Belfast Telegraph

We'll be back, warns Hart as Manchester City beat Spurs

Tottenham 0-1 Man City

By Simon Peach

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart reflected on a "satisfying" performance as a 1-0 victory over Tottenham all but assured them of Champions League football next season.

On a day which saw Manuel Pellegrini's men deposed as Barclays Premier League champions by Chelsea, Sergio Aguero's goal was enough to steer City to three points and second place in the table.

That leaves them nine points ahead of fifth-placed Liverpool with three matches remaining, and a top-four finish is almost certain due to their better goal difference.

And Hart was pleased to see his team put on such a gritty display at White Hart Lane.

He said: "That was really satisfying for us. It was a fantastic performance and showed what we're about.

"Tottenham played really well, a lot of credit to them for what they did. We started off a bit frantic, then we got ourselves together and we've got the brilliance of Sergio up front - he's always going to get us a goal. And we defended with our lives at the back and we got the win."

Hart was also dismissive of the criticism which has been levelled at City of late - and warned Chelsea they will be back fighting next year.

"We don't answer to anyone, we answer to ourselves," said the England international.

"Anyone outside the club, we answer to our fans, to our owners and to the players. That's who we've always been. We had great support again today and hopefully this was worth it.

"Congratulations to Chelsea but they know we're going to be back next year and be stronger next year and it's going to be another exciting season."

City boss Manuel Pellegrini also welcomed the points and singled out Aguero for particular praise.

"I'm very happy with the performance. We played against a very difficult team, it's not easy to play against Tottenham," he said. "Sergio is a very important player for us because of the amount of goals that he scores. He's in a good moment and is finally playing games in a row and not always stopped by different injuries. And I'm sure he will continue improving."

Pellegrini also sees room for improvement if City are to regain their crown next season.

He said: "This team must always try hard to challenge next season. It doesn't matter if we finish second this year, we won the title last year and I think next year we must improve because we lost too many easy points this year."

It was a day of mixed feelings for Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, meanwhile, who said: "I feel proud of our players.

"We deserved more, much more. The difference was Sergio Aguero.

"We were a little bit unlucky because we created more chances than Manchester City, so I'm disappointed for the result but happy for the performance."

Tottenham: Lloris, Dier, Fazio, Vertonghen, Rose, Bentaleb, Mason, Lamela, Eriksen, Chadli, Kane. Subs: Chiriches, Paulinho (Mason, 70 mins), Soldado (Eriksen, 59 mins), Adebayor (Chadli, 84 mins), Yedlin, Vorm, Stambouli.

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Mangala, Kolarov, Fernando, Fernandinho, Milner, Lampard, Silva, Aguero. Subs: Sagna, Nasri (Lampard, 73 mins), Dzeko, Caballero, Bony (Nasri, 76 mins), Clichy, Boyata (Aguero, 89 mins).

Man of the match: Sergio Aguero

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)

Attendance: 35,784

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