The decision to Leave De Bruyne out was ‘big call’

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Pep Guardiola sprung a surprise with his team selection, leaving Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane on the bench while Bernardo Silva missed out entirely due to a thigh strain.

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But when Son Heung-min’s late goal gave Tottenham a crucial and well-deserved advantage over Manchester City in a thunderous Champions League quarter-final first leg, Manchester City tried to respond to Tottenham, with Guardiola bizarrely sending on De Bruyne and Sane with just two minutes left, but it proved a fruitless tactic as Spurs held on for a crucial victory. Still, it’s all to play for at the Etihad Stadium in eight days’ time.

“De Bruyne could play but I decided with Gundogan.”

❌ Bernardo Silva
❌ De Bruyne
❌ Sané

Pep Guardiola explains some key Man City omissions to @DesKellyBTS 👀— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 9, 2019

Spurs had survived the concession of an early penalty, awarded on a pitchside video review by the referee after Danny Rose was judged to have handled Raheem Sterling’s shot. Sergio Aguero stepped up, but keeper Hugo Lloris saved.

The South Korean is the ideal modern attacker: tireless, unselfish but with an eye for goal and a willingness to take responsibility, which he did here as he led the charge after Kane’s departure, culminating in the turn back from the byeline and shot underneath Ederson to give Spurs a precious lead to protect at Etihad Stadium.

Spurs look certain to have to overcome the absence of Kane in the second leg but a lead – and of great significance, a clean sheet – will see them travel north with justified optimism.

Tottenham v Manchester City: Champions League quarter-final, first leg – live! Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sané left on the bench for City – join @JacobSteinberg for the rest of the team news— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) April 9, 2019

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