There was plenty of action at day two of the 2009 X-Blades National Touch League, with Opens and 20’s starting their campaigns, while teams in the other divisions fought for finals positions.In the Men’s Opens Division, the three frontrunners, Mets, Sharks and Rebels, got their campaigns off to a great start. Defending champions the Mets were too good for the Cobras, winning 6-3. The Rebels were too good for the Hornets, as were the Suns over North Queensland, with both teams winning by 8 touchdowns. In other results In round 2, 13 wasn’t an unlucky number with the three favourites all scoring 13 tries, each easily defeating their opponents. Other winners in round 2 were Rebels over Cyclones, Rustlers defeated the Eagles and Cobras beat the Suns.In round three, Mets continued their good form, beating Cyclones by 11 touchdowns. Barbarians were too strong for the ACT, winning 11-7. Scorpions defeated Rustlers by four, the Sharks beat the Eagles by seven, the Rebels overcame Suns 9-4, and Cobras defeated Hornets by eight touchdowns. The end of day one sees the three Sydney sides, Mets, Rebels and Scorpions all equal first on the ladder.The Women’s Open Division started in round one with Mets, looking in ominous form, defeating Hornets 13-0. Rustlers had a strong win over Rebels, 7-0. The Suns beat the Eagles by nine touchdowns. Other winners in the first round included Cyclones, Cobras and Sharks.In round two, South Queensland had a big win, defeating Scorpions 11-1., while the Rustlers and the Mets overcame their opponents by nine touchdowns each. Cobras, Suns and Barbarians also had big victories. Round three started with the Mets still undefeated, with a five-touchdown win over Rebels. The Rustlers were too good for Cobras, while the Sharks beat the Suns 5-1. Cyclones were victorious over the Crusaders 7-6. The Hornets and the ACT played out a five-all draw, while the Barabarians easily overcame the Eagles 11-2. By the end of round three, the Mets, Sharks and Rustlers were all undefeated on 12 points each.In the Mixed Opens, Rebels started strongly, beating Cobras 8-0. Cyclones won in a close one, defeating Barbarians 7-6. Sharks were too strong for Eagles, winning by eight touchdowns. The Suns defeated the Sun Coast 8-4, while the Hornets overcame Crusaders by seven. In round two, Sharks defeated the Cyclones 9-4, Cobras did it easy against the Crusaders winning by 6 touchdowns, Suns and Sun Coast both beat their opponents 7-5, while the Mets and the Rebels drew 8 all.In round three, Eagles defeated Sun Coast 6-4, while the Suns defeated the Cyclones 7-5, and the Mets drew again, this time against the Hornets. The Suns undefeated run sees them on top of the ladder after day one.The Men’s and Women’s Opens also started on day two. In the Men’s 20’s, Mets defeated the Scorpions 5-2, Suns just beat the Rebels 2-1, Cyclones started off well defeating Cobras 6-4, while the Sun Coast defeated Sharks 6-0.Round two of the Men’s 20’s saw Mets continue their winning ways, defeating Sun Coast by one touchdown, Sharks posted their first win against the Suns, 7-4, Cyclones thumped the Rebels 10-2 and Scorpions defeated Cobras 9-6.In round three, the Cobras broke their duck, beating Suns 6-2, Cyclones kept on winning, defeating Sun Coast, as did the Mets, beating the Sharks. The Scorpions also beat the Rebels. At the end of the three rounds, Cyclones and Mets are undefeated on top of the ladder.In the Women’s 20’s division, round one saw the Cobras defeated the Sharks 3-1, Rebels posted double figures, winning 10-4, while the Suns kept the Hornets scoreless, winning 4-0. In round two, the Mets posted their first win, narrowly defeating the Hornets 5-4, Cobra beat Sunshine Coast 5-3 and Suns were too good for the Rebels, winning 7-5.In round three, Cobras beat the Mets 3-2, Hornets were kept scoreless again, this time by the Sharks, with the Sharks winning 3-0 and Suns defeated Sunshine Coast 6-2. Day two also signaled the start of the finals at the 2009 NTL. After six rounds of play in the Women’s 27’s, Cyclones sit on top of the ladder on 22 points, with local hopes the Eagles close behind on 20. Semi finals will be played on Day 3 before the Grand Final at 3pm.In the Men’s 30’s, day 3 brings the Semi finals featuring ACT against Canterbury and the Scorpions taking on local rivals Mets, with the Grand Final to be played at 5pm.In the Women’s 35’s, the semi’s will be played between South West Queensland against the Scorpions, while the Sharks will battle the Cobras, with their final to commence at 11am.In the Men’s 40’s, the first semi final will see Sharks versus Sharks, with the NZ team taking on SQBD. In the other semi, the Scorpions will take on the Cyclones. The final will start at 1pm.After the round games, Sharks sit on top of the ladder in the Men’s 45’s, four points clear of Suns. Semi finals will take place on Day three, before the Grand Final at 2pm that afternoon.Cobras are situated on top of the ladder in the Men’s 50’s on 12 points, two points ahead of Suns. Semi finals will see the Suns versus the Scorpions and Cobras against the Mets in their attempts to make the Grand Final, which will be played at 12pm.After six rounds in the Seniors Mixed, Wellington top the ladder on 20 points, followed by the Scorpions in 16. Just below these two teams are the Cobras and Rebels, both on 12 points. Semi finals will be played, before the Grand Final at 4pm.
