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Manchester City 2-1 Tottenham: Super sub Dzeko and Aguero seal gritty comeback

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Best yet to come from Manchester City, insists Aguero
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Best yet to come from Manchester City, insists Aguero

MANCHESTER -- Manchester City moved within two points of league leader Manchester United after securing a dramatic late 2-1 victory over Tottenham.

Edin Dzeko enhanced his reputation as the super-sub-in-chief with a well-taken winner in the 86th minute, adding to Sergio Aguero's equalizer that had pulled the home side back following Steven Caulker's headed opener.

Roberto Mancini welcomed David Silva back to the side after he sustained a hamstring strain on international duty in September, while Sandro returned for the visiting team and Emmanuel Adebayor replaced Jermain Defoe despite the Englishman's hat trick against Maribor on Thursday.

City started in impressive fashion, with Spurs unable to break out of their own half under a blanket of pressure in the opening quarter of an hour. Sloppy passes from Silva and Gareth Barry and a fine tackle from Kyle Walker on Aguero left City frustrated, unable to capitalise on the early endeavour.

The club's profligacy was to be punished shortly after, as the home side's alarming inability to defend set pieces was aired yet again. Caulker nodded past Joe Hart after having found himself free in the area to connect with Huddlestone's superb whipped free kick from the right flank.

Mancini's side gave a response of sorts, and should have arguably had a penalty as William Gallas blocked Aguero's turn in the area with his arm, but referee Michael Oliver waved away the Argentine's desperate protests on the 25th minute.

Further controversy was to come for Oliver, as Huddlestone body-checked Pablo Zabaleta's run in the area as the Argentine chased down Silva's neat through ball. The referee remained unmoved again, and as Carlos Tevez's scuffed effort rolled into the arms of Brad Friedel shortly before halftime, Mancini and his side exuded frustration.

It was to linger into the second half, as an offside flag halted Tevez when he looked to latch on to Gael Clichy's lofted ball over the top of an increasingly shaky Spurs defense.

But as the hour mark passed and City continued to probe, the Tottenham retreated, allowed the home side possession and was duly punished. Caulker knocked the ball into Aguero's path and the Argentine calmly slotted past Friedel for his third Premier League goal this season.

The goal reignited Tottenham, and Gareth Bale's 73rd minute strike forced Joe Hart into a sublime reaction save to keep the scores level as the play stretched with nether side settling for a point.

It was Mancini's side, however, that looked the more likely as Edin Dzeko replaced Tevez for the final quarter of an hour and City pressed for a winner.

Redemption was to come from the likeliest of sources, as Dzeko latched on to Silva's brilliant ball to smash home on the 86th minute and move City within two points of its neighbor, to end a day that had for so long delivered immense frustration, ultimately, with sheer relief.

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