Tottenham Hotspur were big winners on a thrilling day of action at the top of the Premier League as they beat Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
Christian Eriksen was the hero for Spurs has he struck seven minutes from time when it had looked like the hosts were going to get a draw when Kelechi Iheanacho cancelled out Harry Kane’s penalty.
But despite intense pressure at the death, Mauricio Pochettino’s side were able to hold onto the win and move themselves to within two points of leaders Leicester City.
The odd clumsy nudge and tackle littered the opening minutes with Yaya Toure being spoken to and Dele Alli spoiling an opportunity to counter with a handball.
Manchester City tried his hard to thread teasing passes in behind their opponents’ backline but they could not quite squeeze the ball through Tottenham’s tightly packed and well organised defence.
Meanwhile, Danny Rose proved his commitment to the cause by blocking a point-blank Sterling strike with his chest following a half-cleared City free-kick.
As the half-hour mark neared a succession of quick passes ended in a rifled effort from Eriksen, which Hart could only parry before a blue shirt cleared the danger.
The natural fast pace to the clash saw I stretched at times but both teams held their nerves defensively, leading to long shots from Eric Dier and Rose, with the latter impressing during the opening period as he rampaged down the left flank.
In an attempt to halt the English left back, Pellegrini made Silva and Sterling swap sides but the first result was a penalty for the visitors as Rose’s cross was adjudged to have struck his compatriot on the arm in the box.
Harry Kane, who had barely had a sniff all game, stepped up and from 12 yards smashed the ball down the middle and into the back of the net with Hart diving to his right.
Yaya Toure almost hit back immediately when his free-kick clattered the bar with his team-mates failing to force home the rebound but Spurs eventually cleared their lines.
Pochettino’s side produce excellent attacking football but are also capable of defending doggedly and as Manchester City pushed to equalise they were made to work hard to deny Aguero and Silva with blocks and intercept several threatening passes in the final third.
Mousa Dembele and Toure enjoyed a titanic tussle in the centre of the park as the game wore on and Pellegrini threw Iheanacho into the fray as City battled on.
Sloppiness threatened to be Spurs’ undoing with Kyle Walker, Dier and Son guilty of misplaced passes, with the latter replaced by Tom Carroll as Pochettino attempted to protect his side’s lead.
It was young striker Iheanacho who made the impact though as Gael Clichy slipped a cross past Walker and found the Nigerian, who powered a shot high into the goal with 16 minutes remaining.
Tottenham looked nervous and finding it hard to regain the control they had in the first half as Toure thundered a shot at Hugo Lloris, while Rose again put his body on the line.
It proved to be vital too as, following a melee in the middle of the pitch, substitute Erik Lamela slipped Eriksen through on goal and the Dane slid the ball past Hart before wheeling away to the travelling supporters in celebration.
Manchester City weren’t about to lie down and take the defeat though and Aguero continued to look dangerous with his nimble feet, while Silva slashed a strike over, but Tottenham held out and their celebrations were jubilant.