Van der Vaart snatches point
Rafael van der Vaart scored a 93rd-minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Stoke as Tottenham avoided a fourth successive Barclays Premier League defeat but failed to get their Champions League challenge back on track.
Cameron Jerome looked to have snatched a shock victory for Stoke as football returned to White Hart Lane just four days after Fabrice Muamba's horrifying collapse there.
But Van der Vaart snatched a point for a Spurs side who will need to improve massively to secure a top-four spot that for so long looked theirs for the taking.
The first real chances were near carbon copy efforts missed by Luka Modric in the 18th and 22nd minutes. Both were supplied by threaded balls from Gareth Bale, but Modric screwed each of his finishes narrowly wide.
Spurs almost broke the deadlock from distance six minutes before half-time when Louis Saha's snapshot was tipped over by Asmir Begovic.
Jermain Defoe failed to punish an absolute howler from Begovic, the keeper getting his punch all wrong from Ryan Shawcross' miscued clearance and being rescued only by the narrowness of the angle.
Tottenham's desperation was all too apparent when manager Harry Redknapp threw on misfit Giovani Dos Santos for Saha 19 minutes from time and it almost paid off moments later when Bale crashed a dipping 30-yarder against the bar.
But they were instantly behind, their defence failing to deal with a Jermaine Pennant free-kick that Robert Huth flicked on for Jerome to poke home from point-blank range.
Stoke got yet another block in to thwart Van der Vaart and Bale finally brought the best out of Begovic with a low drive in stoppage-time.
And it was Bale and Van der Vaart who combined as Tottenham snatched would could yet prove a crucial draw, the latter glancing in the Welshman's pinpoint cross.