Crouch (far right) scores the own goal which gave Man City the win
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Eastlands
Manchester City qualified for the Champions League for the first time as Peter Crouch's own goal gave them the decisive victory over Tottenham at Eastlands.
Crouch's strike here late last season sent Spurs into Europe's elite competition at City's expense - and he was unwittingly involved at the same end again as he deflected James Milner's cross past keeper Carlo Cudicini in the first half.
It proved enough to give Roberto Mancini's side the win they required after a tension-riddled affair controlled for long spells by Spurs, who dominated possession in the second half to test the nerves of an increasingly anxious City support.
Celebrations swept around Eastlands as referee Mike Dean sounded his final whistle to send City into the Champions League, the destination desired by the club's Abu Dhabi hierarchy from the moment they started to bankroll the club in such lavish fashion.
And Carlos Tevez added to the sense of elation for City with a lively cameo as a late substitute in which he set up a chance for Patrick Vieira and was only denied a goal by a fine stop from Cudicini, who replaced the injured Heurelho Gomes.
Top-four finish a 'milestone' - Kompany
Tevez must now wait to discover if he has convinced Mancini that he has recovered sufficiently from the hamstring injury that has sidelined him for a month to play a significant part against Stoke City in Saturday's FA Cup Final at Wembley.
He was forced to wait until the closing stages before his introduction with the game so finely poised - a state of affairs that proved highly frustrating for the Argentine and he appeared to vent his feelings in Mancini's direction as he waited to enter the action.
City's win also brought joy for Stoke, who now qualify for next season's Europa League as a result of securing a place at Wembley.
Spurs, in contrast, now face a battle with Liverpool to finish fifth and they can feel unfortunate not to have earned at least a point from a spirited performance, with City keeper Joe Hart keeping them at bay with a superb save from substitute Steven Pienaar's header early in the second half.
This is a landmark moment for City, who can now mix it with Europe's biggest clubs on the pitch after proving more than a match for them with their financial firepower off it.
And Champions League qualification also provides a footballing incentive as they pursue high-profile signings in addition to the riches already on offer for their transfer targets.
Tevez returned on the bench for the first time since tearing his hamstring at Liverpool early last month in an attempt to stake his claim for a place in City's Wembley line-up.
Spurs, meanwhile, replaced Gomes with veteran Italian Cudicini - although they insisted this was because of a back injury sustained by the Brazilian in training rather than a reaction to his recent indifferent form and expensive errors against Chelsea and Blackpool.
And Cudicini showed his quality after only nine minutes with a point-blank block from Edin Dzeko after the outstanding David Silva laid the ball into his path only eight yards out.
Silva's diminutive stature and elegance brought inevitable comparisons with the gifted Modric, who also excelled in the first half and twice almost put Spurs in front.
The Croatian had a shot deflected wide and was only inches away with a side-foot finish that beat Hart and was so close to finding the target that Spurs coach Kevin Bond initially rose to his feet and punched the air in celebration.
Spurs' disappointment was doubled as City went ahead seconds later. They failed to track Milner as he worked a short corner with Adam Johnson and his low driven cross was turned into his own net at the near post by Crouch.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp was then forced to make a change when Wilson Palacios limped off and was replaced by Pienaar - who almost brought Spurs level moments after the interval.
Redknapp still optimistic for future
The South African rose to meet Aaron Lennon's cross, but his downward header was turned away splendidly with his left hand by Hart.
It was the start of a spell of persistent Spurs pressure and possession, helped by City's passive approach that resulted in them being virtually camped on the edge of their own area for lengthy periods.
City lost Pablo Zabaleta after he sustained a nose injury in an aerial clash with Crouch and the left-back was replaced by Aleksandar Kolarov after a lengthy spell of treatment on the touchline.
And the clearest sign of Spurs' complete domination came when City got Tevez ready for action, only for Mancini to seemingly change his mind and send on Vieira for Johnson in an attempt to restore some semblance of order to proceedings.
City did start to enjoy more possession to ease the frustrations of their supporters, who were growing increasingly agitated at their inability to apply any pressure on Spurs.
Tevez was finally introduced with seven minutes remaining and set up Vieira, whose lofted effort beat the advancing Cudicini but was brilliantly cleared off the line by William Gallas.
