A dejected Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola lamented the “cruel” way his side saw their quadruple hopes die on Wednesday night.
Raheem Sterling was denied a dramatic late winner as Tottenham snatched a remarkable away-goals victory to end Manchester City’s quadruple quest at the Etihad Stadium.
Sterling thought he had completed a stunning hat-trick in the dying the moments of a pulsating Champions League quarter-final but VAR intervened and Spurs went through to the semi-finals despite a 4-3 defeat on the night.
Sergio Aguero was adjudged to have strayed offside in the build-up, deflating City and meaning that Spurs would prevail with the score 4-4 on aggregate.
It was an incredible ending to a thrilling contest, which had seen both sides lead.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Guardiola said: “It is cruel but it is what it is and we have to accept it. After 20 minutes we were 3-2 up.
“In the second half we created a lot of chances and we scored the goals we needed. Unfortunately, it was a bad end for us so congratulations to Tottenham and good luck for the semi-finals.
“I support VAR but maybe from one angle Fernando Llorente’s goal is handball, maybe from the referee’s angle it is not.”
On Sterling’s goal that was ruled out, he added: “I watched the action and the people from above decided it was offside. We missed a penalty in the first leg but I am so proud of the players and the fans. I have never heard noise like that since I have been in Manchester but football is unpredictable.”