Kranjcar slots his second and Tottenham's third goal under City keeper Shay Given
By Phil Dawkes
Tottenham put their pursuit of the top four back on track with a deserved victory over fellow Champions League hopefuls Manchester City.
Niko Kranjcar put Spurs ahead, tapping in after Stephen Ireland had blocked Peter Crouch's initial header.
Jermain Defoe's 14th goal of the season, a superb first-time finish from eight yards, proved decisive.
Kranjcar drove in from the right and finished with aplomb to add the polish to an accomplished Spurs performance.
The victory is Tottenham's 18th win over City in 25 Premier League meetings, but represents something far greater.
Following lavish summer outlays, strong starts of their own and stuttering early form from the established elite, the top four aspirations of these two have come in for heavy scrutiny.
Redknapp lauds 'superb' Kranjcar
Spurs' win puts their pursuit of Champions League football back on track after the 1-0 home loss to Wolves on Saturday and leaves them two points shy of fourth-placed Aston Villa.
However City's defeat, while only their second of the season, represents further lost points in a campaign that has seen them draw over half their fixtures and win just one of their last 10 league matches.
And on this evidence of this, it is easy to see why City have failed to win more frequently.
They enjoyed concerted spells of possession throughout the match but fashioned precious little to hurt Spurs.
Long-range efforts from Carlos Tevez and Robinho - the first flashed wide, the second tipped over by Heurelho Gomes - were all the visitors had to show for their monopolisation of the football in the first half.
In contrast, home advantage dictated a more direct approach from Spurs who regularly sought to release Aaron Lennon with long passes.
The winger gave warning of the threat he posed in the eighth minute, running into space down the right before pulling back for Kranjcar in the box only for the Croatian to put his 15-yard shot wide.
It would be half an hour before the pacy England man's second meaningful foray, but it was a telling one.
He collected the ball on the right, skipped past Sylvinho and hung up a cross for Crouch, whose goal-bound header struck Ireland and gave the simplest of tap-ins for Kranjcar to finish a move he had started.
The home side revelled in the breakthrough and a minute later were only denied a second by a combination of City defender Kolo Toure and keeper Shay Given who combined to block Crouch's effort after he had been found by Defoe in the box.
Half time gave City brief respite, but 10 minutes into the second half Spurs delivered the decisive blow to City's hopes of taking something from the game.
Hughes admits City were second best
A deep free-kick from Gomes was met by Crouch, easily out jumping Nedum Onuoha in the area, and his header looped over Toure on the edge of the six-yard box, where Defoe was lurking to clinically dispatch into the top corner of the net.
The finish was every inch that of a player claiming his 14th goal in 17 appearances this season.
If only Emmanuel Adebayor could have shown such predatory instinct the game may not have been lost for the visitors.
Unfortunately his radar deserted him when played in by Ireland in the 67th minute and his shot was both high and wide.
With just three minutes remaining he was guilty of an even worse miss when substitute Martin Petrov's deep ball found him unmarked eight yards out only for his sliding effort to balloon over the bar.
There was still enough time remaining for Spurs to compound the visitors' woe.
Lennon and Crouch took a short corner allowing the former to feed Kranjcar, who nipped the ball past a static Adebayor before slotting under Given for his second of the game.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp:
"That was as good as we've played over the 90 minutes. We never let off.
"All the chances were created by us, it was a great performance by us.
"Niko (Kranjcar) was fantastic, Aaron (Lennon) was brilliant. They all worked well, the whole team defended well, every one of them."
Manchester City manager Mark Hughes:
"We didn't hit any kind of level," he said. "For the first 30 minutes we took the game to them but in terms of producing a real threat we were not creating.
"We were disappointed at half-time as we thought we should have done better with the goal. The second killed us.
"There are no excuses, we missed personnel but we had a team good enough to get a positive result."
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