And the Argentine was still lively in the closing seconds when he broke clear and forced a fine save from Cudicini - before referee Dean ended five minutes of stoppage time and confirmed City had finally booked their ticket at European football's top table.
90:00+5:59 Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Save by Carlo Cudicini.
90:00+3:56 Steven Pienaar crosses the ball, clearance made by Joleon Lescott.
90:00+2:44 The ball is delivered by Carlos Tevez.
90:00+1:14 Aaron Lennon produces a cross.
90:00+0:18 The ball is swung over by Luka Modric, Patrick Vieira manages to make a clearance.
89:41 Corner taken by Rafael Van der Vaart from the right by-line, Vincent Kompany manages to make a clearance.
89:36 Vedran Corluka crosses the ball, Micah Richards makes a clearance.
88:18 Younes Kaboul gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Edin Dzeko. Direct free kick taken by Carlos Tevez.
86:49 Corner taken by Aleksandar Kolarov.
86:49 Substitution Younes Kaboul comes on in place of William Gallas.
86:49 Patrick Vieira takes a shot. William Gallas makes a clearance.
85:56 The ball is swung over by Danny Rose.
82:59 Steven Pienaar gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gnegneri Toure Yaya. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
82:59 Booking Steven Pienaar receives a yellow card.
82:44 Substitution David Silva leaves the field to be replaced by Carlos Tevez.
82:20 Corner taken short by Steven Pienaar.
81:29 James Milner delivers the ball, Effort on goal by Edin Dzeko from inside the box misses to the right of the target.
80:53 Rafael Van der Vaart has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide left of the goal.
Correction - 79:39 Free kick taken by Raniere Sandro. Danny Rose takes a shot. James Milner gets a block in. Corner taken short by Luka Modric.
79:39 Raniere Sandro takes the free kick. Danny Rose takes a shot. James Milner gets a block in. Short corner taken by Luka Modric
from the left by-line.
79:39 Booking The referee books James Milner for unsporting behaviour.
Correction - 79:31 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Danny Rose by James Milner.
79:31 James Milner challenges Danny Rose unfairly and gives away a free kick.
78:31 Free kick awarded for a foul by William Gallas on Edin Dzeko. Direct free kick taken by Aleksandar Kolarov.
77:46 Unfair challenge on Nigel De Jong by Raniere Sandro results in a free kick. Nigel De Jong takes the free kick.
77:09 Substitution Jermain Defoe is brought on as a substitute for Peter Crouch.
76:05 Edin Dzeko takes a shot. Blocked by Michael Dawson.
74:39 The ball is crossed by James Milner, Luka Modric manages to make a clearance.
72:07 Unfair challenge on Patrick Vieira by Raniere Sandro results in a free kick. Joleon Lescott takes the free kick.
71:50 Centre by David Silva, blocked by William Gallas.
71:41 Gnegneri Toure Yaya crosses the ball.
68:41 Effort on goal by Aaron Lennon from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.
65:38 Raniere Sandro takes the free kick. Shot by Steven Pienaar from a long way out goes over the crossbar.
65:38 Substitution Adam Johnson goes off and Patrick Vieira comes on.
65:38 Edin Dzeko concedes a free kick for a foul on Steven Pienaar.
64:39 Handball by Luka Modric. Direct free kick taken by Joe Hart.
63:21 Corner from the right by-line taken by Luka Modric, Gnegneri Toure Yaya makes a clearance.
61:53 Foul by Edin Dzeko on Luka Modric, free kick awarded. Strike comes in from Rafael Van der Vaart from the free kick.
59:57 Michael Dawson fouled by Edin Dzeko, the ref awards a free kick. Michael Dawson restarts play with the free kick.
59:16 Rafael Van der Vaart takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.
58:48 The ball is swung over by Danny Rose, blocked by Micah Richards.
58:41 Danny Rose produces a cross, clearance made by Vincent Kompany.
56:55 Substitution Pablo Zabaleta goes off and Aleksandar Kolarov comes on.
56:37 The ball is delivered by Danny Rose, Joleon Lescott manages to make a clearance.
51:22 Pablo Zabaleta is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Carlo Cudicini.
50:02 Free kick awarded for a foul by Edin Dzeko on Aaron Lennon. Direct free kick taken by Aaron Lennon.
49:12 Micah Richards crosses the ball, clearance by William Gallas.
