Aaron Lennon put in one of his best performances in a Tottenham shirt as Andre Villas-Boas' men moved up to third in the Barclays Premier League with a 3-1 victory over Reading.
Tottenham were caught cold in the fourth minute when Pavel Pogrebnyak scored in his second successive game, but the lead lasted just over four minutes.
Gylfi Sigurdsson crossed for Michael Dawson to score his first league goal since February 2011 and Spurs then took control of the game in the second half thanks in no small part to the influence of Lennon. The England winger crossed to allow Emmanuel Adebayor to put Spurs ahead and Clint Dempsey's deflected effort 11 minutes from time sealed the win.
Just three minutes had passed when Kyle Naughton fouled Pogrebnyak 20 yards out and Ian Harte's powerful free-kick cannoned back off the bar and the former Fulham man pounced on the loose ball, heading home from eight yards.
The goal sparked Tottenham into life and they immediately went on the attack through Lennon, who crossed for Adebayor but he headed wide but less than five minutes after going behind, Dawson out-jumped his marker to meet Sigurdsson's corner and glance the ball past Adam Federici.
Sigurdsson saw a deflected shot whistle past the post before Mousa Dembele went close from 20 yards and Defoe almost put Spurs ahead just before the break when he turned on the pace to skip past his marker, but his dipping shot drifted barely an inch wide of the Reading goal.
Tottenham got their reward just six minutes into the second half when Lennon left Harte for dead and crossed to the back post, where Adebayor beat Alex Pearce in the air and headed past Federici.
Lennon continued to make Harte's life a misery down the Tottenham right flank. With just over 20 minutes left the England winger sprinted past the Irishman and laid the ball off to Defoe but he could only shoot a yard wide.
Sigurdsson was the next Spurs man to come close, shooting an inch wide after bursting forward from the halfway line.
Any chance of Tottenham yielding the three points were dashed in the 79th minute, however, when Dempsey's 20-yard shot looped over the unfortunate Federici.