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Fuel Soccer Talk: If ever a game deserves a full post – it’s Manchester City vs. Tottenham

By Terry Jacoby and the Heartbreakers!

City fan (ME) describes the pain – oh, the pain – in stunning loss to Tottenham

It was simply one of the most exciting, thrilling, insane – and heartbreaking for all of us Manchester City fans – soccer games played in the last what 10 years? 20 years? Ever? And if you missed it, you missed a lot. Jump on NBC sports and watch the entire game replay if you get a chance. Even knowing the score, the game was one wild and crazy (quoting the great Steve Martin) ride.

The Daily Mail went as far as to ASK whether it was the greatest Champions League game in history? They did a brilliant job of reminding folks of other classics. CHECK IT OUT HERE

As a City fan, I watched on the edge of my seat. Full disclosure: I also am a die-hard NY Mets fan and I did have my Metsy’s on the I-pad off to the side. But City got the big screen and the biggest attention. Of course, both teams lost to add to the pain but one does not compare to the other. City was Game 6 of the World Series. And I know what Bill Buckner felt like when VAR ended my team’s Champions League run in the quarterfinals to a team they are clearly superior to. Of course it would help if Kyle Walker wasn’t on the pitch – not a fan. And why wasn’t midfielder Fernandinho playing from the opening whistle? And, yes, City blew this round when they lost 1-0 in the first game when Aguero missed the PK. Still, this team is two goals better than Tottenham – problem is they didn’t prove it when it mattered most. And that is a problem!

Now I have to get up bright and early (7:30 a.m. on the east coast) and watch it all over again. This time with not as much on the line IMO. Give me a Champions League trophy and a top four in the Premier League any day over over what City is now facing. Both teams need this game – City more than Tottenham. There are four teams battling for the final two spots in the PL race for the top four and a win over City moves the Spurs up in the table. City needs to win to stay a half step ahead of Liverpool for the top of the table.

So, here we go again – oh, the pain!

What was the biggest highlight in a game of highlights?

Great reaction from a great game – it’s what the Champions League is all about

FROM RORY SMITH NY TIMES: “Manchester City has been nearly perfect this season. It has won one domestic cup, and is in the final of the other. If it wins its five remaining Premier League games, it will retain the title. But the Champions League is the ultimate test, the stage on which greatness is written. And once again, the players knew they had fallen short — by the finest, slightest of margins — once again. Spurs celebrated. City sank on to the field, everything snatched away in just a few seconds, no more than a minute, and the silence, the near silence, said it all.”

FROM DANIEL TAYLOR (THE GUARDIAN): “Seriously, where do you even start? It was a wild and eccentric night, full of drama and incident, and when the players of Tottenham finally manage to catch their breath they can start looking forward to a Champions League semi-final.”

SIMON HATTENSTONE THE GUARDIAN: “Like all great matches, this one swung like a demented pendulum: 1-0 to City (four minutes: hope), 1-1 (seven minutes: dejection), 2-1 to Spurs (10 minutes: it’s all over), 2-2 (11 minutes: amusement), 3-2 to City (21 minutes: madness, this is our night), 4-2 to City (59 minutes: this really is our night – we’re bouncing, giddy, breathless, in Uncle Theo territory), 4-3 to City (73 minutes: sickening, but there’s still 20 odd minutes left), 5-3 to City (93 minutes and 20 seconds: Raheem Sterling hat-trick, no oxygen to the brain nor blood to the heart, we’re dancing and collapsing at the same time). Only it wasn’t 5-3. The goal was ruled out by the video assistant referee (VAR) for offside. Silence. Cold, bleak, unutterably miserable silence. End of game.”

YOUR TAKE: What did you think of this classic contest? 

Pep Guardiola: Does City’s failure lay at the feet of the free-wheeling, free-spending manager?

Jonathan Wilson in the Guardian has an excellent piece on Pep Guardiola and how City’s loss is seen as a failure for the great manager. Wilson asks if the criticism is fair or not?

“The Champions League final this year will be the eighth in a row without Pep Guardiola, which perhaps should not feel as extraordinary as it does. This is, after all, knockout competition; odd things happen. Nobody, not even in the superclub era, has a divine right to be in the final. And yet given Guardiola has won seven league titles in his nine completed seasons as a manager – and may next month make it eight out of 10 – and has managed three of the most powerful clubs in the world, it is notable. So, why? Why, since Guardiola won the Champions League with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011, do his sides keep falling a fraction short?”

READ THE REST HERE

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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Do you have a story idea for a post or a comment on a recent post? If so, email Terry at tajacoby@comcast.net