Manchester City have work to do if we are to progress to the last four this season's Champions League after a 1-0 quarter-final first-leg defeat to Tottenham. Heung-Min Son’s second-half strike settled what was an absorbing, physical and, at times, fraught contest, with City now in need of a big performance in the return leg in eight days’ time if we are to advance.
What happened? Dele Alli had the first real chance of the game, flashing a volley over the bar after a swift Spurs counter. Moments later and we should have been ahead. Raheem Sterling went on a mazy run, ghosting past three Spurs defenders inside the box before unleashing a shot that was charged down by Danny Rose. A VAR review awarded a penalty for handball, but Sergio Aguero, back after a 10-day injury absence, saw his spot kick saved by Hugo Lloris. Ederson made a brilliant stop from Harry Kane’s point-blank effort after a terrific piece of skill from Alli down the Spurs left. Ilkay Gundogan’s superb free-kick gave Nicolas Otamendi a free header at the backpost, but his effort was gathered easily by Lloris. He will no doubt feel he should have done better. Lloris then made a smart stop low down to his left from Sterling moments into the second half, as City began to assert control, and Gabriel Jesus flashed a header over the bar from Mahrez’s cross. But Spurs went ahead somewhat against the run of play. Christian Eriksen’s fine throughball put Son in on goal, but his first touch let him down. He gathered the ball on the byline, went past Fabian Delph and unleashed a powerful left-footed effort that flew under Ederson’s body. It was an excellent moment of skill and industry from one of the Premier League's finest attacking players. City looked somewhat disjointed in the final third and struggled to create clear-cut chances. Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane came off the bench late on as City went in desperate search of an equaliser - but Spurs held firm to take a narrow advantage into next week's second leg. A massive result for Spurs in their first Champions League match at their new home! Man of the match: Aymeric Laporte We were never at our free-flowing best in this one, with our forward players looking short of creativity and cohesiveness. But Aymeric Laporte, once again, was superb at the back, a commanding presence who possesses both physical strength and footballing ability.
What it means City now face a difficult, but not insurmountable, task to make it through to the semi-finals. This was just our second defeat in 24 games, a remarkable run that has also seen us score 72 goals and concede just 12.
Up next City travel to Selhurst Park on Sunday for a crucial Premier League game. We currently sit two points behind Liverpool in the table with a game in hand. Jurgen Klopp’s side host Chelsea later the same day. The return Champions League quarter-final tie sees Tottenham visit the Etihad Stadium next Wednesday 17 April.