Tottenham made it four Premier League wins in a row as they saw off Aston Villa 2-0 at White Hart Lane.
Steven Caulker and Aaron Lennon got the goals for Andre Villas-Boas' side, as they moved into fifth spot.
The main talking point prior to kick-off was the inclusion of Hugo Lloris in Spurs' starting XI, with his selection bringing Brad Friedel's remarkable run of 310 successive top flight appearances to an end.
Both sides wasted a number of good opportunities before the deadlock was finally broken in the 58th minute.
A corner was allowed to make its way to birthday boy Jermain Defoe and he saw his shot from close range ricochet into the net off the heels of Caulker.
Spurs then doubled their lead on 67 minutes, with Joe Bennett - who was later forced off on a stretcher - backing off Lennon and allowing the England winger to drill a low drive through his legs and into the bottom corner.
Debutant Lloris received a hero's welcome when he emerged from the tunnel, but he barely had anything to do for much of the opening quarter as Spurs started well.
With less than 30 seconds gone Defoe laid the ball off to Gareth Bale, who flashed a curling shot just wide.
Jan Vertonghen then burst down the left flank and cut the ball back but Defoe blazed the ball over from 12 yards.
Bale whipped in a devilish cross after five minutes, but Vertonghen mistimed his run by a second and just missed a tap-in from close range.
Moments later Bale beat the offside trap and went to ground after rounding Brad Guzan. The Welshman appealed for a foul which would have seen the American red-carded, but referee Neil Swarbrick waved play on.
Lloris' first piece of action came after 20 minutes when he saved awkwardly from Christian Benteke, but the Frenchman showed confidence by racing out to clear before Brett Holman could shoot.
Spurs were on top, but still could not find a way through.
Defoe gained a yard on his marker after picking up a Lennon pass, but he could only shoot a yard wide.
Lloris then did well to race out and deny Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor in quick succession as Villa threatened to score on the counter.
Tottenham failed in their bid to break the deadlock before the break - and they almost went behind just after the restart thanks to Lloris' only error.
Villa intercepted the Frenchman's throw to Vertonghen and Agbonlahor found the unmarked Benteke at the back post but he headed wide.
The crowd, fully aware of the cost of Spurs' profligacy against Panathinaikos on Thursday, became tense, but their nerves eased when Defoe's deflected shot went in just before the hour.
The England striker got on the end of Bale's cross and took a touch before firing a low shot that was going wide until it clipped Caulker's heel and flew past Guzan.
Nine minutes later it was 2-0 thanks to Lennon's first of the season. Bennett failed to close down Clint Dempsey, who squared for Lennon and he swept a precise shot past Guzan into the far corner.
Villas-Boas brought on Emmanuel Adebayor for his first appearance in over a month.
Dempsey should have put the game beyond doubt 15 minutes from the end, but he somehow missed a free header from eight yards.
Worryingly for Villa, Bennett was carried off on a stretcher with 12 minutes left after clattering in to the advertising boards.Bale lashed a powerful drive inches wide of a sprawling Guzan and the American did well to push Dembele's shot on to the bar near the end.
|Tottenham Hotspur||Team Statistics||Aston Villa|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|6||Shots on Target||3|
|10||Shots off Target||3|
|45.2||1st Half Poss.||54.8|
|66.7||2nd Half Poss.||33.3|