(Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur’s Moussa Sissoko did not realise his side had advanced to the Champions League semi-finals until a member of the coaching staff informed him in the dressing room that Manchester City’s last-gasp goal had been disallowed.
With City leading 4-3 and the aggregate score reading 4-4 in favour of Tottenham on away goals, Raheem Sterling’s stoppage time goal sparked wild celebrations at the Etihad Stadium before it was overruled when VAR adjudged Sergio Aguero offside in the buildup.
Sissoko, who was replaced in the first half after he picked up an injury, was so distraught after Sterling scored that he immediately walked down the tunnel to the dressing room and did not realise that the goal had been disallowed a minute later.
“I was on the bench when I saw the goal that made it 5-3,” Sissoko told French sports newspaper L’Equipe. “I was so upset that I returned directly to the dressing room.
“I was alone, no one had accompanied me, no TV screen was broadcasting the game. In my head we were eliminated. Then one of the staff members entered the dressing room and told me: ‘Incredible, we did it!’.
“I said: ‘How did we do it?’ At that moment, he told me that the goal had been disallowed.
“So I put on a t-shirt, I forgot about my injury and I ran outside to join the others, not to miss the celebrations for such a historic moment. It was an incredible, emotional shock.”
The result ensured Tottenham, who last made the European Cup semi-finals in 1962, reached the last four for the first time since the creation of the Champions League. They will face Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam with the first leg in London on April 30.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)