Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insisted VAR does produce “fair football” despite a cruel Champions League quarter-final exit on away goals to Tottenham after a pulsating tie ended 4-4 on aggregate.
City were 4-3 victors in Wednesday’s second leg, but for the third straight season failed to reach the last four under Guardiola as two big VAR reviews went in Spurs’ favour.
Firstly, Fernando Llorente’s decisive goal 17 minutes from time stood despite the ball appearing to clip the Spaniard’s hand on its way into the net.
Then deep into stoppage time, Raheem Sterling had the strike that would have sealed his hat-trick and seen City through ruled out after Sergio Aguero was shown to be offside in the build-up.
“I support VAR. It’s just to see the goal from Llorente is handball. From one angle looks like handball, from the angle the referee saw it doesn’t,” said Guardiola.
“I’m fine for the fair football, for the fair decisions. If it’s offside, it’s offside. In the future, even the present, it will be fair.”
Elimination ended City’s quest for a quadruple and Guardiola lamented a series of costly errors across both games, after Aguero also missed a penalty in the first leg, that saw his side bow out to a side 16 points behind them in the Premier League.
“It’s tough. We were close to go through, it’s cruel, but we have to accept it,” added Guardiola.
“The mistakes in this competition punish you a lot. Unfortunately it was a bad end for us.”