By ESPNSTAR.com staff
City dominated possession right from the start but it was Spurs who took the lead against the run of play in the 21st minute, with Caulker running into the box to head home from Tom Huddlestone's free-kick.
The home side poured forward in search of an equaliser and it duly came in the 65th minute via Aguero, who calmly turned Caulker before slotting a precise shot into the bottom of Friedel's net.
With their arch-rivals and league leaders Manchester United needing substitute Javier Hernandez to hand them a victory on Saturday, City too were indebted to one of their substitutes, Dzeko, who came off the bench to volley past Friedel in the 87th minute after David Silva set him free with an excellent chipped ball.
Here, ESPNSTAR.com takes a look at the players who took to the field at the Etihad Stadium.
Joe Hart - 5.5
Hart will be breathing a huge sigh of relief after his mistake handed Spurs the lead after failing to keep out Caulker's header from going into the back of his net. Granted, it was a powerful header but was directed straight at him and he really should have done better.
Pablo Zabaleta - 7
Zabaleta had the unenviable task of keeping Bale quiet and he did really well to ensure the Wales international could not stamp his mark on the game. Zabaleta was sound defensively but the Argentina international mostly contributed to his side in the attacking third with his overlapping runs and provided width for the City attack on the right flank.
Vincent Kompany - 7
The City captain was once again imperious in the heart of defence for City and the likes of Dempsey and Adebayor just could not go past the imposing Belgian. He was not given a real test by Spurs' forwards but he did what little he had to do with the minimum of fuss.
Matija Nastasic (56' off) - 5
Nastasic showed that he still has lots to learn at the highest level of football after a below average display in defence for City. The 19-year-old was often caught out of position and he was at fault for Spurs' first goal after he failed to pick up Caulker's run into the penalty box.
Gael Clichy - 6.5
Clichy had an average game for the Citizens, although he was never really troubled down his flank. He did manage to bomb forward to support his side's attack but his final ball was often found wanting.
Yaya Toure - 7.5
The energetic midfielder was once again the engine for the Citizens as he put in a dominant performance in the middle of the pitch for his side. Toure looked dangerous when driving forward from midfield and was one of the best players in blue at the Etihad Stadium.
Gareth Barry - 7
Barry did his part in helping his team to victory with a determined display in the middle of the park. He offered his defence sufficient protection and managed to halt Spurs' counter-attacks on more than one occasion.
Aleksandar Kolarov - 6.5
Kolarov was influential in the first half but his influence waned severely in the second although that was largely due to City concentrating majority of their attack on the right flank. He was stable but Mancini would have expected him to contribute more in attack in future games.
David Silva - 9
It was apparent that City had missed Silva's creative impetus in the previous few games as the Spain international dictated the Citizens' attack right from the get go. His passing was incisive and Spurs never really managed to contain the diminutive playmaker. It was no surprise that Silva ended up being the man to unlock the Spurs defence with an absolutely superb bass for Dzeko to score.
Carlos Tevez (72' off) - 6
Tevez had one of his poorer games in a City shirt despite working his socks off upfront. He was uninspired, overly conservative, failed to trouble the Spurs defence and looked mediocre in comparison to Aguero and Silva.
Sergio Aguero (91' off) - 8.5
The Argentina international cut a frustrated figure upfront for two-thirds of the game but he showed his class with an expertly taken goal for City's equaliser.
Maicon (56' on) - 8
Maicon was brought on to add an attacking thrust down City's right flanks and the Brazilian did exactly what Mancini would have wanted him to do, causing Vertonghen all sorts of problems and wreaking havoc in the Spurs defence with his accurate crosses.
Edin Dzeko (72' on) - 7.5
Dzeko once again lived up to his reputation as a "super-sub" after scoring the winner with an absolutely beautiful volley which gave Friedel no chance. His physical presence upfront offered a different outlet of attack for the Citizens and he managed to win several crucial aerial challenges.
Javi Garcia (91' on) - (N/A)
Brad Friedel - 7
Friedel was rarely tested in goal but he had to be alert to make several smart stops to deny several of City efforts and he could not be blamed for both of City's goals.
Kyle Walker (78' off) - 7
Walker was given a stern test on the right by the combination of Kolarov and Clich constantly tearing down his flank and as a result, he was unable to venture forward and support his side's attack as much as he would possibly like. He was, however, stable defensively and did not often get caught out of position.
William Gallas - 5.5
Gallas did not have the best of games for Spurs and made several uncharacteristic mistakes in the middle of defence. The French defender seemed to struggle with the pace of City's forwards and had to rely on Caulker to bail him out a few times.
He was also lucky not to have conceded a penalty for handball after Aguero had turned him in the penalty box early in the first half.
Steven Caulker - 7.5
Caulker managed to put in a respectable performance for his side and was unlucky to end up on the losing side. He was brave and strong in the tackle, often heroically putting his body on the line to prevent City from getting a clear shot on goal and read the game well make several important interceptions.
His goal, a fierce header from a Huddlestone corner, was no less than he deserved for his impressive display.
Jan Vertonghen - 6.5
Vertonghen was not able to play his way out of defence given how ineffective Bale, who was playing just ahead of him, was. His preference to drift into the middle of defence allowed Zabaleta and Maicon acres of space down the right to send the crosses into the box which put his defence under pressure.
Sandro - 7
Sandro managed to break up a few of City's attacks with his excellent reading of the game and made a few well timed challenges but he was guilty of occasionally wasting possession with a few misplaced passes. The 23-year-old otherwise had a decent game for his side and will be one of the few Spurs players to walk away from this game with any credit.
Tom Huddlestone - 7
Huddlestone's contributions to his side came mostly in the form of his dangerous set-piece deliveries which troubled the City defence. He worked hard in the middle of the pitch and tried his best to support Sandro in protecting their backline but he was not able to contribute much offensively.
Aaron Lennon (87' off) - 6.5
Lennon's speed is what makes him such a dangerous player, but it can be a bit of a double-edged sword, as his teammates had a tough time trying to keep up with him during counter-attacks. This resulted in Lennon often running himself into cul-de-sacs and being crowded out by the City defence.
Gareth Bale - 5
It would not be unreasonable of Villas-Boas to expect more from his speedy winger after Bale put in an ineffectual display on the left flank. He barely threatened the City defence and Zabaleta often had the beating of him. He did manage to fire a fierce shot midway through the second half which forced Hart into a save but other than that, Bale's contribution in the attacking third was negligible.
Clint Dempsey - 4.5
Dempsey was nearly anonymous throughout the game and hardly posed a threat to the City defence. He was guilty of losing possession too easily and was marked out of the game by Toure. Most disappointingly for the American, he failed to use the ball well in the final third and was ineffective in linking up with Adebayor.
Emmanuel Adebayor (80' off) - 7.5
Eyebrows were naturally raised when Villas-Boas chose to omit top scorer Jermaine Defoe from his starting line-up but the Togolese striker repaid his manager's faith in him with a fantastic display upfront. Despite being isolated in the attacking third of the pitch for majority of the game, Adebayor managed to retain possession for his side admirably and was a constant thorn in the City defence.
Michael Dawson (78' on) - (N/A)
Jermaine Defoe (80' on) - (N/A)
Kyle Naughton (87' on) - (N/A)