SchefterAdam Schefter recently had a sit-down interview with Greg Hardy. The interview (in parts and in full) has been shown across ESPN’s platforms today.You can view some of the interview here. In the interview, Hardy, who is currently unsigned after playing for the Dallas Cowboys in 2015, says he has never hit a woman. Hardy was referencing the 2014 incident with his former girlfriend in which he allegedly hit her multiple times, causing what appeared to be significant injuries. The former Carolina Panther was charged and convicted, but the case was thrown out in 2015 after Hardy appealed. “I’ve never put my hand on any woman,” Hardy says.Schefter appeared on The Dan Patrick Show this morning to discuss the interview. A transcript of some of what Schefter said: Schefter: What he meant by that was he feels like he should not have put himself in that situation around that woman at that time of night around alcohol, and that was his mistake he should never have done that. But in his mind he swears he never put a finger on this woman. And people can believe what they want.Patrick: Do you believe it?Schefter: Doesn’t matter what I believe Dan, right?—–Schefter: I went in with the idea that this guy is a monster. I came out of there with a very different feeling. I came out of there feeling this is a guy who has managed to say the wrong things at the wrong time.Schefter is now getting crushed for what he’s said about Hardy and for interviewing him. One of his colleagues, Michelle Beadle, even criticized him on-air on ESPN for giving the NFL defensive lineman a platform. For the love of f&[email protected] Dude doesn’t admit to wrongdoing. Dude has changed? I give the hell up.— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) April 5, 2016Beadle isn’t alone, either.Posting illegally obtained medical records didnt activate the integrity gene of Schefter. So a softball Q&A with a womanizer wouldn’t either— Marshall (@M_W_19) April 5, 2016Greg Hardy interview…WTF? https://t.co/JYFcmhDVkl— Melissa Jacobs (@thefootballgirl) April 5, 2016Hardy’s comments were bad. But the fact that ESPN and Schefter gave him a platform for redemption is even worse: https://t.co/9NLFgULiuj— Lindsay Gibbs (@linzsports) April 5, 2016If ESPN decided on its own to send Schefter to interview Hardy instead of Rachel Nichols or Jeremy Schapp or Bob Ley, well, that’s a problem— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) April 5, 2016Of course Adam Schefter bought into Greg Hardy’s bullshit: https://t.co/4vre5nvXAV— Deadspin (@Deadspin) April 5, 2016Schefter discussed the interview in-depth on The Dan Patrick Show today, but he’s likely going to have to further defend his position in the coming days.
