‘To hell and back’: Spurs player describes moment VAR denied Man City late winner
Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld went from “hell to heaven” when VAR denied Manchester City a late winner to send Spurs into the Champions League semi-finals.
City won Wednesday’s second leg 4-3 on the night, but Tottenham prevailed on away goals after winning the first leg 1-0 last week.
Raheem Sterling thought he had completed his hat-trick in stoppage time with the goal that would have sent City through, but VAR ruled it out for offside against Sergio Aguero in the build-up.
“It was from hell to heaven,” said Alderweireld. “I was thinking we can’t concede in that moment, we knew what we had thrown (it away).
“I think we were a little bit angry in that moment but then we saw the ref going back saying, ‘Offside’.
“It was unbelievable. I couldn’t believe it on the pitch. For the neutral fans it was an unbelievable night.”
Alderweireld will now face his old club Ajax in the last four.
“I think (it’s like) going back home. I had a wonderful time there.
“It is an unbelievable semi-final for us and we know it is a top team to beat.”
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino labelled his players “heroes” for fighting against adverse circumstances to make the last four of the European Cup for just the second time in the club’s history.
Spurs have not signed a new player for over a year and played the majority of the campaign at temporary home Wembley before the club’s new 62,000 capacity stadium opened last month.
However, Dele Alli believes they have proved on the field they deserve to be considered among the European elite.
“We have proved we deserve to be here at the top, amongst the top teams in the world,” said the England midfielder.