Jermain Defoe scored twice against his former club as Tottenham ended their three match losing run by beating West Ham at White Hart Lane.
It was a win that moved Spurs above the Hammers and up to seventh in the Premier League table and relieved the mounting pressure on the shoulders of manager Andre Villas-Boas.
The visitors now face a daunting December run that seems them face four of the current top-six after their trip to Manchester United next week and Sam Allardyce will have to pick his side up after this disappointing defeat.
For 44 minutes they succeeded in stemming the tide as the hosts sought to pick up their first league victory since beating Southampton at the end of October. Defoe went close twice before Gareth Bale evaded Mark Noble and slammed an effort off the crossbar with Jussi Jaaskelainen beaten all ends up.
But on the stroke of half time Defoe notched his first of the game wriggling his way past Winston Reid, George McCartney and Noble on his way to goal before driving the ball past Jaaskelainen. That gave Spurs the boost they needed going into the break although the away side did almost snatch an equaliser just after the restart.
Kevin Nolan found himself freed on the right side but his low cross was superbly gathered by a relatively untroubled Hugo Lloris as Matt Jarvis lurked in the six-yard area. Defoe then struck the bar before he laid the ball on a plate for Bale to double Spurs’ lead just before the hour, the winger showing excellent balance and composure to finish via the post.
Defoe was on target again six minutes later, tapping in Aaron Lennon’s low delivery after he was freed by substitute Clint Dempsey down the right flank. However they would be denied first clean sheet in six games as Andy Carroll turned in Joey O’Brien’s cross to score his first goal for West Ham.