on this game in the cold light of day.

Easily bypassed by Dele Alli in the build-up to Son’s opener, Kompany was a passenger as the second went in. He appeared to stabilise things after that, but would have another mistake in him before the end.

As Llorente scored the decider from a corner with just under 20 minutes to go, it was Kompany who conspicuously failed to clear Kieran Trippier’s delivery. Not helped by Aymeric Laporte behind him, he will be gutted not to have done better.

Having built his stellar reputation on his ball-playing abilities and technical skill, the truth is that Laporte has looked a little suspect defensively at times this season. That has never been truer than in this game, when he was at fault for both of Spurs’ early goals.

For the first, Laporte managed to deflect Dele Alli’s faded through ball onto the boot of Son, who fired under the floppy legs of Ederson. For the second, a leaden touch saw him dispossessed high up the pitch by Lucas Moura in the build-up. He then failed to pick up Llorente for the crucial goal.

City’s least culpable defender during the first 20 minutes, though that is hardly a badge of honour. Was largely anonymous which, compared to his fellow defenders, was probably a good thing.

Driving forward, providing City with momentum, Gundogan was a subtle but important influence on the game. Had one embarrassing moment in the second half when he was teed up perfectly by Raheem Sterling in the box only to respond with a swing-and-a-miss, though mercifully the offside flag was up as well.

Smashed a shot just over late on in a great position, which he lived to regret.

Whipped an early free kick well over the bar, a rare moment of imprecision for him. Silva was otherwise the heartbeat of City’s midfield, cultured as ever with the ball and ever present in their build-up play.

Had a chance with a header at a set piece on the 55-minute mark, though he made for an unlikely target man. Brought off for Fernandinho with City 4-2 up and looking to hang on.

Controversially left on the bench for the first leg at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, De Bruyne had an instant impact at the Etihad as, with four minutes gone, he picked up the ball on the right and played a one-two with Aguero before stroking a neat diagonal ball to the onrushing Sterling. That would prove to be his first assist of the game, Sterling lashing a beautiful finish past Hugo Lloris.

De Bruyne’s second assist for Sterling to make it 3-2 was even better, City’s No 17 setting things off with a quick free kick, exchanging passes with Bernardo Silva then delivering an inch-perfect ball across the goalmouth to find Sterling at the back post. He then delivered the piece de resistance by dancing through half the Spurs team before assisting Sergio Aguero’s killer strike at the near post.

As close to the perfect performance as a midfielder can get while still being on the losing side. Pep Guardiola may think twice before leaving him out again.

Scored the least aesthetically pleasing goal of the first half, exploiting some terrible defending from Danny Rose to force his deflected shot past Lloris. Was a constant danger apart from that, also providing the pre-assist assist for Sterling’s second goal.

Had several good chances in the second half and will be kicking himself that he could not convert them. An excellent performance, but excellent was not enough on one of the wildest European nights in recent memory.

Lest anyone need reminding that Sterling has gradually evolved into one of the best wingers in Europe, his opener after four minutes and second goal to make it 3-2 around the 20-minute mark were fantastic. Emblematic of the two sides of his game, the first was a spectacular whipped finish from De Bruyne’s neat set up and the second a canny smash-and-grab at the far post.

Thought he had scored the winner of a lifetime in extra time, only to see it ruled out for offside by VAR. There will no doubt be much debate about that decision in the coming days.

Buzzing around dangerously in the first half, dropping deep to help his midfielders, Aguero exuded an air of menace even as he failed to get among the first-half goals.

Thought he had won it when suddenly, like a lightning bolt, he was threaded through by De Bruyne with 60 minutes on the clock and lashed in at the near post. It was a classic Aguero goal but, unfortunately, Spurs had other ideas when it came to it being the decider.

Tottenham

There was little he could do about any of City’s first-half goals, though no goalkeeper wants to concede three in 45 minutes. Bernardo Silva’s strike looked like a goalkeeping error at first, but on second viewing it was clear Lloris had been deceived by a wicked deflection off Rose.

Beaten at his near post by Aguero in the second half, though such was the force on the shot that there were few who would have attributed blame to Lloris. Still, he must have felt immense relief when Llorente shambled in the decider.

Caught out by De Bruyne’s diagonal ball for the opener, Trippier could have got much tighter to Sterling before he curled home.

While Spurs had a defensive horrorshow for much of the match and Trippier was as guilty as anyone, he did provide the assist to Llorente from a corner. That earns him an extra point, at least.

Let down by their full-backs for all three goals they conceded in the first half, Spurs’ centre-halves must have felt somewhat bemused at half-time.

Both Alderweireld and Vertonghen were largely bystanders as the goals flew past them, not that they should be entirely exonerated.

See above, though Vertonghen in particular could have done better in the build-up to Aguero’s second-half goal.

Had a disastrous hand in Bernardo Silva’s goal, rushing infield to mark De Bruyne only to leave Silva in an ocean of space on the flank. Then, in his desperate attempt to get back into position, he managed to deflect the ball past Lloris and in.

Also appeared to be badly positioned as De Bruyne whipped his inch-perfect assist across the box to Sterling. Managed to get himself booked in the second half, though did at least make one crucial intervention just after half-time when he followed up on a Lloris save and scrambled the ball away from Bernardo Silva at the last minute.

If Mauricio Pochettino was hoping Wanyama would help Spurs to maintain their defensive solidity, he was sorely mistaken.

Clumsy in many of his interventions in the midfield, he was booked for a cynical foul on De Bruyne in the second half. That was his main contribution to the match, really.

Bright enough for the 40 minutes he remained on the pitch, he was turned inside out by De Bruyne, injured himself in the process and came off for Fernando Llorente, earning a rather uncharitable yellow card for time wasting in the process.

Spurs’ most mature player in attack, the confidence with which he orchestrated things going forward was hugely satisfying to watch. Provided the assist for Son’s second after Lucas Moura had dispossessed Laporte.

A calming presence in possession, Eriksen deserves huge credit for Spurs’ progression. Wasn’t quite up to De Bruyne’s standards, but still bloody good.

Though Laporte denied him an assist by deflecting his early through ball towards the feet of Son, he deserved credit for setting up Spurs’ first goal.

Faded in the second half somewhat, which is maybe not surprising given he was playing with a broken hand and fought hard to be included at all.

In a manic start to the game, nobody was more manic in attack than Moura. He ran, he harried, he dragged defenders about like ragdolls. It was his dispossession of Laporte which allowed Eriksen to tee up Son’s second goal.

Less effective as the game wore on, he was eventually hooked for Ben Davies. Thankfully for Spurs, he’d done his bit.

Having scored the only goal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last week, this was another great individual performance from Son. Though Ederson might have saved his first goal on another day, his curled finish for the second – having dummied Walker beautifully – was absolutely sublime.

Could have scored again towards the end of the first half when he got in behind and lashed a shot across the face of goal. Quieter in the second half, though he almost got another on the break right at the end of the game.

Substitutes

City actually looked moderately more composed in open play with Fernandinho on the pitch, even though he couldn’t drag them to the win.

Brought on for Benjamin Mendy with City chasing the game, Sane was a danger but couldn’t carve out any clear opportunities.

Forced a save from Ederson midway through the second half with a neck-straining header, this after he had come on for Moussa Sissoko after 40 minutes. Then, in a goal which was the epitome of Llorente’s time at Spurs, he blundered one in off his thigh and made it 4-4 on aggregate, winning the tie in the process.

On for Lucas Moura with 10 minutes to go, Davies helped Spurs to fight a desperate – and ultimately successful – rearguard action.

Came on for Danny Rose in the 90th minute, not on long enough to rate.

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