Manchester City vs Tottenham: Fernando Llorente goal was HANDBALL and should have been disallowed, says former referee Mark Halsey


Manchester City vs Tottenham: Fernando Llorente goal was HANDBALL and should have been disallowed, says former referee Mark Halsey

A former Premier League referee said VAR got it wrong and Fernando Llorente’s dramatic winning goal, which saw Tottenham dump Manchester City out of the Champions League should NOT have stood.

The Etihad Stadium was host to absolutely chaotic scenes on Wednesday night, as City and Spurs treated us to surely one of the most exhilarating ties in European football history.

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There were five goals in the opening 21 minutes of the match

Fans barely had time to catch their breath during the half-time break, after a crazy first-half which saw five goals scored in a 21 minute spell.

Tottenham’s 1-0 lead from the first-leg meant that, even thought they were losing 3-2 on the night, they were heading through the semis on away goals – only for Sergio Aguero to lift the roof off the Etihad once again with a thumping strike which put City in the overall lead.

But a number of VAR decisions made for a nerve-shredding finale, with City supporters going from heartbreak, to jubilation, and back again.

Llorente scored the crucial goal – with his hip – to send Spurs through

Fans could barely believe what they were seeing when Llorente bundled the ball into the net from a corner to put Spurs back in front, but their celebrations were delayed by a long VAR check, which eventually gave the goal despite a possible handball call.

The replays are still unclear and it is likely to be a topic of debate for some time.

But the madness continued – Raheem Sterling thought he had scored his third goal of the night to wrap up the most dramatic of victories for City in stoppage-time, only for his strike to be ruled for offside after another lengthy VAR delay.

City thought they’d won it but VAR intervened

While the Tottenham team celebrated with their fans in their small corner of the ground – progressing to the last four of the European Cup for the first time since 1962 – the rest in the Etihad sat in stunned silence.

And Halsey says Pep Guardiola’s side were hard done.

“We all saw the angles the officials saw last night, but apparently, I’ve been informed there are TV angles that were never afforded to the officials last night,” the ex-referee told Thursday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.

“I’ve seen an angle where, had the referee seen that angle, I’m almost certain he would have disallowed that goal last night.

“If we’ve got VAR, we’ve got to give them all the afforded angles to look at that decision.

“It’s such a massive call, but the consequence of what happened next – the ball ending up in the net – it had to be disallowed.