Caroline Weir's fifth goal in four games separated the two sides, as Gareth Taylor's visitors closed the gap on the North Londoners and third-placed Manchester United with a spirited, determined display.
The triumph capped a special week for the Club, following last Saturday's Continental Cup Final success, as City extended our impressive streak to 12 wins in our last 14 matches in all competitions, including our last four on the bounce.
With both sides eyeing a top-three finish, the opening exchanges yielded goalmouth action at both ends, as the two sides sought an early advantage.
Rachel Williams carved the game’s first chance, firing well over from distance, while Ellie Roebuck was called into action to gather a bouncing Kyah Simon strike.
Hampered by a bobbly pitch, neither side was able to maintain a foothold in a stop-start 45 minutes.
In a bid to build some momentum, Taylor switched Hemp and Hayley Raso on the wings, which sparked some creativity but Ellen White’s deflected attempt into Becky Spencer’s arms proved the last major action in an even and goalless opening half.
As has proven a key trait of our recent fine form, City stepped up a gear after the restart.
Weir was unfortunate not to break the deadlock with another moment of magic, curling a free-kick off the post after Stanway had been upended in a promising position just outside the box.
The lively Raso then forced Spencer into a smart stop before crafting the long-awaited opener on 65 minutes, latching onto Lucy Bronze's through-ball and smashing the ball across the box for Weir to convert from close range, despite the best efforts of Bartrip and Ria Percival.
Deflecting in off the Scotland international, it was not the prettiest goal Weir or City have scored this season - but it ranked highly in terms of importance.
Despite late Spurs pressure, which included an ambitious Eveliina Summanen chip that sailed wide, City held on for a precious win, despite having to make a late goalkeeping change due to an injury to Ellie Roebuck.
Stanway almost made sure of the points with seven minutes remaining - only to drive over the crossbar - but one would prove enough for a crucial three points.
What it means
City stay fifth but close the gap on Tottenham to two points, with a game in hand for Taylor's side, who have 26 points from our 15 league games.
Having played the same number of games, Manchester United sit in third spot with 31 points.
How we lined-up...
Taylor named an unchanged side from our Conti Cup Final victory last weekend.
Walsh protected the back line, employed behind Stanway and Weir, who were flanked by Hemp and Raso. White led the line upfront.
CITY XI | Roebuck (Keating 87'), Bronze, Kennedy, Greenwood, Stokes (Blakstad 46'), Walsh, Weir, Stanway, Raso (Park 68'), Hemp (Beckie 74'), White
SUBS | Coombs, Angeldahl, Shaw
SPURS XI | Spencer, Percival, Bartrip, Zadorsky (C), Harrop, Clemaron (Addison 90'), Summanen, Cho (Tang 77'), Neville, Simon (Ayane 35'), Williams (Green 46')
SUBS | Korpela, Ale, Schnaderbeck
Player of the Match: Georgia Stanway
Showcasing both sides of her game - attacking threat and defensive effort - Stanway portrayed a real spirit and desire to win throughout, driving the team onto victory.
- Caroline Weir's strike marked her 11th of the campaign in 24 appearances - her fifth goal in four games and 35th in City colours, as she moved above Lauren Hemp in the scoring charts.
- City have won our three away WSL matches against Tottenham and have claimed victory in six of our last eight WSL matches.
- We have only lost one of our last 33 WSL matches when scoring the first goal (W28 D4).
- Demi Stokes made her 100th City league appearance.
- Ellie Roebuck moved top of the goalkeepers' appearance chart with her 104th game for the Club.
City embark on a run of four successive home games, starting with the FA Women's Super League visit of Reading to the Academy Stadium on Wednesday 16 March, kick-off 19:00.
Taylor's side then welcome Everton in back-to-back fixtures on Sunday 20 March (12:30) and Wednesday 23 March (19:00) in both the Women's FA Cup quarter-finals and the league.
We round off the month by entertaining Birmingham City on Sunday 27 March (14:00) in a league clash.
Tickets for all City home games are on sale online or in person.
News about Spurs v Man City
FA WSL highlights: Spurs 0-1 City
The best of the action from a crucial 1-0 win at the Hive, as City edged closer to the FA Women's Super League top three. Watch more
Taylor: We had to win ugly
Gareth Taylor says he is proud of the way City ground out victory over Tottenham Hotspur. Read more
Stanway delighted with gritty Spurs win
Georgia Stanway is proud of the character shown by Manchester City in our vital 1-0 win away to Tottenham Hotspur in the Women’s Super League. Read more