Despite a heartbreaking result against Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola refused to blame VAR and instead maintained that it produces "fair football" despite their exit from Champions League after an enthralling match which ended 4-4 on aggregate.
Although City were 4-3 victors in Wednesday's second leg, but could not proceed and in the process, it became the third consecutive year when they were knocked out in the quarter-finals.
"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," he further added.
Two instances from the game made headlines – In the 73rd minute, Fernando Llorente struck a goal and it was held despite the ball seemingly clipping the Spaniard's hand on its way into the net.
It did not end there, in stoppage time, Raheem Sterling found the back of the net, but on replays, VAR showed that Sergio Aguero was offside in the build-up. This proved to be the decisive moment in the match as City were sent packing from the tournament, despite winning the match 4-3.
"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," he added.
'Trust the VAR when it is against or for you'
However, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, who has been a vocal critic of VAR in the past, said that the decisions balanced out in the end. He was speaking about the decisions to award City a penalty in the first leg and then not penalise Fernandinho for a clash with Harry Kane, two critical moments in the match.
"You have to trust the VAR when it is against or for you," said Pochettino. "The decision to include VAR in football is going to change the game."
The manager labelled his players as heroes for the game they played on the night, a result which came after a season when they were not allowed to sign even a single player and were also forced to play a majority of their matches at a temporary home in Wembley.
"On this type of night, this type of victory, only I can feel proud. I feel they are heroes. With all the circumstances to be in the semi-finals of the Champions League they deserve a lot of praise," Pochettino said.