Gylfi Sigurdsson's 87th-minute equaliser rescued a point for Tottenham, whose top four hopes suffered a further blow after a 2-2 draw with Everton.
Emmanuel Adebayor opened the scoring after 33 seconds, the second quickest goal in the Premier League this season, when he slid the ball in from Jan Vertonghen’s brilliant delivery.
But the lead lasted barely 15 minutes as Phil Jagielka nodded in at the far post from Leighton Baines’s corner.
Everton looked on course for victory when Kevin Mirallas finished into the bottom corner, but Sigurdsson scored from close range as Tottenham secured an ultimately disappointing point.
Both sides went into this key game without key players. Everton were without Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar, while Tottenham were missing injured trio Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale.
But Vertonghen provided an assist that Bale would have been proud of, whipping in a sensational low cross from the left that Adebayor slid in from close range.
The strike was the second fastest in the Premier League this season, with only Robin van Persie’s goal for Manchester United against West Ham in November being scored quicker, in a rapid 31 seconds.
The strike ignited a sun-drenched White Hart Lane, but Tottenham failed to keep Everton at bay for long. Climbing high at the far post, Jagielka out jumped Vertonghen to nod Baines’s corner past Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal.
While the game remained very open, the best chances fell to Spurs from distance – with Moussa Dembele going close.
Rather than protecting a point, David Moyes went for the win by throwing on striker Nikica Jelavic for midfielder Ross Barkley, and Everton were celebrating the lead moments later. Latching onto a high ball forward, Belgian striker Mirallas created the space to shoot and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner that left Lloris helpless.
The goal stunned Spurs, who dominated the contest but sorely lacked wide options without Bale or Lennon. Sigurdsson was lively, but too many Spurs players went missing, most notably the very poor Lewis Holtby.
But Everton remained solid and were good value for their lead, with Leon Osman and Victor Anichebe each spurning chances that would have put the result beyond doubt.
But Spurs poured forward in increasing desperation and were eventually rewarded when Kyle Walker’s low cross found Adebayor, whose shot bounced off the bar to Sigurdsson, and the Iceland international capped an impressive individual display by stroking in the equaliser.
The result leaves Tottenham within reach of London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, who are each two points behind Spurs, with a game in hand.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Emmanuel Adebayor, Tottenham: Scored after 33 seconds and played a key role in the equaliser. Responded well to recent criticism with an impressive display in attack.
TOTTENHAM: Lloris 8, Walker 7, Dawson 5, Caulker 6, Vertonghen 7, Parker 7, Dembele 8, Sigurdsson 8, Holtby 5, Dempsey 6, Adebayor 9. Subs: Huddlestone 7, CarrolL N/A.
EVERTON: Howard 7, Coleman 7, Jagielka 8, Distin 7, Baines 8, Gibson 7, Heitinga 7, Barkley 6, Osman 7, Mirallas 8, Anichebe 7. Subs: Jelavic 8, Naismith N/A
- Sports & Recreation
- Emmanuel Adebayor
- Gylfi Sigurdsson
- Phil Jagielka
- Jan Vertonghen