City had the first notable chance but Edin Džeko was thwarted by Carlo Cudicini’s point-blank save. Spurs grew into the match and it was not long before they fashioned an opportunity of their own, Luka Modrić firing wide from Aaron Lennon’s centre.
Moments later, Roberto Mancini’s men broke the deadlock when James Milner’s cross was deflected into his own net by Peter Crouch, ironically the player who scored the only goal in this fixture 12 months ago which earned Harry Redknapp’s men a berth in Europe’s premier club competition.
The visitors had the better of proceedings after the break but, for all their possession, were unable to find an equaliser, Steven Pienaar and Lennon both firing over with team-mates well placed. City almost doubled their lead before the end but William Gallas headed Patrick Vieira’s chip off the line with Cudicini beaten.
The icing on City’s cake was the return from injury of Carlos Tévez in time for the FA Cup final on Saturday against Stoke.
While City’s owners have spent hundreds of millions of pounds on new players since buying the club, they have been unable to sign the elite players because they have been unable to offer the Champions League football.
By qualifying for the Champions League next season, City now longer have that restriction. It will be interesting to see what superstars they sign this summer.