VAR controversy hides chasm between Man City and Spurs

Jesus drove in what looked like the victor in added time but, while City were celebrating, the VAR review had spotted the ball brushing the arm of City defender Aymeric Laporte before the Brazilian struck home.

Raheem Sterling had headed dominant City ahead in the first half, but Erik Lamela immediately equalised against the run of play with a strike from distance.

And entering the final seconds of the game, it looked as though City would fail to win at home in the league for the first time in 8 months and that Tottenham were going to secure a huge point.

Sergio Aguero flicked home Kevin de Bruyne's cross before Substitute Lucas Moura nodded in seconds after coming on as a substitute to pull Spurs level again.

Gabriel Jesus thought he scored the victor in the second minute of injury time in a wild English Premier League match at Etihad Stadium on Saturday when he curled home a finish after the ball landed at his feet following a corner.

As City's players celebrated, Guardiola hugged Aguero and appeared to make up with the striker, but was then left deflated as VAR ruled the goal out for handball.

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Aston Villa - Football Match Report
The midfielder has now lost 19 consecutive Premier League games - the longest run of any player in the competition's history. The 35-year-old goalkeeper was Spurs' backup goalkeeper behind French keeper Hugo Lloris .

So far, Liverpool and Manchester United have been able to avoid the use of VAR this season, and it seems the Premier League has a plan for both teams.

The result leaves City two points behind Liverpool, the team expected again to be its biggest rival for the title.

Aguero was hauled off after 66 minutes for Gabriel Jesus who looked to have scored an injury-time matchwinner until the VAR disallowed the goal. Newly implemented rules say a foul should be awarded if a goal is scored from an accidental handball.

Speaking on Match of the Day, Danny Murphy was scathing in his assessment of the decision. Any attacker that commits handball, intentional or not, is now ruled a free kick?? "That should never on any playing field anywhere in the world be disallowed". It wouldn't have been seen if they didn't have VAR.

It is the second successive City game in which VAR has played a significant role.

"It's a penalty and Rodri went down but VAR in that moment was taking a coffee", said the Spaniard, who said questions about the incident should be directed at the officials. "But it is emotions, and that is part of the game". "But I think he [Levy] and a lot of people now realise it was a massive mistake".

  • Lawrence Cooper