APTN National NewsOTTAWA–Hundreds gathered in the shadow of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill Thursday, waving flags and placards, drumming and dancing, in one of the largest rallies this year by First Nations people who came from as far away as New Brunswick to demand federal politicians reverse the dismal quality of education on reserves.A group of about 12 people walked 150 kilometres from Kitigan Zibi, Que., arriving in Ottawa Thursday to make a statement about the immediate need faced by First Nations communities on education.“Our community does not receive equitable funding as to the neighbouring provincial schools,” said Anita Tenasco, Kitigan Zibi’s director of education and one of the walkers. “This is what our walk is about, bringing awareness to the Canadian public.”AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo said it was time for the government to step up their investment in education.He said Ottawa needed to partner with communities and give First Nations children the opportunities they need to get ahead and break the crippling cycle that debilitates so many reserves.“This is going to continue until we see change in people’s lives in the communities…this is about what is going to happen to the young people that are here today,” said Atleo. “We need some expression of commitment from the government and we need it soon.”Atleo said the government needs to come through with $2 billion in education funding to bring the level of education available to First Nations children on par with their provincial counterparts.Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan spoke at the rally and said his government was already spending $1.4 billion a year on First Nations education and $200 million on fixing and building schools.“There is clearly a need for First Nations children to succeed and for the system to improve. We also know that there is not a one size fits all approach that will work, so we are willing to work in partnership and we have been demonstrating that very clearly,” said Duncan.RCMP officers estimated about 800 people at the rally, one of the largest First Nations rallies in the last couple of years.“I’m here to support everybody, everyone all in Ontario, all the little communities, students who don’t have school,” said Oola Akavak, 20, originally from Nunavut, but attending an alternative high school in Ottawa. “It just hurts me to know that they don’t have any school to learn.”Pierce Trudeau, 15, from Sagamok First Nation in northern Ontario, said he was there to ensure he could get higher education.“I’m here to protest for our post-secondary education funding so we can get somewhere in life,” said Trudeau.While he spoke, drums pounded and pow wow dancers swirled on the steps of Parliament Hill.And there was an edge to the rally.While he spoke, Batchewana First Nation Chief Dean Sayers turned toward the Parliament buildings and warned the politicians inside that First Nation communities would be taking it to the streets and railways if the government didn’t listen.“Unfortunately our people are at the threshold. There is going to be things happening this fall, this winter and this spring, that whether or not Canada likes it, will draw the attention of the world,” said Sayers, whose community is in northern Ontario.
PHILADELPHIA – Two black men arrested for sitting at a Philadelphia Starbucks without ordering anything settled with the world’s biggest coffee-shop chain Wednesday for an undisclosed sum and an offer of a free college education.Separately, they reached a deal with the city for a symbolic $1 each and a promise from officials to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.The men portrayed the twin settlements as an effort to make sure something positive came out of the April 12 incident, which touched off a furor around the U.S. over racial profiling.“We thought long and hard about it, and we feel like this is the best way to see that change that we want to see,” said Donte Robinson, one of those arrested. “It’s not a right-now thing that’s good for right now, but I feel like we will see the true change over time.”Business partners Robinson and Rashon Nelson, both 23, were led away in handcuffs and accused of trespassing last month after the manager of a Starbucks in the city’s well-to-do Rittenhouse Square neighbourhood called police, saying the men refused to buy anything or leave. After spending hours in jail, they were released and no charges were filed.The men said they were there waiting for a meeting with a third man about a potential real estate opportunity.The incident proved a major embarrassment for Starbucks, which has long projected an image as a socially conscious company.On Wednesday, Starbucks announced it reached a financial settlement with the men. The amount was not disclosed.The company said they will also be given the opportunity to complete their bachelor’s degrees, their tuition fully covered, through a Starbucks partnership with Arizona State University. The online college education program was created in 2014 for Starbucks employees.Also, the men will be given the chance to discuss their experience and share their recommendations for changes at Starbucks with former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.During the uproar, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson came to Philadelphia to apologize to the men. He also announced that more than 8,000 Starbucks stores in the U.S. would close on the afternoon of May 29 so nearly 175,000 employees can get training in unconscious bias.Under the deal with the city, the men’s arrest records will be expunged, and a program will be created to offer counselling and mentoring to entrepreneurs from Philadelphia high schools.“I am pleased to have resolved the potential claims against the city in this productive manner,” Mayor Jim Kenney said. “This was an incident that evoked a lot of pain in our city and put us under a national spotlight for unwanted reasons.”Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who is black, at first defended his officers’ conduct, but days later issued a televised apology for the way the Starbucks call was handled.Robinson and Nelson, who grew up in an economically depressed section of the city, said the settlements are a good start, aimed at transforming their community and creating the types of opportunities that did not exist when they were younger.Nelson said he considers the Starbucks incident a case of being at “the wrong place at the right time because of the outcome that can come out of it.”
