‘I think it’s handball’: Rio Ferdinand insists Fernando Llorente’s vital goal against Manchester City should not have stood as Tottenham book place in Champions League semi-final
- Tottenham booked place in the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday
- Fernando Llorente scored the vital goal that sent Tottenham through to last-four
- Mauricio Pochettino’s side went through after a 4-4 draw on aggregate
- Llorente’s goal was checked by VAR but it eventually stood at the Etihad Stadium
Rio Ferdinand claims Fernando Llorente’s crucial goal that sent Tottenham through to the Champions League semi-finals should not have stood.
Llorente turned the ball home from a Kieran Trippier corner but the goal was sent to VAR for a possible handball from the Spanish striker at the Etihad.
After a long VAR check, the referee – Cuneyt Cakir – finally gave the goal to Tottenham but there were suggestions it was handball and Ferdinand backed those up.
Fernando Llorente scored the vital goal that sent Tottenham into the Champions League semis
The goal was checked by VAR for a possible handball but it was eventually given by the referee
The ball hits Llorente’s body before nestling into the goal during the second half of the game
Following the final whistle as Pep Guardiola’s dreams of winning the quadruple were dashed, the former Manchester United man told BT Sport: ‘That’s off his arm. I think it’s hit his arm. Watch the skin on his arm.
‘The skin on his arm moves. I’m just saying that the ball has hit his arm, then it’s up to the referee to determine whether it is handball or not.’
He added: ‘I think it’s handball, honestly. I’m not gutted he’s given the goal, but I think it’s handball.’
Meanwhile, former Tottenham man Glenn Hoddle believes the awarding of the goal was the right decision.
Hoddle argued: ‘I think if it hits his arm it doesn’t go in with that power. It’s gone off his hip, off a hard part of his body.’
Rio Ferdinand believes Llorente did handle the ball for Tottenham’s decisive goal
The big screens at the Etihad inform the supporters that the goal was being checked
The defeat comes as a huge blow to Guardiola, especially as he saw a late Raheem Sterling goal disallowed during injury-time, which would have sent City through to the semis against Ajax.
But after the match, the Spanish manager insisted that City have to move on as they look to defend their Premier League title.
‘Yes, it’s tough. It’s cruel but we have to accept it. It was a nice game for everyone,’ he said.
‘Second half we did everything. We scored the goals we needed but congratulations to Tottenham and all the best for the semi-finals.’
The two teams meet again on Saturday afternoon in the Premier League as City look to bounce back in style and keep up their charge for the title.
Pep Guardiola sinks to his knees after a late Raheem Sterling goal was ruled out in injury-time