Giovani Lo Celso delivered a decisive sucker punch just 35 seconds after his introduction from the bench to cement the case of Tottenham as a genuine title challenger.
Spurs made a flying start and broke the deadlock inside the first five minutes through their South Korean sensation.
Tanguy Ndombele was afforded rare time on the ball in the centre of the pitch, and picked out the marauding Son Heung-min playing on the shoulder of the last defender.
The in-form forward made no mistake with his finish, duly dispatching his strike past Ederson to open the scoring.
Their lead was almost doubled moments later, but a dynamic sweeping fast-break from Spurs culminating in Harry Kane tapping the ball into the empty net was all for naught as the offside flag went up on the England centre-forward.
Man City’s response was fast and furious. Controlling the bulk of possession, several threatening opportunities were created as Tottenham’s defence gradually began to creek.
The final pass was proving difficult to make, and when it finally came, VAR came to Spurs’ rescue.
A clipped ball into the box found Gabriel Jesus, but the Brazilian controlled the ball via the aid of his right hand. His cut-back found the unusually far forward Aymeric Laporte who superbly swept his shot home.
Upon inspection of his pitch-side monitor, however, Mike Turn adjudged Jesus to have handled the ball and duly ruled out the would-be equaliser.
NO GOAL 📺
Mike Dean checks the pitchside monitor and Laporte’s strike is ruled out for a Jesus handball
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 21, 2020
The remainder of the half played out as both managers would have predicted.
Tottenham were content to sit deep and looked dangerous when afforded the rare opportunity to counter. While City unleashed no fewer than 11 first-half efforts, none of which were able to bring parity back to the scores.
Despite boasting the talents of Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero on the bench, Pep Guardiola opted to send the same eleven out for the second half.
Kevin De Bruyne whistled a low drive just beyond Hugo Lloris’ far post and appeared to be the likeliest candidate to haul his side back to level terms as Tottenham continued to hold out.
Instead, it was Tottenham who produced the game’s next goal in a real sucker punch to City’s hopes.
A loose ball allowed Toby Alderweireld the opportunity to clear, with his pass falling perfectly for Harry Kane.
He in turn drove at the City backline before feeding substitute Giovani Lo Celso who slotted his finish through Ederson’s legs just 35 seconds after his introduction to the action.
65’ Giovani Lo Celso comes on for Tanguy Ndombele
65’ Giovani Lo Celso puts Tottenham 2-0 up
— The Spurs Express (@TheSpursExpress) November 21, 2020
The anticipated Man City fightback never really got going as Jose Mourinho’s tactics and committed performances from his stars continued to frustrate their opponents.
It wasn’t all good news for Tottenham, however, as Alderweireld appeared to suffer a groin injury which will leave Mourinho facing an anxious wait.
Ruben Dias wasted a glorious opportunity to set up a grandstand finish when nodding a De Bruyne set piece straight at Lloris.
It mattered not, however, as time ran out on City’s subdued fightback as Tottenham ran out 2-0 winners.