PREMIER LEAGUE: Tottenham hold off Stoke thanks to Crouch double
Spurs bounced back from their 4-0 pasting from Real Madrid in Spain, scoring two early goals before experiencing some scares to eventually record all three points with help from Peter Crouch.
The England international redeemed himself from the red card in Madrid to score in the 12th minute before Luka Modric made it 2-0 seven minutes later with a special.
Stoke hit back through some Matthew Etherington brilliance after 27 minutes but Crouch grabbed his second in the 34th minute to give the home side the ascendency.
An open first half saw Kenwyne Jones add a fifth goal for the match, giving Stoke some hope at 3-2, but Tottenham managed to hold out the visitors' advances to move within three points of fourth-placed Manchester City whilst the Potters dropped to 12th, six points off the relegation zone.
Harry Redknapp's men grabbed their first win in seven matches in all competitions while extending their unbeaten streak at home to 13.
Venue: White Hart Lane, North London Crowd: 32,702 Referee: Kevin Friend Yellow cards:TOT - Tom Huddlestone 90' STO - Jermaine Pennant 55', Andy Wilkinson 73', Matthew Etherington 86'
Tottenham were close to an early goal when Gareth Bale found Roman Pavlyuchenko had a chance to tap home but Roberth Huth intervened to clear it to safety but they did then get a breakthrough in the 12th minute. GOAL And it was Peter Crouch, who was sent off in the Champions League midweek, who provided the first goal heading home a lovely cross from strike partner Roman Pavlyuchenko.
GOAL Tottenham soon had another with Pavlyuchenko again the architect, finding Luka Modric, who raced away from Huth before slotting past Asmir Begovic to make it 2-0 in the 19th minute in what was a brilliant start from Harry Redknapp's men.
Stoke were looking way out of their depth as Spurs continued to press but they managed to get one back against the run of play in the 27th minute. GOAL Stoke's first shot on goal was an absolute cracker from winger Matthew Etherington who took possession on halfway, beat off tom Huddlestone, advanced into the area and put his shot between the legs of Spurs keeper Gomes to give the visitors some hope.
GOAL But that hope was soon deflated when Tottenham got a third again through Crouch. It was Huddlestone's floating cross to the back post which the towering striker headed past Begovic to give his side a 3-1 lead ten minutes before half-time.
GOAL In another twist, Stoke hit back again when Gareth Bale gave the ball away in midfield with Kenwyne Jones pouncing on the error before hammering home on his left for his first goal in 13 matches for the Potters four minutes before half-time.
Stoke came closest to scoring early in the second half when Jonathan Walters turned Jones' 53rd minute cross onto the post before Pavlyuchenko was inches way with his header for Spurs down the other end in a very open affair.
Tottenham were denied a fourth in the 67th minute when Pavlyuchenko smashed it home after Begovic and Younes Kaboul clashed in the air with the referee awarding a free-kick to the Stoke keeper - controversially some may say.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis made a triple change in the 75th minute, bringing on Salif Diao, Dean Whitehead and Ricardo Fuller as he made his intentions of trying to save the match clear.
The visitors had a few minutes of injury time to pump the ball long in hope of a leveler but Spurs' defence held strong and got the win they desired following the week's events.
Tottenham Heurelho Gomes (gk) - Michael Dawson, Vedran Corluka, Younes Kaboul, Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Gallas 90') - Luka Modric, Rafael van der Vaart, Tom Huddlestone, Gareth Bale - Roman Pavlyuchenko, Peter Crouch
Subs - Carlo Cudicini (gk), William Gallas (90'), Jermaine Jenas, Jermain Defoe, Sebastien Bassong, Danny Rose, Sandro
Stoke Asmir Begovic (gk) - Glenn Whelan (Diao 75'), Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross, Andy Wilkinson - Jermaine Pennant (Whitehead 75'), Marc Wilson, Rory Delap (Fuller 75'), Matthew Etherington - Jonathan Walters, Kenwyne Jones