Fernando Llorente sent Tottenham into its first European Cup semifinal in 57 years and ended Manchester City's quadruple hopes by scoring the decider in a breathtaking Champions League game that produced seven goals and saw an apparent injury-time winner for City ruled out after a video review.
City won the second leg of an instant-classic quarterfinal 4-3 at home on Wednesday but Tottenham advanced 4-4 on aggregate thanks to the away goals rule to set up a meeting with Ajax.
Llorente, a back-up striker who lives in the shadow of the injured Harry K ane, nudged the ball into the net in the 73rd minute with his hip — a goal that was only given after a VAR review for a possible handball.
Video review worked in Tottenham"s favor again in stoppage time when Raheem Sterling looked to have secured City"s progress. But as the home fans celebrated and the devastated Spurs players slumped to the turf, the referee determined that Sergio Aguero was offside before crossing to Sterling.
"It"s cruel," City manager Pep Guardiola said.
It was a dramatic finish to a game that featured a start unlike anything seen before in the Champio ns League.
Four goals in the opening 11 minutes. The fifth in the 21st minute, after five shots on target.
The first goal, after four minutes, went to City through Raheem Sterling. Tottenham forward Son Heung-min then netted twice to put City in a position where they had to score three more goals to advance.
They did just that to take a 4-2 lead, only for Llorente — and the VAR — to have the last say.
"It was a very tough game, a very crazy game," said Son Heung-min, who also picked up a booking that rules him out of the semifinal first leg. "We are very proud of our teammates and I think it"s an unbelievable night.
Sometimes you are annoyed with VAR but today it is a case of, "Thank you and good decision.""
Sterling got the action started when he received the ball from Kevin De Bruyne and evaded Kieran Trippier before bending the ball into the corner past Hugo Lloris.
Within three minutes, Tottenham regained its aggregate advantage after Aymeric Laporte"s clearance from Lucas Moura"s throughball set up Son to level on the night.
Laporte was again at fault when he gave the ball away in the 10th on the halfway line, setting Moura free to set up Son to put Tottenham 2-1 up.
Not for long. Barely a minute.
Bernardo Silva was left in space on the right flank to collect the ball and poke it through Danny Rose"s legs and into the net.
After that dizzying spell, there was a full 10 minutes before the ball ended up in the net again.
A backheel from Bernardo Silva set up De Bruyne, who crossed for Sterling to slide in at the back post.
City 3, Tottenham 2. Five goals in 21 minutes but with Tottenham still going through thanks to Son"s first-leg goal.
The second half began with a City onslau ght but Lloris"s diving save kept out Sterling"s low shot and one-handed save palmed an effort from De Bruyne around the post.
The first flickers of a Spurs threat in the second half came when Llorente dived in with a header but it lacked power and was blocked by goalkeeper Ederson.
And the momentum swung again when City scored its fourth in the 59th.
Ilkay Gundogan"s crossfield pass landed at the feet of De Bruyne, who drove forward before slipping the ball through to Aguero who beat Lloris at his near post with a powerful shot.
For the first time on the night, Cit y was in front on aggregate and on course for its second Champions League semifinal.
But the hosts couldn"t close the game out.
When Trippier whipped in a corner, Llorente rose and turned the ball into the net with his hip.
The celebrations were put on hold when the referee went to the touchline to check if the ball came off Llorente"s arm, but the goal stood.
As the Premier League champions chased the goal that would sent them through, Aguero had a header saved by Lloris and an effort from Gundogan was scooped over.
When Sterling did find the net again, VAR intervened to leave the home fans crushed.
It"s a rare feeling of late at the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola"s side was knocked out of a competition for the first time this season, having won the League Cup and advanced to the FA Cup final while challenging Liverpool for the league title.
Liverpool also reached the Champions League semifinals on Wednesday after beating Porto 4-1 away to complete a 6-1 aggregate win.
In the Premier League, Tottenham is in a scrap just to secure one of the four Champions League places. Although the north London club won"t need that if it wins Eur opean football"s top prize for the first time.