Tottenham 1-0 Manchester City: Son strikes as Aguero misses VAR penalty and Kane limps off

Son celebrates winning goal.
Son celebrates winning goal.

Son Heung-Min scored the only goal to give Spurs a slender advantage in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg with Manchester City, but striker Harry Kane limped off in the first European encounter at their electric new stadium.

Early in the tie Manchester City wasted a glorious chance to score a vital away goal as Sergio Aguero’s weak penalty was saved by Hugo Lloris.

The spot-kick was controversially awarded by VAR after Danny Rose was deemed to have handled Raheem Sterling’s 10th minute shot, but Lloris dived low to his left to make the save and send the raucous home crowd into raptures.

Spurs striker Harry Kane limped off just before the hour mark in what looked like a serious ankle injury, but Son secured a vital first leg victory with a well taken solo goal to give Tottenham the advantage.

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All the talk before the game centred around the attacking style of football both sides would be eager to play, no matter the stakes or magnitude of the competition.

With the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hosting European football for the first time, the fast pace was evident from both teams but it was Manchester City who started brightest.

Ten minutes into the game Raheem Sterling’s strike from the edge of the box struck a sliding Danny Rose. After an initial pause referee Björn Kuipers held his finger to his ear before being asked by VAR officials to review footage of the incident.

Björn Kuipers reviews Danny Rose handball.
Björn Kuipers reviews Danny Rose handball.

The rocking stands were temporarily plunged into silence before Kuipers pointed to the spot, greeted only by distant cheers from the away stand. But Sergio Aguero, back in the side after two games out through injury, saw his tame penalty parried to safety by Hugo Lloris.

It was a third consecutive penalty save for the French World Cup winner, and further reason for Manchester City fans to loathe the Spurs captain after his recent high profile error gifted rivals Liverpool three points in the race for the Premier League title.

Manchester City, desperate to secure a historic quadruple, looked despondent following that Aguero miss, while Spurs grew into the game backed by the vociferous home fans.

In a game of few clear cut chances, the match played more and more into the hands of the hosts, as Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko outplayed, outran and outmuscled Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan in the middle of the pitch.

Kane out for season?

The momentum of the tie seemed to shift towards the Premier League champions just before the hour mark when Spurs talisman Harry Kane charged into a challenge with Fabian Delph on the halfway line. As Kane’s ankle turned in the tackle, the full weight of Delph came down on it leading Mauricio Pochettino to later claim it could have been a red card. After a moment on the turf and a heated exchange with Delph, Kane limped down the tunnel of the new breathtaking stadium, aided by Pochettino’s coaching staff.

Kane injures ankle in challenge with Delph.
Kane injures ankle in challenge with Delph.

Lucas replaced Kane, but it was the ever reliable Son Heung-Min who stole the headlines and condemned City to their fifth defeat in five all-English UEFA club ties, following double defeats to Chelsea in 1971 and Liverpool last season.

Chasing a ball over the top Son’s blistering pace allowed him to keep the ball in play before cutting in on his left foot to fire underneath Ederson. The stadium once again fell to deafening silence as VAR was used to check the validity of the goal, but after it was confirmed Son was onside and indeed the ball did not leave the field of play, the crowd erupted once more.

Tottenham’s new stadium was a fitting venue for a classic Champions League tie.
Tottenham’s new stadium was a fitting venue for a classic Champions League tie.

Spurs carry a well-deserved lead and clean sheet into the second leg at the Etihad Stadium on 17 April. Manchester City meanwhile have to shift their focus to Crystal Palace in the Premier League this weekend prior to the second leg if they are to keep their quadruple hopes alive.

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