Manchester City has qualified for the Champions League after beating Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at the Eastlands. The victory came about thanks to a Peter Crouch own goal after just 15 minutes. The Citizens were second best for long periods of the match but despite Spurs dominating possession they barely created any clear cut chances on goal as a mean City defence led by Vincent Kompany stood firm.
The win is a reverse result of the game played almost one year ago to the day when Spurs, needing to qualify for the Champions League beat City in the Eastlands after Peter Crouch had scored a late winner.
With the win under their belts, and Champions League football guaranteed for City, many pundits are now expecting the Abu Dhabi led club to step up a gear in terms of spending and go on dominate the domestic and European game for years to come.
"When I arrived, I said in two or three years Manchester City will become one of the top teams in Europe," said City manager, Roberto Mancini.
"We have everything to do this. When you have a target and get it, it is very important for your job. We deserve to be in the Champions League."City have been ever present in the top four all season. But despite this, they have come in for certain criticism that they usually "refer to type" for the big matches when Mancini usually opts for a defensive outlook.
Had the Italian played an attacking style against their closest rivals City may well indeed have challenged for the title rather than just a Champions League position.
"This is the first time [in the Champions League] and we have got it because the players wanted it. We have the players who deserve to play in it," he added.
"If we didn't throw three points out of the window against Everton last Saturday, we could probably finish third," he said. "I don't know how we lost this game."Even with the Toffee's defeat still ringing in their ears, City still have a very real chance of pipping Arsenal to third as the Gunners form has virtually collapsed since losing to Birmingham in the Carling Cup Final at the start of March.
"Now it is difficult. We have two games left," he added.
"But now it is very important to think about the FA Cup final [against Stoke City on May 14].City will entertain the Potters as dead cert favourites and should they pull off a victory in the Cup Final, this season will go down as one of the greatest in the clubs recent memory.