Steven Caulker put the visitors ahead with a bullet header that Joe Hart was unable to stop.
Find out how the drama unfolded below.
12.41pmGood afternoon everyone. What a day of Premier League football we have ahead of us on Remembrance Sunday. The day's early match is Man City vs. Spurs and we'll have coverage throughout this crucial game.
12.44pmWe'll begin with team news for both sides.
12.46pmMan City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy, Yaya Toure, Barry, Silva, Tevez, Aguero, Kolarov
12.47pmSpurs: Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen, Sandro, Huddlestone, Lennon, Bale, Dempsey, Adebayo
12.48pmThe big news for the champions is that David Silva returns to the starting lineup following more than a month on the sidelines.
12.49pmSome people may be surprised at the Spurs team, though. A hat-trick in midweek isn't enough to keep Jermain Defoe in the team as Villas-Boas brings in Emmanuel Adebayor against the striker's former club.
12.52pmRoberto Mancini is blessed with attacking players but it's the Aguero & Tevez combination that gets the nod today as the champions look to close the gap on their rivals at the summit of the Premier League table.
12.56pmRemember this fixture last season? Mario Balotelli's stoppage time penalty snatched the points for City in a 3-2 thriller in January.
1.01pm30 minutes until kick-off at the Etihad. Adebayor could be a big player for the visitors today against his old teammates. Defoe will surely be disappointed with his place on the bench but don't back against him making an impact later in the game.
1.08pmAVB has just told Sky Sports News that Defoe has been "immense" this season but that the decision to start Adebayor was because of Tottenham's "tactical strategy".
1.14pmMore from Villas-Boas: "There are teams who want to put an end to our form away from home and City, as English champions, certainly have that power. It is certainly going to be a very difficult game."
1.20pmSilva's inclusion certainly makes City's attacking threat look even more intimidating but it's their defensive displays that will have concerned Mancini this season. Nastasic partners Kompany today but the jury is still out on the Serbian.
1.23pmMario Balotelli is not even on the City bench today, no word on the reason as yet, though.
1.24pmThe players are lined up in the tunnel, kick-off is just over five minutes away.
1.26pmAdebayor is all smiles as he greets his former teammates before the game. remains to be seen how long that lasts.
1.29pmThere will be a minute of silence before the match begins.
1.30pmMan City will get the game underway.
1 minWe already have a delay with Adebayor being forced to change his shin pads.
2 minsSuperb piece of defending from Clichy to stop Walker's run before beating Adebayor to the ball and winning a throw. Aguero is almost in when a long ball is delivered beyond the Spurs defence but Friedel collects easily.
4 minsSeems to be a lot of space in midfield for Silva so far. That isn't good news for Spurs.
6 minsNo chances to report yet with Spurs struggling to keep possession further up the field.
8 minsClichy doesn't cover himself in glory this time as he clips the heels of Lennon to concede a free kick on the halfway line.
10 minsSilva tries to find Kolarov with a cleverly hidden pass but it's too strong and Friedel gathers the ball.
11 minsBarry's pass is cleared by Gallas and it's a corner to the hosts.
12 minsThe danger is cleared but Spurs can't force a counter attack.
14 minsHuddlestone looks as if he wins the ball from Toure but Michael Oliver disagrees and it's a free-kick.
15 minsIt's very far out but Kolarov does have a shot that Friedel collects at the second time of asking.
16 minsOptimistic shouts of penalty from the home crowd when Walker dispossesses Aguero but there's no chance that's being given.
17 minsHuddlestone delivers a free-kick from the left wing and it brings a corner when Kolarov heads over his own crossbar.
18 minsCity clear the corner easily. This is a real midfield battle so far.
20 minsVertonghen produces a very dangerous cross but Kompany reacts well. The ball is once again delivered into the box and Spurs are almost in but the ball won't drop for Lennon.
21 minsGoal! Man City 0-1 Spurs (Caulker)
21 minsHuddlestone delivers a superb cross from a free-kick on the right wing following a foul on Lennon. Caulker loses Kolarov and his header is too powerful for Hart to keep out. Advantage Spurs, how will City react?
