Manchester City vs Tottenham: Tottenham held City, VAR played big role in PL

Is VAR biased... Are Pochettino and Guardiola discussing VAR
Manchester City vs Tottenham: Tottenham held City, VAR played big role in PL European Leagues Premier League
Is VAR biased…? Are Pochettino and Guardiola discussing VAR?

Manchester City: Raheem Sterling (20″), Sergio Aguero (35″)

Tottenham Hotspur: Erik Lamela (23″), Lucas Maura (56″)

Manchester City drew 2-2 at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday at Etihad stadium. The match saw a late goal from Gabriel Jesus, to be ruled out by VAR video review. Incidentally this was first home game for City, where they concede points after nearly eight months.

An outstanding game of football, with two teams of technically gifted players competing at a relentless tempo was decided by a video review which spotted a handball which would never have been given under the previous laws on handling.

First Half

Pep Guardiola’s side had taken the lead in the 20th minute when Kevin De Bruyne swung in a cross from the right which Sterling met at the back post with a textbook header. But City’s advantage lasted less than three minutes as Erik Lamela fired Spurs level after he was expertly picked out by Tanguy Ndombele.

The setback failed to hold back Guardiola’s side and it was no surprise when Sergio Aguero restored their lead in the 35th minute, with De Bruyne once again the provider with a low ball superbly turned in at the near post by the Argentine.


Second Half

Moura had been on the pitch for just 19 seconds as a 56th minute substitute, replacing Harry Winks. The ball was in play for an even shorter amount of time when he beat Kyle Walker in the air and his header, from Lamela’s corner, looped over Ederson.

Guardiola’s reaction was to sacrifice Aguero, much to the player’s disappointment. He let his manager know how he felt as he trudged towards the substitutes’ bench and received a tongue-lashing in return. A furious Guardiola was not too shy to shout back his striker from across the dugout, even returning for more after briefly walking away.

Jesus was Aguero’s replacement, who thought he had found what would have been a late but deserved winner at closing moments of the game. The technology, once again, had other ideas.

An extraordinary end but, for Manchester City, one that feels all too familiar. Four months on from their Champions League elimination at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur, when they were denied victory in the tie by a late goal disallowed by VAR, the same technology inflicted the first setback of their Premier League title defence.

The champions have dropped their first two points of the new season and the question they will be asking themselves is: ‘how?’ Even before Gabriel Jesus’ goal in the second minute of added-on time was chalked off, they had created enough opportunities to put Mauricio Pochettino’s side to bed.


Head to Head

Manchester City vs Tottenham: Tottenham held City, VAR played big role in PL European Leagues Premier League


After Match

Pep Guardiola reflects on his team’s disappointment with trademark class. “We played incredible against the second best team in Europe, the finalists of the Champions League, so I am so proud. The amount of shots we created was incredible. But the result is all that counts. We would like to win, because the guys deserve it, but football is like this.” As for the dramatic disallowed goal? “Deja vu. It was the same! The last action, we score, and VAR disallows it. So what should I say? The second time, it’s tough, but it is what it is. It’s the new rules.”

He then cites a couple of poor decisions in the Super Cup final. “So they have to fix it. VAR is here. The images are not clear, but if they think it’s hands … now we have to accept it. It wasn’t a penalty in the first half, which I found incredible. But we move forward.”