There had been fears that Tottenham would be weary after their midweek exertions in the 4-1 Europa League loss to Inter Milan and so it proved as Andre Villas-Boas' men slumped to a shock 1-0 defeat to Fulham.
Gareth Bale picked up a knock on the ankle which seemed to hinder him for most of the second-half and without his impetus, Tottenham seemed sorely short of ideas. When Dimitar Berbatov scored, the writing seemed to be on the wall for the home side and even though the introduction of Jermain Defoe just past the hour mark gave them some penetration, Mark Schwarzer was at his absolute best to deny the pint-sized striker.
In the end, it was a well-deserved win for Martin Jol's men while Tottenham fans will once again start worrying about an end-of-season collapse that has become such a bane for the club in recent seasons.
Hugo Lloris - 6
The France international was one of several players rested for the midweek Europa League game at Inter Milan, but could do little for the goal and did not have much else to do
Kyle Naughton - 5
Provided good support down the flanks, but was caught out the wrong side of Dimitar Berbatov when the Bulgarian put Fulham in front.
Steven Caulker - 6
Returned alongside captain Michael Dawson at the heart of the defence and marshalled what little attacking threat Fulham offered in the first half, but was pulled out of position as Spurs chased the game late on.
Michael Dawson (off 46') - 5
Was forced off at half-time with a hamstring problem. Didn't have too much to do in the first-half given Fulham's lack of attacking threat. Kept Berbatov at bay on the few occasions the Bulgarian threatened to break through.
Jan Vertonghen - 7
Belgian slotted in at left-back and then moved into centre after Dawson was forced off. Did well at both, and would have been particularly frustrated by the fact that Emmanuel Adebayor seemed to be on his heels most of the game, and failed to get on the end of any of the superb crosses the Belgian sent in.
Vertonghen could have scored himself, but his control let him down at a crucial time in the penalty area midway through the second-half.
Gylfi Sigurdsson - 4 (off 62')
The Iceland midfielder was quick to get on the ball, but scuffed a decent chance when the ball dropped at edge of penalty area. Failed to strike up an understanding with Adebayor and chose the wrong option by shooting when Bale was free in the area late in the first-half.
Moussa Dembele (off 67') - 5.5
The Belgian was deployed in the middle and enjoyed a good battle with the Fulham central pair. He tracked back as much as he did link with the attack, although he would be disappointed for failing to carve out any clear-cut scoring opportunities for himself
Scott Parker - 6.5
It was a familiar battling display from the battling midfielder, nipping at Fulham heels and lunging into tackles with gusto. Parker even found time to let loose a couple of ferocious strikes from distance, one of which wasn't too far off-target.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto - 6
Was deployed in the centre of the park to begin with and did a decent job even without ever looking entirely comfortable. Switched back to his customary left-back position later and got in a couple of useful crosses.
Emmanuel Adebayor - 3.5
If there were hopes that his midweek strike against Inter Milan would spark a purple patch, they were emphatically snuffed out thanks to yet another ineffectual display. The former Arsenal player often ran into blind alleys and offered little outlet to a packed midfield.
Gareth Bale - 4.5
Had a decent header cleared off the line early on, but then struggled to get into the game right until the very end. An ankle knock picked up just before half-time would not have helped the winger and it was only in the dying moments when he finally got into the game with a superb run and cross in for Jermain Defoe whose shot elicited a stunning save from Mark Schwarzer.
All in all - a rare poor outing for Bale.
Clint Dempsey (on 46') - 5
Didn't have as much impact against his former side as Andre Villas-Boas would have hoped. With Adebayor struggling for impact and Bale not at his usual level, Dempsey had a lack of decent partners to work with and he wasn't good enough on the day to do it all on his own.
Jermain Defoe (on 62') - 7
Looked lively after being thrown into the attack and added some much-needed spark to a lacklustre and tired outfit. Made the Fulham defence work really hard and would have scored twice had it not been for the brilliance of Cottagers' keeper Mark Schwarzer
Tom Carroll (on 67') - 6.5
Showed some pleasing touches on the ball and a couple of passes showed he has a bright future ahead of him. Fulham's tightly-packed midfield was too much for him to crack open though.
Mark Schwarzer - 9
Should get most of the credit for Fulham claiming all three points. Had very little to do in the first-half but as Tottenham gradually awoke from their slumber, Schwarzer had to be at his absolute best. His save to deny Defoe from point-blank range is going to get into all the highlight reels from this weekend's action.
Sascha Riether - 7.5
Did well to negate the threat of Bale early on, including a goal-line clearance off a header and it was his dynamic run which set up Berbatov for what proved to be the winning goal on 52 minutes. Was a constant thorn in Spurs' side down the flank.
Philippe Senderos - 6.5
Combined well with Brede Hangeland to shackle Adebayor into utter impotence. Didn't really have too much to worry about from Bale either. Defoe did give him the slip a few times though, and the Swiss had to rely on Schwarzer's heroics to bail him out.
Brede Hangeland - 7.5
Produced a solid display at the back and as is his wont, was a constant threat from set-pieces. Should really have doubled his side's lead when he had loads of time to place a header into the corner, but unfortunately planted it into the wrong side of the post.
John Arne Riise - 6.5
Took time to get into his stride but then showed glimpses of those runs that used to set Anfield on fire. His overlaps were crucial in Fulham asserting pressure on the Spurs' backline - especially in the second half, and Riise wasn't too shabby at the back either.
Ashkan Dejagah - 8
Had a battle royale with Dembele in the centre of the park and came out on top on most occasions. Protected his backline and recycled possession very effectively indeed. Had a couple of adventurous runs right through the heart of the home side's defence as well.
Steven Sidwell - 5.5
Was too trigger-happy - opting to go for goal from some truly astonishing positions with better-placed teammates screaming for the ball. Was decent in helping out with the defensive side of things though, mopping things up every time Fulham's defensive midfield duo was caught out.
Giorgos Karagounis - 7.5
Battered and bruised, the little Greek would have left White Hart Lane with his head held high. Was the recepient of the sturdiest Spurs challenges but managed to shake all of them off for his side's sake. A shift and a half from Karagounis.
Damien Duff - 5
Would have been hoping to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a goal of his own, but it was an off-day for the Irishman. After a couple of bright runs early on, he seemed to be happy picking up possession close to the half-line and passing it on to a teammate as soon as possible. Strangely subdued performance.
Bryan Ruiz (off 90') - 7
Was one of the few bright sparks for Fulham in the first-half with a couple of absolutely delicious cross-field balls. But all of that early promise never really materialised and Ruiz gradually drifted to the periphery of the action.
Dimitar Berbatov - 7.5
Had he not scored, it would have been one of those characteristically listless outings Berbatov is so notorious for. Passes were misplaced, balls were miscontrolled and teammates were shouted at - all omens pointing to a irksome day until a great run allowed him to bundle home Riether's cross and claim the plaudits for scoring what turned out to be winning goal.
Urby Emanuelson (on 90') - n.a