24 minsThat goal sparks a response from the hosts and City have claims for a penalty rejected when Aguero tries to beat Gallas in the box. Handball? It's difficult to tell on first viewing.
25 minsOh, Spurs have been very lucky there! Gallas has his arm out and he does make contact with the ball but it doesn't look like Michael Oliver had a good view.
26 minsSo close to a second for Spurs! Adebayor breaks down the left and then finds Huddlestone with a clever back-heel but the midfielder fires just wide with his effort.
28 minsWalker is shown a yellow card for a foul on Toure before the atmosphere is increased when Adebayor and Zabaleta engage in a bit of handbags on the halfway line.
30 minsZabaleta was given a warning following that incident and Adebayor plays on that by beating the full-back with a superb bit of trickery to win a foul which the South American is booked for.
32 minsSandro does superbly to win a goal-kick with a big tackle on Kolarov in the corner of the pitch.
33 minsCity still look the more comfortable side in possession but not too many clear opportunities for the men in blue.
34 minsZabaleta's mood is not improving as he is denied a penalty following a collision with Huddlestone. It would have been harsh on the midfielder.
35 minsToure spreads the ball wide to Aguero, who then finds the advancing Kolarov but the full-back clips the ball wide of Friedel's post. Better from City.
37 minsThe home side beginning to lose a bit of discipline and Spurs have another free-kick on the right hand side of midfield. Toure down with a knee injury, he's trying to carry on.
38 minsGood spell for City with Vertonghen being forced to head clear a Kolarov cross and Tevez then threatens from the right but Friedel does well to take the cross.
40 minsBreak in play after Nastasic falls heavily on his back.
41 minsIt's Kolarov's turn to get a little frustrated as he gives away a needless foul on Walker while the defender was under pressure to make a clearance.
42 minsPoor decision from Gallas almost allows Kolarov in and a bad clearance then falls to Aguero, who fires wide of the target.
43 minsBest chance of the game for the hosts. Silva begins an attack on the right wing and finds Tevez in the middle of the box but the Argentinian shoots straight at Friedel.
44 minsMichael Oliver has had enough of some of the dissent and asks Kompany to calm down his players. Free-kick to Spurs just inside City's half.
45 minsJeers around the Etihad when Lennon wins a free kick while facing his own goal but that's silly from Barry as he clips the winger's heels.
46 minsAll of a sudden we have a bit of an ill-tempered game on our hands. Lennon and Kolarov come face to face on the edge of the pitch but Kompany quickly defuses the situation.
47 minsAnother chance for the hosts when the ball drops to Zabaleta inside the box but the full-back's effort is weak and Friedel easily holds on to the ball.
HTBoos ring out around the stadium, aimed at Michael Oliver. City look frustrated at the end of a tight first period. The hosts probably edged it but it's Spurs who lead following that bullet header from Caulker.
HTI think Hart will be disappointed with himself for his role in the opener. Caulker's header was powerful but it was directed straight at the goalkeeper. Should have been kept out.
HTMan city have conceded eight goals from set-piece situations this season. For the champions, that's disappointing and it was poor marking from Kolarov which played a big part in Tottenham's goal.
HTNo Balotelli on the bench for City, remember. Apparently he is not injured and just wasn't picked by Mancini. Expect the Italian to use his substitutes very soon if they don;t find a goal quickly.
HTThe players have returned for the second period. Big half for City, they can't afford to lose ground to man United this afternoon.
46 minsSpurs get the second half underway.
46 minsIt won't be surprise to learn that City have given away a free kick already.
48 minsCity do start the half positively when Toure and Tevez combine to find Zabaleta, who wins a corner.
49 minsTevez looks like he may be clear of the Spurs defence but an offside flag stops his progress.
50 minsSpurs yet to settle since the resumption of play and the hosts look a step quicker.
52 minsCity are camped in Tottenham's half at the moment but they're struggling to find a way through.
53 minsNeat passing from Silva and Aguero creates an opening but a poor touch from the Spaniard allows Spurs to recover.
55 minsSandro concedes a corner following a tackle on Aguero. It's a poor delivery from Kolarov but City have another corner which Kompany heads over the crossbar.
56 minsUnusually Aguero's touch lets him down when he is given the ball in acres of space behind the Spurs defence.
