Tottenham Hotspur 0 - 1 Man City: Sergio Aguero's strike hands City the points.

A first-half strike from Sergio Aguero was enough to give Manchester City a 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

Eric Dier and Harry Kane both had good opportunities to give Tottenham the lead in the first five minutes before Hugo Lloris produced a good save from James Milner’s attempted cross.

Tottenham looked to have the upper hand before Aguero gave his side the lead and Fernandinho nearly doubled it minutes later, Joe Hart kept his sides lead minutes before the break when he blocked Ryan Mason’s shot. Kane, Aguero, Aleksandar Kolarov, Paulinho and Erik Lamela all had excellent opportunities in the second period but ultimately Aguero’s strike was the difference.

Manchester City’s slim chances of retaining their title with Chelsea’s 1-0 victory earlier in the afternoon secured the Premier League title, however a victory would all but secure a spot in next season’s Champions League with nine points between them and fifth placed Liverpool. Tottenham still had a slim chance of reaching the elite European competition but a spot in the Europa League seems a more realistic prospect a win would bring them level with Liverpool

It was the home side that came straight out of the traps and Dier should have given his side the lead two minutes in, the defender had a free header from the corner but he put the chance wide. A minute later star striker Kane was put through on goal, the PFA young player of the year had time on the ball but he dragged it wide.

Hugo Lloris made his first contribution of the match in the 12th minute, Pablo Zabaleta played it through to James Milner who looked to play it across the face of goal but the French keeper got an important hand to it.

Lloris also cost his side a goal in the 21st minute when he slipped coming out for a long ball up field from Zabaleta, Aguero looked to have an open goal but slipped he appealed for a penalty but Andre Marriner waved it away.

Seven minutes later City took the lead, from the Tottenham corner David Silva broke up the field before slipping the ball through to Aguero who made an excellent run to get to the Spaniard’s pass before smashing past Lloris at the near post.

Fernandinho nearly doubled their lead four minutes later, an attempted pass was deflected to the Brazilian on the edge of the area and his shot looked to be heading into the bottom corner but Danny Rose gets a vital touch to deflect it wide.

Mason had the best opportunity to get an equaliser for the home side two minutes before the break, a ball from Kane caught out the City defence who looked for the offside flag but Hart produced an excellent block with his body to prevent Mason’s shot going in.

The second period didn’t start as brightly as the first period with the first opportunity coming just after the hour mark. Kane received the ball in the box with Hart coming out to close down the angle, the ball got stuck in the striker’s feet but he managed to get the shot off but Hart was equal to it.

Aguero had an excellent opportunity to get his and City’s second in the 62nd minute, the Argentine started the move playing it off to Fernandinho who flicked it back over to the striker who then flicked it past Lloris but he couldn’t finish the move finding the side netting.

With twenty minutes to play Kolarov almost got City’s second goal in spectacular fashion, the full-back hit a fizzing effort from some distance which forced Lloris to tip it over the bar. He was involved again nine minutes later when he attempted to put a ball across the face of goal but the French shot stopper managed to get a foot to it.

Substitute Paulinho had two excellent chances in the space of a few minutes to get an equaliser, in the 82nd minute he got his head to a free kick into the area which crept just wide of the post but the flag was already up for offside. A minute later a poor touch from Lamela set up nicely for the Brazilian but his shot was straight at Hart who palmed it out of harm’s way.

With five minutes to play Milner made an excellent run to the by-line who dragged it back for substitute Wilfred Bony but the Ivorian fired it wide. The final opportunity of the game came in injury time when Rose put a good ball into Lamela who hit an acrobatic volley into the ground but Hart again was there to tip it over the bar.

City could have easily been distracted by losing their title to Jose Mourinho’s side earlier in the day but remained professional and produced a good performance across the field. That win all but secures their place in next season’s Champions League and all focus will now be on securing second place.

Tottenham can be happy with the result and if not for Hart’s excellent performance they could of easily had the three points, this loss still leaves them behind Liverpool in the race for the Europa League but with the Brendan Rodgers side facing Chelsea next week there is still hope of catching them yet.

Danial Kennedy

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