Two second-half goals from Emmanuel Adebayor helped Tottenham to a 3-1 win against Swansea City that draws them level on points with Arsenal.
Following their north London rival’s surprise defeat at QPR yesterday, Harry Redknapp’s side looked to gain three points to take them to joint third place and end a run of five league games without a win.
Swansea looked to spoil the party when they came from a goal behind in the second half but two headers from Adebayor sealed a vital win for the Lilywhites.
Van der Vaart opened the scoring on 18 minutes when he finished off a rapid Spurs attack.
Bale was played in behind the Swans’ left back and his pull back was cut out by Ashley Williams straight into the path of the on-running Dutchman, who calmly slotted the ball high past the helpless Michel Vorm.
Swansea levelled on 58 minutes through Gylfi Sigurdsson. The ball was chested down by Wayne Routledge on the edge of the Spurs box to the Icelandic midfielder, whose powerful snap shot into the ground bounced up and over Brad Friedel into the left side of the goal.
Tottenham knew that three points meant they would draw level with Arsenal in third place and, following the Swansea equaliser it was the home side pressing for a winner.
Their urgency was rewarded when Adebayor rose above Neil Taylor to head home Rafael Van der Vaart’s corner on 73 minutes.
Chances of a second Swansea come back were thwarted on 86 minutes when Adebayor again towered above the visitor’s defence to meet Aaron Lennon’s cross from the right and head home from six yards.
Tottenham’s run of five games without a win has not been reflective of their performances in recent weeks and once again they started the game brightly.
Van der Vaart went close in the eighth minute when his shot from inside the box hit a Swans defender and passed just wide of the left post.
Adebayor also poked his shot wide when he met Bale’s cross after the Welshman had beaten the Swansea left back with a trademark run down the left flank.
A rare early chance for the visitors was squandered when Wayne Routledge found himself on the edge of the Spurs box but the midfielder dragged his low shot wide.
And the visitors again were left to rue a good opportunity on 31 minutes when Williams shook off the attention of Younes Kaboul from a corner but his header into the ground from six yards bounced over.
Spurs had the better of the chances in the first half through a Kaboul header, well saved by Vorm, and a 25-yard effort from Bale that fizzed narrowly over the bar.
Following the goal, Spurs were unable to build on their lead but Harry Redknapp’s side pressed the Welsh visitors, breaking up their passes and snuffing out any real threat of an equaliser.
Their work ethic continued into the second half with Swansea stifled by the home side and in particular Scott Parker and the tireless Adebayor.
Gareth Bale was appealing for a penalty soon after Spurs took the lead for the second time when he was brought down after a darting run past three Swansea defenders.
The Welshman had already passed the ball to Modric when the challenge came in inside the box and that could have been a factor in referee Andre Mariner’s decision to let play continue.
Had Modric not dragged his shot from the edge of the box wide on 44 minutes, Spurs could have gone into the break with a bigger lead.
It was somewhat against the run of play when Swansea eventually did draw level but a world class save from Brad Friedel prevented an earlier equaliser shortly after half time.
Gylfi Sigurdsson’s curling effort from 30 yards looked certain to be heading into the top right corner but the veteran goalkeeper sprung to his left and pushed the ball onto the post and away from danger.
Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto (Rose, 87), Sandro (Lennon, 70), Parker, Modric, Van der Vaart (Livermore, 84), Adebayor, Bale.
Subs: Cudicini, Lennon, Saha, Defoe, Rose, Livermore, Nelsen.
Swansea: Vorm, Rangel, Monk, Williams, Taylor, Routledge (Dyer, 70), Britton, Sigurdsson, Allen, Sinclair, Graham (Moore, 78).
Subs: Tremmel, Tate, Dyer, McEachran, Lita, Moore, Gower.
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).