57 minsFirst change of the match as Nastasic comes off to be replaced by Maicon.
58 minsClever pass from Toure finds Tevez but he is once again given offside. This time, it's a poor decision from the assistant referee.
60 minsMaicon getting plenty of stick from the visiting supporters. Presumably for his performance for Inter Milan against Bale a couple of seasons ago.
61 minsToure finds space in the box but his effort from a tight angle is no bother to Friedel.
63 minsSpurs haven't had a chance in this half, City have changed to a back three following Maicon's introduction.
64 minsBale sees an effort from distance land safely wide of Hart's goal. Tension beginning to build at the Etihad.
65 minsLennon's efforts to get back end in a free kick for City following a foul on Clichy. Poor delivery from the full-back means Spurs clear the danger.
66 minsGoal! Man City 1-1 Spurs (Aguero)
66 minsToure finds Aguero just inside the box and the striker beats Caulker easily before slotting the ball past Friedel. Game on!
68 minsSpurs looking rattled now as the volume increases in the Etihad.
68 minsMaicon's drilled cross evades everyone in the box, close call for Spurs, that one.
69 minsAdebayor does brilliantly to beat three players in the middle of the park before being fouled by Kompany.
70 minsA bouncing ball results in a full-blooded challenge between Sandro and Toure. The Ivorian comes off the worse, taking a blow to the ribs.
72 minsZabaleta furious with the referee after being dispossessed by Adebayor. The defender is on a yellow card and needs to be careful.
73 minsTevez finds a pocket of space inside the box but fires the resulting shot inches wide of the post. That's it from the striker for today as he comes off the field to be replaced by Edin Dzeko.
74 minsBig chance! Bale comes out on top of two challenges and drills a shot at goal that forces Hart into a good save.
75 minsBig challenge from Adebayor on Zabaleta. No decision as yet but the referee may come back to it.
77 minsAdebayor is booked for that earlier challenge on Zabaleta. Final 15 minutes at the Etihad, City look the most likely to find a winner.
78 minsChange for Spurs sees Walker limp off to be replaced by Michael Dawson. Gallas moves to right-back.
80 minsMaicon plays a through ball into the path of Silva but the Spaniard's touch is poor and City have a corner. The set-piece is well taken but Dzeko heads a yard wide of the post.
81 minsAnother change for Spurs with Adebayor being jeered as he leaves the field to make way for Defoe.
82 minsAguero stumbles his way into Tottenham's box and finds Kolarov but the Serbian's effort is deflected wide and Spurs deal with the resulting corner.
83 minsSo close to a second for City! Aguero picks out Silva but the midfield maestro guides his shot wide of the target from 10 yards.
84 minsFriedel comes to the rescue for Spurs by blocking Aguero's powerful strike with his legs. Spurs break and Bale is close to picking out Defoe before Kompany clears.
86 minsClichy's heavy touch almost lets Dempsey in. Game is beginning to open up as Dawson clears another Maicon cross.
88 minsCity really putting the pressure on Tottenham's defence now. Villas-Boas is seeing his side pass the test so far. Lennon comes off for Kyle Naughton.
88 minsGoal! Man City 1-2 Spurs (Dzeko)
89 minsSilva is allowed too much space outside the area and the Spaniard chips the ball over Tottenham's defence to allow City's super sub to drill in a crucial goal. Surely the winner for the champions!
90 minsDefoe looks as though he may break away but Clichy recovers superbly to deny the striker a shooting opportunity. Javi Garcia comes on to replace Aguero as City look to secure the points. Five minutes of added time remaining.
92 minsTime running out for Spurs with City looking comfortable in defence.
95 minsA Spurs attack breaks down and Naughton gives away a foul on the halfway line. That should be the points for City.
FTFull-time: Man City survive one final Spurs attack and it's a crucial three points for the defending champions. Dzeko doesn't like being labelled a super sub but it's the Bosnian's late striker that earns City the victory.
FTSpurs defended well for long periods of the game but the hosts finally turned their pressure into goals. Villas-Boas will take heart from this result but it's two defeats in a row for the Lilywhites.
FTThat's all from me today. Thanks for following today's match and be sure to stay with Sports Mole as Sunday's Premier League action continues.