Monday 15 February 2016 07:37, UK
Tottenham asserted their Premier League title credentials and dealt a blow to Manchester City’s hopes in the process as Christian Eriksen’s late strike sealed a 2-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium.
The visitors, who started the game in third following Arsenal's 2-1 win at Leicester, took the lead after Mark Clattenburg controversially awarded a 53rd minute penalty when Danny Rose's cross hit Raheem Sterling under the arm right on the edge of the penalty area.
The referee pointed to the spot and Harry Kane made no mistake to score his 16th Premier League goal of the season, before substitute Kelechi Iheanacho equalised in the 74th minute.
However, Eriksen sealed all three points for Mauricio Pochettino's side as they moved back above their north London rivals into second and just two points behind league leaders Leicester.
Meanwhile, City, who have won just one of their 10 Premier League games against sides currently in the top eight this season, face an almighty battle to win the title with defeat leaving Manuel Pellegrini's side six points behind the leaders with 12 games to play.
Pellegrini made three changes to the City side that suffered defeat at home to Leicester, with captain Vincent Kompany, who made his first start since his side's 0-0 draw with Aston Villa back in November, Gael Clichy and Fernando coming into the starting line-up for Martín Demichelis, Aleksander Kolarov and Fabian Delph, while Spurs also made changes with Dele Alli, Rose and Son Heung-min replacing Erik Lamela, Ben Davies and Nacer Chadli.
It was the visitors that started brightly, pushing the full-backs Rose and Kyle Walker on at every opportunity, however, it was City who had the first sight of goal with Sergio Aguero hooking over from 12 yards in the 10th minute following David Silva's corner.
City looked a threat going forward with Raheem Sterling connecting a sweet volley 12 yards out only to be denied by a brilliant last-ditch block from Rose, but Tottenham were more than holding their own against Pellegrini's side.
Challenges were flying in all over the pitch as both sides looked to stamp their authority on the game and in the 29th minute Eriksen's 25-yard strike forced Joe Hart into his first save of the afternoon.
Pochettino would have been pleased with what he was seeing from his side as they dominated possession but they could not make it count in the final third with Eric Dier firing over from distance and Rose's goal-bound shot deflected over the bar by Pablo Zabaleta.
Five minutes after the restart, Aguero had a glorious chance to give City the lead, but he fired over from the corner of the six-yard box after Yaya Toure's shot deflected into his path.
And they were made to pay in the 53rd minute when Rose's cross hit Sterling under the arm right on the edge of the penalty area and the Clattenburg pointed to the spot. Kane stepped up to fire the penalty straight down the middle to score his 15th goal in his last 17 Premier League appearances.
City, who felt aggrieved by the decision, responded well and could have been on level terms four minutes later when Toure curled a free-kick over the wall, but the ball rebounded off the crossbar.
Pellegrini responded by throwing on Iheanacho for Fernando in the 66th minute and the young striker repaid his manager's faith, firing home Clichy's cut-back from the penalty spot 16 minutes from time.
Moving into the final 10 minutes the momentum was with City and the visitors needed Hugo Lloris to palm away Toure's powerful drive.
But it was Spurs, who struck the decisive blow with substitute Lamela sliding through an inch-perfect ball for Eriksen, who, on his 24th birthday, fired the ball under Hart to start the celebrations in the away end.
There was still time for Kane to flash a shot wide as he looked to make the points completely safe, but in injury time it was the hosts that went close to stealing a point.
Lloris could only palm away a cross only as far as Silva, but the Spanish midfielder thrashed the ball over the bar from inside the six-yard box.
Man City: Hart (7), Zabaleta (6), Kompany (7), Otamendi (6), Clichy (7), Fernando (6), Fernandinho (6), Silva (6), Toure (7), Sterling (6), Aguero (5).
Subs used: Kolarov (6), Iheanacho (7).
Tottenham: Lloris (6), Walker (7), Alderweireld (7), Wimmer (8), Rose (8), Dembele (9), Dier (7), Eriksen (8), Alli (8), Son (7), Kane (7).
Subs used: Carroll (6), Chadli (6), Lamela (7),
Man of the Match: Mousa Dembele