48:15 Danny Rose sends in a cross, Vincent Kompany makes a clearance.
47:55 Free kick awarded for a foul by Nigel De Jong on Rafael Van der Vaart. Free kick taken by Rafael Van der Vaart.
46:24 Aaron Lennon sends in a cross, Steven Pienaar takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
45:01 The referee starts the second half.
45:00+4:13 The ref blows to signal half-time.
45:00+1:22 William Gallas takes a shot. Joleon Lescott gets a block in. Rafael Van der Vaart takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
45:00+1:06 Steven Pienaar produces a cross, Vincent Kompany gets a block in.
45:00+0:52 Danny Rose produces a cross, blocked by Vincent Kompany.
45:00+0:24 The ball is swung over by Aaron Lennon, clearance by Vincent Kompany.
44:00 The ball is sent over by Danny Rose, blocked by Vincent Kompany. Rafael Van der Vaart takes the outswinging corner, clearance
by Vincent Kompany.
42:54 Aaron Lennon sends in a cross, Joleon Lescott gets a block in.
40:37 Edin Dzeko gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Raniere Sandro. Direct free kick taken by Michael Dawson.
39:07 Foul by Vedran Corluka on Edin Dzeko, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Pablo Zabaleta.
38:33 Raniere Sandro produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the net.
37:33 Luka Modric challenges Nigel De Jong unfairly and gives away a free kick. Nigel De Jong takes the direct free kick.
36:54 The ball is sent over by Vedran Corluka. Steven Pienaar delivers the ball, Vincent Kompany makes a clearance.
36:07 Effort on goal by David Silva from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.
35:41 The ball is delivered by James Milner, clearance made by William Gallas.
32:29 The ball is sent over by David Silva, William Gallas makes a clearance.
32:15 David Silva produces a cross.
31:39 Substitution Steven Pienaar joins the action as a substitute, replacing Wilson Palacios.
29:12 James Milner provided the assist for the goal.
29:12 GOAL - Peter Crouch:Man City 1 - 0 Tottenham Peter Crouch concedes an unfortunate own goal. Man City 1-0 Tottenham.
28:45 Short corner taken by James Milner from the right by-line. Centre by James Milner.
27:29 A cross is delivered by Aaron Lennon, Effort on goal by Luka Modric from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right
of the target.
26:45 The ball is swung over by Danny Rose, Micah Richards makes a clearance. Peter Crouch produces a right-footed shot from just
outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.
25:00 The ball is crossed by Danny Rose.
24:01 Short corner taken by Rafael Van der Vaart from the left by-line. The ball is delivered by Rafael Van der Vaart, clearance
made by Micah Richards.
22:27 A cross is delivered by Vedran Corluka, Vincent Kompany manages to make a clearance.
21:08 Aaron Lennon produces a cross.
Correction - 20:27 Luka Modric takes a shot. Vincent Kompany gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Rafael Van der
Vaart, clearance made by Gnegneri Toure Yaya. Aaron Lennon takes a shot. Blocked by Vincent Kompany.
20:27 Luka Modric takes a shot. Vincent Kompany gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Rafael Van der Vaart from
the left by-line, Gnegneri Toure Yaya manages to make a clearance.
20:18 The ball is sent over by Danny Rose.
19:11 A cross is delivered by Pablo Zabaleta, clearance made by William Gallas.
18:51 A cross is delivered by Vedran Corluka, clearance by Micah Richards.
15:55 Centre by Danny Rose, clearance by James Milner.
14:00 Micah Richards is caught offside. Michael Dawson restarts play with the free kick.
12:43 The ball is delivered by James Milner.
10:06 The ball is crossed by David Silva, Edin Dzeko takes a shot. Save made by Carlo Cudicini. The referee blows for offside against
Micah Richards. Indirect free kick taken by Carlo Cudicini.
8:38 Rafael Van der Vaart gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James Milner. Nigel De Jong takes the direct free kick.
8:07 Shot from just outside the box by Gnegneri Toure Yaya misses to the left of the goal.
6:55 Inswinging corner taken by Rafael Van der Vaart from the right by-line played to the near post, Edin Dzeko makes a clearance.
5:27 Centre by Micah Richards, Michael Dawson makes a clearance. The ball is crossed by James Milner, clearance by Michael Dawson.
3:28 The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Hart.
0:00 The referee gets the game underway.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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