If ever there was an advertisement to promote English football, last night's Champions League quarter-final clash between Manchester City and Tottenham was it, and more. It had everything: stunning goals, controversial decisions, last minute knee slides for nothing, the list goes on. Last night's match between two of the Premier League's best sides reminded us all why we love football. Within the first eleven minutes the ball had been in the back of the net four times - twice from each team. By the time half-time came around the score stood at 3-2, narrowly favouring the hosts who knew they had it all still to do to ensure qualification through to the semi-finals against Ajax in two weeks time.
Raheem Sterling's opener inside four minutes set the tempo at the Etihad, before an almost instant response from Tottenham's player of the season, Son Heung-min, ensured that Spurs weren't just visiting Manchester to make up the numbers. Bernardo Silva's stunning curling effort just after the ten-minute mark had everyone watching on in awe of the quality being produced by these two mouthwatering, goal-hungry, attack-heavy sides. Last night's game was played at a beautifully frantic pace throughout, to the point where even the viewer became out of breath and found it difficult to keep up. It showed why the Premier League is the best league in the world and always will be, despite a brief lull in performance from England's representatives in the Champions League throughout the previous decade.
After the first leg at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium ended 1-0 just over a week ago, Spurs travelled to City's stomping ground just about in control of their destiny, knowing that a clean sheet would be enough to see them through to the semi-finals. This is Manchester City, though, a side that have scored at least once in every single home game they've played this season, so the thought of obtaining a clean sheet in their own backyard becomes more and more delusional the more you think about it. Sterling had put an end to that plan before a selection of fans had even found their seats anyway, so that was the end of that.
Spurs had to adopt a different game plan; sit back, try and keep things tight and you'll get punished, this City side are too good, too ruthless. Mauricio Pochettino knew that the only way to beat the Sky Blues last night was to play them at their own game. Without Harry Kane, the thought of scoring at the Etihad becomes frightening. It's like going into battle without your experienced leader, but don't worry because the nice, gentle, likeable number two has been left in charge, and he's gonna step up, you watch. Spurs' reserved, quiet, rapidly-emerging world beater, Son Heung-min, has taken the piss this term. Twenty goals and ten assists - two coming when it really mattered on the biggest stage possible against arguably the worlds best team this season - the South Korean was emphatic in battle last night; without him Spurs would not be heading through to the semi-finals, that's a fact.