UNITED KINGDOM, February 14 – Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen scored as Tottenham won 2-1 at Manchester City to move to within two points of the Premier League summit.
Spurs, who had the better of the first half at the Etihad Stadium, took the lead in the 53rd minute when Raheem Sterling was harshly adjudged penalised for handling a cross and Kane stepped up to convert the spot-kick.
Kelechi Iheanacho fired into the roof of the net to draw City level 16 minutes from time, but the hosts’ forays forward in search of a winner worked against them as Eriksen scored on the counter attack to earn Spurs a crucial three points in their search for a first league title since 1961.
City, meanwhile, remain fourth and six points off the summit, but crucially also four points behind Spurs and Arsenal directly above them.
It may have been contentious, but it was a hard-earned win. They dug in during a first half that was fought at a fierce tempo but in which chances were few and far between.
With captain Vincent Kompany back in their starting line-up for the first time in three months after finally shaking off his latest calf injury, City were noticeably stronger and more organised at the back.
Nicolas Otamendi also seemed more relaxed alongside Kompany as dangermen Kane and Dele Alli were kept quiet.
Yet City also had little success up against the Spurs back line, with Kyle Walker frustrating Sterling out wide and Toby Alderweireld solid against Sergio Aguero and the often advancing Yaya Toure.
Aguero put City’s first clear-cut chance over the bar while Danny Rose bravely blocked a powerful Sterling volley at close range and was badly winded for his trouble, needing time to regain his composure.
Rose later had a chance himself at the other end, but this time Pablo Zabaleta got his body in the way. Eriksen connected well with a shot, but Joe Hart saved comfortably.
The game burst into life in the second half and City should have taken the lead when Toure’s cross took a deflection and looped into the path of Aguero. The Argentine admonished himself after clipping the chance over the bar.
Moments later City were cursing again, and this time with a sense of injustice, after Clattenburg controversially pointed to the penalty spot.
Sterling seemed to have successfully blocked Rose’s cross as he jumped into its path and turned his back mid-air, but Clattenburg deemed it to have touched his arm. There was intense debate over whether it had, and even if it did, whether it could have been deliberate, but the decision stood. Kane took full advantage to fire home from 12 yards.
City were jolted into action and Toure was inches away from equalising as he rattled the crossbar from a free-kick.
City also sent on Iheanacho and it proved a wise move. The exciting teenager had been on the field just eight minutes when he raced into the area with perfect timing to lash home Gael Clichy’s cutback into the area for the equaliser.
But Spurs’ late change proved equally astute, with Erik Lamela charging forward after Toure lost possession. He slipped in Eriksen and the Dane slid a cool finish past Hart.
City fought to the end but there was to be no way back with Silva putting their final chance over the bar.