Canada’s main stock index closed down Thursday as the key energy, financial and materials sectors all lost ground while U.S. markets were up and the loonie rose.Energy stocks slipped despite another day of gains for crude prices after the August crude contract ended up 69 cents at US$73.45 per barrel.Thursday’s gains add to the US$4.68 rise in oil prices in the previous two days to put crude at its highest price since late 2014.The S&P/TSX capped energy index was down 0.74 per cent on the day but up 4.96 per cent for the week so far.The overall S&P/TSX composite index closed down 51.36 points at 16,179.89 as gains in health care, consumer staples and information technology weren’t enough to counter losses in larger sectors.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 98.46 points at 24,216.05. The S&P 500 index ended up 16.68 points at 2,716.31 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 58.59 points at 7,503.68.Stocks in the U.S. rose after dipping a day earlier as investors continue to grapple with trade issues, said Anish Chopra, managing director with Portfolio Management Corp.“Markets are now getting more accustomed that investors will have to live with some level of trade uncertainty.”In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 98.46 points at 24,216.05. The S&P 500 index ended up 16.68 points at 2,716.31 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 58.59 points at 7,503.68.The Canadian dollar averaged 75.37 cents US, up 0.22 of a US cent. The loonie had started the day lower following a speech by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz Thursday but gained throughout the day.The higher oil price likely helped boost the loonie Thursday, said Chopra.“Certainly the strength of the oil price is playing into it. When you’re looking at explaining daily moves, it’s certainly an important factor in what’s happening today.”He said the Poloz speech did little to give any indication of whether a rate hike is coming July 11, leaving uncertainty on the decision.The August gold contract closed down $5.10 at US$1,251 an ounce and the September copper contract was down four cents at US$2.97 a pound. The August natural gas contract was down four cents at US$2.94 per mmBTU.
Boys with obesity, or excess belly fat, enter puberty at an earlier age than average, scientists have found. Researchers from the University of Chile conducted the study on 527 Chilean boys ages four to seven years. They found that both total body obesity and central obesity, or excess belly fat, were associated with greater odds of starting puberty before age nine. “With the increase in childhood obesity worldwide, there has been an advance in the age at which puberty begins in girls,” said Maria Veronica Mericq, the lead investigator of the study. Also Read – An income drop can harm brain”However, in boys the evidence has been controversial,” said Mericq. Some studies have found that obesity delayed puberty, whereas another study showed that only overweight but not obesity induced earlier puberty in boys. Early puberty — called precocious puberty — is linked to possible problems including stunted growth and emotional-social problems, researchers said. The team found that the prevalence of total obesity increased with age, from 22 per cent of boys ages 6 to 7 years to 28.6 per cent at 11.4 years, the average age at onset of puberty for this group. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardCentral obesity also increased in that timeframe, from 11.8 per cent to 17.4 per cent. Precocious puberty reportedly occurred in 45 boys, or nine per cent. Total obesity and central obesity from ages four to seven raised the odds of early puberty compared with having a healthy weight. For instance, among boys age five or six, those with obesity had nearly 2.7 times the odds of starting puberty early, and those with central obesity had almost 6.4 higher odds of puberty before age nine, Mericq said. She explained that central obesity more closely relates to fat mass, because a higher BMI may reflect increased muscle, especially in athletes. “Early puberty might increase the risk of behaviour problems and in boys could be related to a higher incidence of testicular cancer in adulthood,” Mericq said.
New Delhi: While there is a nationwide debate going on whether who will form the government at the Centre, beyond Vindhyas in Andhra Pradesh, where elections are being held for both Assembly and Lok Sabha, has become quite interesting.The 175- member Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats are going for polls on April 11 in Andhra Pradesh. As the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) led by Chandrababu Naidu is trying to retain the power in the state, the main opposition party in the state, YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) led by Jagan Mohan Reddy is busy giving a tough fight to come to power. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The Jana Sena Party led by star-turned politician Pawan Kalyan is trying its luck for the first time in this election with an alliance with left parties. Both the national parties – Congress and BJP are also in the fray. Many political heavyweights, more than 20 retired civil servants, including former joint director of CBI Lakshminarayana are in the fray. Lakshminarayana is contesting from Vishakhapatnam Lok Sabha seat on the Jana Sena ticket. Former Union Minister in UPA-1 and UPA-2 and daughter of NT Rama Rao, Purandeshwari is contesting from Visakhapatnam for Lok Sabha on BJP ticket. