Boyhood Manchester City fan Phil Foden helped Pep Guardiola’s side put Wednesday’s European heartbreak behind them by beating Tottenham 1-0.
Foden, 18, scored the only goal of the game inside five minutes as City hosted Tottenham for the second time in 72 hours.
Spurs posed a threat on the break throughout the match but the Manchester club held on to a slender lead to maintain their title challenge.
The result, though, was marred by injury to Belgian star Kevin de Bruyne, who limped off injured during the first half.
AS IT HAPPENED: Manchester City vs Tottenham
Any fears Saturday’s rematch would prove a damp squib after the fireworks of Wednesday’s electric Champions League thriller were dispelled early.
Son Heung-min, Spurs’ European hero, forced an early opening for Tottenham when he skipped past John Stones, only for goalkeeper Ederson to palm his fierce strike to safety.
But it was Foden who scored his first Premier League goal after just four minutes, swooping to head in from Sergio Aguero’s controlled knock-down after Bernardo Silva’s deft, incisive diagonal.
City fans, still hurting from their perceived unjust exit, roared their players on as the hosts’ high press took effect on Spurs’ unrelenting persistence to play from the back.
Yet again, though, it was Ederson who had to react quickly to keep out Tottenham talisman Christian Eriksen before a quarter of an hour was played.
And moments later, Son was denied a clear shot on goal by Aymeric Laporte following Eriksen’s stunning first-time pass.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men had fired their warning shots but Bernardo had a penalty shout denied when he appeared to be brought down by Jan Vertonghen inside the box.
The intense Easter weekend heat visibly took its toll as the game became more tactics-dominated than end-to-end thriller, but Dele Alli, at least, thrived in showing off his skills.
Bernardo, a constant threat, led from the front as he, Oleksandr Zinchenko and De Bruyne all took shots from range which were blocked.
Shortly after, it was the Portuguese international again who forced Tottenham’s reserve goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga into action. And indeed, the Argentine stopper looked as shaky as you might expect from someone with 11 appearances all season.
But any momentum City were generating seemed to have been stemmed when De Bruyne was forced off injured, seemingly from the earlier blocked effort.
It was Son - who tortured City over two European ties - who should have levelled for the visitors after a breathtaking run which saw him clean through on goal. Ederson, as ever, was out rapidly to deny him.
City regained the initiative after the break through and after Aguero’s close-range shot was blocked by Alderweireld, Foden dragged an effort wide from 10 yards.
Kyle Walker was perhaps fortunate to avoid conceding a penalty for handball when his arm appeared to nudge the ball away from Alli.
Sterling, placed in a central position once Aguero was subbed off, should have wrapped up the win 20 minutes from time though.
The England star was perfectly positioned for Leroy Sane’s cut-back only for the trailing foot of Gazzaniga to deny him from close range.
Spurs, always posing a resting but ominous threat on the break, might have immediately levelled but for Ederson yet again denying them, this time through Lucas Moura.
The Brazilian then fired high and wide from the edge of the box as Tottenham introduced Fernando Llorente - who scored their crucial European goal - in a bid to equalise.
Tempers flared in stoppage time as Sterling and Jan Vertonghen were booked following a minor altercation, but City held out for the three points.
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