Substitute Edin Dzeko came on to score a superb late winner against Tottenham as Manchester City extended their 34-match unbeaten run at home stretching back to December 2010.
The home side dominated possession but they were stunned when Spurs took the lead against the run of play. Tom Huddlestone’s outswinging free kick was met by Steven Caulker and his downward header was misjudged by Joe Hart and ended up in the net after hitting the chest of the England number one.
Spurs almost doubled the lead when Huddlestone’s powerful strike from outside the area went narrowly past the post. City had claims for a penalty waved away when the ball struck Willliam Gallas on the arm.
Just before the break David Silva played a pass on to Carlos Tevez but his disappointing effort rolled tamely into the hands of Brad Friedel. The Premier League champions were becoming disjointed and anxious in their play as the foul count against them began to increase and the home crowd showed signs of becoming restless. Even City boss Roberto Mancini physically slumped in his seat as he saw Pablo Zabaleta’s strike in the closing minutes of the first half make its way harmlessly into Friedel’s arms.
Aguero had a sight of goal but did not make the most of the opportunity as he stumbled. Both sides lacked fluency and there was no evidence of the flowing passing moves for which they are known. But City did fight back on 65 minutes when Aguero cut inside and then expertly steered the ball beyond the outstretched Friedel and into the net. The goal appeared to galvanise Roberto Mancini’s men and they clearly showed their attacking intent by bringing on top scorer Dzeko.
But the visitors still carried some threat and Gareth Bale’s stinging shot was well parried by Hart. However, it was City who were more incisive and Dzeko, Silva and Aguero all went close to grabbing the winner. But the home side were not to be denied and when Silva’s through ball was aimed for Dzeko, the substitute spun in the penalty area and the power of his shot beat Friedel to earn all three points for Mancini's side.