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KPerhaps this is for the first time, the family members of the founder of TDP and former Chief Minister NT Rama Rao (NTR) are contesting from three political parties. While Purandeshwari is in the race for Lok Sabha seat on BJP ticket, NTR’s eldest son-in-law and husband of Purandeshwari, Dr Daggubati Venkateshwara Rao is contesting for Assembly on YSRCP ticket and NTR’s son-in-law Chandrababu Naidu is contesting for assembly from TDP. Chandrababu’s son Lokesh is trying his luck in Mangalagiri assembly seat, Babu’s brother-in-law Balakrishna is seeking a second term from Hindupur assembly seat. Moreover Balakrishna’s son-in-law Bharat is in the fray for Vishakhapatnam Lok Sabha seat from TDP. While YSRCP leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy is contesting for Assembly from Pulivendula, his relative Avinash Reddy is contesting from Kadapa Lok Sabha seat. Another relative of Jagan Mohan Reddy is also in the fray for Assembly. Of course, Jana Sena is not lagging behind. While Pawan Kalyan is contesting from two assembly seats, his elder brother and film star Naga Babu is in the race for Narsapuram Lok Sabha seat. Interestingly, enough former Union Minister V Kishore Chandra Deo, who joined TDP recently, is contesting for Araku Lok Sabha seat, his daughter Shruti Devi is also racing for Araku Lok Sabha seat from Congress ticket. Former Union Ministers Panabaka Lakshmi, JD Seelam, Ashok Gajapati Raju, Dr Chinta Mohan, Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy are also trying their luck in this elections. Many family members of senior leaders from various political parties are fighting elections to keep their dynasty tag to go on. Interestingly enough, going by the nomination papers of candidates, many of them are crorepatis and some of them are having properties worth of more than Rs. 100 crores. Multi-cornered contest: With all the five political parties have fielded candidates, who will benefit from the multi-corner fight for the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls is the main debate going on in the political circles of Andhra Pradesh. While TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu is more focused on developmental agenda, welfare schemes and trying to ignite the sentiment of self-respect of Telugus, besides Special category status to Andhra Pradesh. Chandrababu is also critical of BJP leadership and Prime Minister Modi for not keeping the promises to the state and more trying to conspire against the state by having a secret understanding with Jagan and TRS leader K Chandrasekhar Rao. Going by the past experience, Chief Minister Chandrababu hiked the pensions from Rs. 1000 to Rs. 2000 in January and promises to increase it by Rs 3,000 after coming to power. As per the government data, the pensions would benefit more than 5 million people. On the other hand, opposition leader Jagan Mohan Reddy, who lost the last elections by a very thin margin, he is pulling all his might to come to power by exposing the unfulfilled promises of Chandrababu, unemployment and promises people that he would bring back YSR raj in the state. Jana Sena Party led by Pawan Kalyan, which supported the TDP-BJP alliance in 2014, is promising transparency in politics. Though Congress and BJP are also giving tough fight some constituencies, these parties are unlikely to win many seats in the assembly.
Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts welcomed ‘Nav Samvatsar 2076’ with power packed performance by Pandit Gajadhar Pathak, Hindustani classical singing by Vidushi Rita Dev, violin playing by Viduasi Apuapriya Devtale and Haryanavi Ragini singing by famous folklorist Palaram.The program started with Saraswati Veena Vadan and Shankha Nada by Pandit Gajadhar Pathak, who along with his team from Mathura enthralled the audience. After this, Dr Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA lighted the lamp and gave best wishes for the Indian New Year ‘Nav Samvatasar 2076’. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainHe said that ‘Indian New Year’ is a day to celebrate as it is believed that four Vedas were composed on the same day. He further explained that it is important to for us to introduce younger generation to our culture and beliefs, and make them aware of Indian heritage and traditions. “As a part of this effort, IGNCA is organising ‘Welcome Nav Samvatsar’. Let’s start by celebrating our traditional New Year, and gradually our younger generation will understand its importance and will participate in it,” he added Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardAfter this, Vidushi Rita Dev presented the Bhakti Geet in the Hindustani classical style. She started her performance with ‘Mero Man Ram Ram Rate ….’ in Raga Aheer Bhairava. She was accompanied by Vinay Mishra on harmonium, Uma Prasanna on flute, Gautam Majumdar on tabla and Ustad Ahsan Ali on Sarangi. Later, Vidushi Apurapia Devtale caught all the attention for her remarkable performance. She presented the Raga Mukhari, Madhya laya, Druta Teen Taala on the violin. At the end of the program, Paley Ram presented the popular Folk Music Ragini along with his team.
London: Embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya has submitted a “renewal application” in the UK High Court, making another attempt at appealing against his extradition to India to face fraud and money laundering charges amounting to Rs 9,000 crores.The 63-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss failed in his first attempt at an application seeking “leave to appeal” in the court last Friday and had five business days to renew that application to seek a brief oral hearing before a High Court judge, where his lawyers will further plead his case against being extradited to India. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”A renewal form has been received and will be listed in due course,” a High Court official said on Friday. UK home secretary Sajid Javid had signed off on a Westminster Magistrates’ Court order for Mallya to be extradited to face the Indian courts back in February. Mallya then filed an application for permission to appeal against that decision in the High Court, which was refused by Justice William Davis, giving him a week to apply for oral consideration via a renewal application. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe case will now be listed in the coming weeks for a hearing before a judge, where Mallya’s legal team and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) arguing on behalf of the Indian government will go head to head to reiterate factors for and against the businessman’s extradition to Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai. As per legal procedure in the UK, Mallya’s first written “leave to appeal application had been passed on Justice Davis, who was to make a decision on the basis of papers submitted and rejected that application “on papers”. A judge must now decide following an oral consideration in coming weeks if Mallya’s appeal can proceed to a full hearing. Meanwhile, the businessman remains on bail on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard in April 2017. At the end of a year-long extradition trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London last December, Judge Emma Arbuthnot had ruled that the flashy billionaire had a “case to answer” in the Indian courts. The judge found there was “clear evidence of dispersal and misapplication of the loan funds” and accepted a prima facie case of fraud and a conspiracy to launder money against Mallya, as presented by the CPS on behalf of the Indian authorities. The court had also dismissed any bars to extradition on the grounds of the prison conditions under which the businessman would be held, as the judge accepted the Indian government’s assurances that he would receive all necessary medical care at Barrack 12 in Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail.
Manchester: Fernando Llorente’s goal, bundled in from a corner and confirmed by VAR 17 minutes from time, gave Mauricio Pochettino’s side victory on away goals on a night of tension, attacking quality and defensive frailty that ended City and Pep Guardiola’s quest for a historic quadruple of Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup. In a game of relentless drama, City even thought they had won it in injury time only for Raheem Sterling’s goal to be ruled out for offside by VAR. Spurs were protecting a 1-0 lead from the first leg but an opening 21 minutes of chaotic brilliance saw City lead 3-2 on the night as both teams exchanged goals at will. Sterling lit the blue touchpaper on a thunderous atmosphere when he curled in a precision finish from the edge of the area after only four minutes, but Spurs responded with a double from Son Heung-min as he took advantage of errors by Aymeric Laporte. Bernardo Silva put City level on the night with a shot that deflected past Hugo Lloris, then Sterling arrived on the end of the outstanding Kevin de Bruyne’s cross to score at the far post. It left City effectively needing to win the second half and they looked on course when Sergio Aguero crashed home their fourth after De Bruyne sliced Spurs open before Llorente, on as a first-half substitute for injured Moussa Sissoko, bundled in from a corner via his hip — the goal given after a VAR check for handball. In one last extraordinary twist, City thought they had snatched victory and Sterling a hat-trick, but emotions switched instantly as VAR had the final word once again, ruling that Aguero was in an offside position as Bernardo Silva diverted the ball into his path. Spurs go on to face Ajax at the end of unforgettable encounter that left everyone involved stunned and breathless. For Spurs, this was the rollercoaster night to top them all, their players and coaching staff dragged through every possible emotion before joining their supporters in joyous celebration at the final whistle. After such a bright start, Pochettino’s side struggled to weather a City storm that culminated with Aguero putting them ahead in the tie, before Llorente’s goal renewed hope once more. They then had to deal with the gut-punch of Sterling’s stoppage-time goal, only to be hit by a wave of relief and joy at VAR’s final decisive intervention. This was all done without striker and talisman Harry Kane, but once again Son rose to the responsibility, the classy South Korean typifying their bold approach with his superb movement and those two vital early goals. Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris — rightly criticised after his mistake gifted Liverpool victory at Anfield recently — also deserves huge praise after his penalty save from Aguero in the first leg and crucial stops from the Argentine and De Bruyne in the return. This was a Spurs side, it should be remembered, who needed a draw in Barcelona to reach the group stage after a damaging defeat at Inter Milan and draw at PSV Eindhoven. It is a tribute to the resilience of this squad — and Pochettino’s management of his resources — that they not only achieved that but now stand two games away from their first Champions League final. They survived an all-out assault from City to achieve it. How they deserved those celebrations.